I've been busy writing the first two months of 2017 and now have several new works of fiction coming down the pike.
On February 28, my new short story collection DARK NEEDS: 3 Twisted Tales of Horror will release as a Kindle ebook first. It includes "The Dealer of Needs", "Offspring" and "Chasing the Dragon". You can find it on Amazon for .99.
I'm excited to share that I completed a novel I've been working on for the past two years called TOMB OF GODS. It's a historical archaeology thriller set in Egypt in 1937. There are plenty of thrills and horror elements in this story. The manuscript is currently with my agent being shopped around to publishers. Once I find the right publisher for the book, I'll make an announcement here.
Yesterday, I completed writing a novella called SAVAGE ISLAND. It's about a vacation in tropical paradise that turns to terror when four people yachting in the Philippines make the mistake of exploring one of the islands that they think is uninhabited. A predator has been waiting a long time for fresh prey to visit the island. The manuscript is now entering the editing phase. Once I find a publisher and know the release date, I'll report more.
I've also been writing several more short stories. I plan to publish a series of 3-story eBook collections under my "Twisted Tales of Horror" imprint. When I have enough stories, I'll publish them all in a paperback version for those who still like to read paperbacks.
That's it for now. More news coming soon!
Tuesday, February 21, 2017
Thursday, February 16, 2017
One thing I love about the horror genre is how diverse it is. There are many great women writing horror fiction today, in the US and the UK. One such author lives in North Wales and has written several scary books like The Pendle Curse, Saving Grace Devine and The Devil's Serenade. I'm honored to have Catherine Cavendish back to discuss what inspired her novella Dark Avenging Angel.
Mother From Hell
by Catherine Cavendish
My novella – Dark Avenging Angel – is, as its title suggests, concerned with revenge. In this case, revenge of the most demonic kind. We’ve all heard the old adage, “Be careful what you wish for…” Jane learns the truth of this in graphic ways.
Avenging angels and demons abound in the traditions and folklore of people all over the world. One such character is a churel – a female ghost of South Asian folkore, well known in the Indian sub-continent and a pretty hellish character to boot.
There are variations on her origins. She may have died in childbirth, during menstruation, or as a result of poor care while pregnant. It is said that if a woman (especially one from the lower social classes) dies in pregnancy during the five-day Hindu Festival of Light (Diwali), she is even more likely to turn into a churel. Whichever is the cause, the churel is an angry and vengeful spirit who returns from the dead to suck the blood (and other bodily fluids) of her male relatives.
Churels are most often found in and around graveyards, abandoned battlefields, crossroads, thresholds of houses, toilets and a host of squalid locations.
They can take the form of a hideous woman with sagging breasts, backwards facing feet (toes at the back, heel at the front), long sharp teeth, a black tongue and unkempt hair. The churel frequently roams naked, and has a pot belly and claw-like hands. Some churels have unusually thick lips, or even no mouth at all. Some have pig-like features with long fangs or tusks.
A churel can also be a shapeshifter – able to transform into a beautiful young woman, in order to lure any young male relation she wants. When she has got him where she wants him, she then drains him of his virility, turning him into a prematurely aged, grey-haired old man. Once she has finished with him, she moves onto the next male relative until her vengeance is satisfied. This thirst for revenge may be so great that it involves more than her own family. She may go in search of other young men on highways, or at crossroads, where she lures them in her enchantress guise. In some stories, she will imprison her victim in a graveyard and use him - little by little - sexually and by draining his blood until he withers and dies. There is even a story of a young man who was seduced by a churel, ate the food she gave him and returned to his village the next day as an old man.
In some traditions, the churel may transform and become a servant of the goddess Kali, joining with her to feast on human flesh and blood.
So how do you prevent yourself becoming a victim of a churel? The solution is quite simple, men should treat their wives well. Look after them in pregnancy and childbirth. If that fails though - and the wife falls sick and dies, the best methods are to bury rather than cremate her body and perform certain rituals. The body may be bound. Nails and other bindings may be used to imprison the would-be churel in her grave, and the woman should be remembered - with love and honour - in songs and prayers, so that her spirit doesn’t feel forgotten or neglected.
Don’t hurt Jane. You may live to regret it.
Bullied by her abusive father, Jane always felt different. Then the lonely child found a friend in a mysterious dark lady who offers her protection—a lady she calls her “angel”. But that protection carries a terrible price, one to be paid with the souls of those Jane chooses to suffer a hideous and eternal fate.
When Jane refuses to name another victim, the angel reveals her most terrifying side. Payment must be made in full—one way or the other.
You can find Dark Avenging Angel here:
Other books by Catherine Cavendish include:
And are currently available – or soon will be – from:
Catherine Cavendish lives with a long-suffering husband and ‘trainee’ black cat in North Wales. Her home is in a building dating back to the mid-18th century, which is haunted by a friendly ghost, who announces her presence by footsteps, switching lights on and strange phenomena involving the washing machine and the TV. Cat has written a number of published horror novellas, short stories, and novels, frequently reflecting her twin loves of history and horror and often containing more than a dash of the dark and Gothic. When not slaving over a hot computer, she enjoys wandering around Neolithic stone circles and visiting old haunted houses.
You can connect with Cat here:
Tuesday, January 31, 2017
Saturday, October 15, 2016
Today’s guest author has published numerous horror short stories, as well as books like Sleep Paralysis: A Collection, A Debt to Be Paid, and now Dream Woods. Here he talks about what inspired him when he first started writing scary stories.
How My Third Grade Self’s Love of Goosebumps
Helped Spawn Dream Woods
by Patrick Lacey,
by Patrick Lacey,
author of Dream Woods by Sinister Grin Press
It's no secret that I love me some Goosebumps. At least I don't think it is. I've sang R. L. Stine's praises in many an interview, but I'm not sure those that are aware of my existence as an author (there's at least a few of you out there) know to what extent my childhood obsession shaped my formative years as a writer. I'm not just talking about those bad ass covers that I used to stare at for hours on end (which probably explains why I love death metal artwork so much), or the fact that you could blow through several of the books in a single day (something I did on many occasions instead of hanging out with my friends). I'm talking about the fact that those books with the cool covers and the break-neck pacing made me was to take pen to paper in the first place.
I have a confession. Something a lot of people don't know about. I think it's time to come clean, to shout it to the world, to get this off my chest for once and for all. I wrote a Goosebumps novel. That's right. You heard me. I wrote one and it's called The Curse of the Scorpion. Haven't heard of it? You're not alone. See, I wrote it when I was in third grade, huddled over a Power Rangers notebook, the pages of which I carefully tore out and placed into a Batman Returns Trapper Keeper (dating myself here) so as to create the illusion of professional book binding (it didn't work, but it was awesome just the same). I don't remember how long it was. Thirty, maybe forty, pages. But I do remember the plot: girl buys scorpion from strange pet shop. Said pet shop's owner warns her of a curse with the scorpion, yet willfully allows said scorpion to be purchased. Girl brings scorpion home and spooky things ensue.
Simple, right? That's exactly my point. R. L. Stine does not beat around the proverbial bush. He gets you into the story, gives you just enough information, and sets you on a roller coaster. Now, you could make the argument that young adult writing needs to be like that, but Mr. Stine takes it a step further in my humble opinion. Even his adult novels (See:Superstitious) do not deviate far from this formula. It's because of this simple, stripped back style that I decided to give writing a shot. If it didn't inform the style I've (hopefully) developed, it at least set me in the right direction. Later on, when I started branching out, I was drawn to writers like Richard Laymon, Jack Ketchum, Richard Matheson, and Graham Joyce to name a few. These authors have a similar, bare bones style that pulls you along by the scruff of your neck and if I wasn't devouring Stine's work as a kid, staying indoors instead of pretending to enjoy playing outside, I probably wouldn't be writing this article on the heels of my first novel's release.
Speaking of which, I wouldn't be a writer if I wasn't trying to peddle my books on you. Just give me a moment of your time. I'll be quick. I promise. The first Goosebumps book I remember reading was A Shocker on Shock Street, which, oddly enough, takes place in an amusement park where many of the rides come to life. Again: simple premise to grab you immediately. Now, my novel Dream Woods is a bit more complicated than that. In fact, even the book's timeline gets a bit dicey as the story progress but my point is this: at its core, Dream Woods is a haunted amusement park novel. That's what it is, plain and simple, when you boil things down.
Even though I've written plenty since that fever dream of a session back in third grade, Dream Woods would not exist had I not penned my Goosebumps (fan fiction) novel The Curse of the Scorpion. So, keeping with the tradition of Mr. Stine's work, I'll keep this article short and to the point. If you didn't grow up with Goosebumps, it's still not too late to jump on the bandwagon. Heck, they're still putting out new books to this day. Not to mention the major motion picture that was released last year. The Goosebumps franchise is alive and well. Go grab one of the books, whether they're from the original series or one of the many spin-offs, and dive in. You just might like what you read, as simple as it may be. Oh, and one last thing: maybe keep away from haunted amusement parks and cursed scorpions while you're at it.
Follow your screams…
When Vince Carter takes a shortcut to work he notices a billboard that nearly sends him into an oncoming van.
The ad is for Dream Woods, New England’s answer to Disney World. It closed decades ago, but now that it’s back in business, Vince is eager to take his whole family, hoping the magic he remembers will save his failing marriage.
His wife, Audra, isn’t so sure. She’s heard the rumors of why the place closed. Murder. Sacrifice. Torture. But those are just urban legends. Surely there’s nothing evil about a family tourist attraction.
The Carters are about to discover that the park’s employees aren’t concerned with their guests’ enjoyment. They’re interested in something else. Something much more sinister.
Welcome to Scream Woods!
Purchase DREAM WOODS at:
Praise for Patrick Lacey
“This collection has it all, showing the world that Lacey can write and do it well. From frightening, eerie, soul-stamping to funny and gross, this book has it all. The man's imagination is incredible. A must read!!!!” – David Bernstein, author of A Mixed Bag of Blood
“It's a rare and joyful thing for me to read a book and realize I'm in the hands of an author who can go absolutely anywhere, who works without a formula and without a net. Such is the case with this stellar debut collection.” – Russell Coy, Amazon Review
“This fast-paced novella has terror on every page and will keep you searching the shadows in your home far more often than needed.” – Russell James, author of Q Island, on A Debt to Be Paid
Patrick Lacey, Biography
Patrick Lacey was born and raised in a haunted house. He spends his nights and weekends writing about things that make the general public uncomfortable. He lives in Massachusetts with his Pomeranian, his mustached cat, and his muse, who is likely trying to kill him. Find him on Facebook, follow him on Twitter (@patlacey) or visit his website.
Want to Feature?
If you’d like to feature Patrick Lacey on your blog or site, or review Dream Woods, please give Erin Al-Mehairi, marketing and publicity at Sinister Grin Press, a shout out at email@example.com
Dream Woods by Patrick Lacey
Sinister Grin Press
Publicist/Marketing: Erin Al-Mehairi
Publicist/Marketing: Erin Al-Mehairi
Follow along the tour with these hashtags: #DreamWoods #ScreamWoods #PeskyBear
Dream Woods, Synopsis
· Print Length: 135 pages
· Publisher: Sinister Press
· Publication Date: October 1, 2016
Friday, October 14, 2016
Last month I spent a week in Mt. Shasta, California on a retreat through a company called Sacred Voyages led by Greg Magick Bernstein where we visited several sacred sites and energy vortexes around Mt. Shasta. It's truly a magical place and the retreat was just what I needed to amp up my creativity and get energized for my goals for the coming year. I had the best time hanging out with some fantastic people. I also got some inspiration for my latest novel, which I'm currently writing. Below are some photos from my trip. http://www.sacredvoyages.com/
View of Mt. Shasta from our retreat house
We spent a week at a beautiful
secluded retreat house.
My fellow adventurers.
At Bernie Falls
Hiking above the treeline near
the top of Mt. Shasta.
the top of Mt. Shasta.
Me with my good friend and Sacred Voyages
retreat leader, Greg "Magick" Bernstein
retreat leader, Greg "Magick" Bernstein
Every where I went there were
beautiful views of Mt. Shasta.
Eating at Black Bear Diner in Mt. Shasta City
Exploring Pluto Cave north of Mt. Shasta
One of my favorite things to do is to explore caves
and Pluto Cave has 4 of them.
I felt a powerful energy coming from the sun that
beamed through this skylight.