A Mixed Bag of Blood


"The stuff nightmares are made of" --Cemetery Dance Online


"A brutal horror story that will keep surprising you over and over" -- Horror Underground

Toxic Behemoth

Toxic Behemoth
Is the world ready for TOXIC BEHEMOTH?

The Unhinged

The Unhinged


“Surrogate is another fine example of just how powerful a horror story can be." --Examiner.com

Apartment 7C

Apartment 7C
Sometimes you just have to take matters into your own hands.

Relic of Death

Relic of Death
"A fascinating, unpredictable, ever-shifting tale of greed and desperation. Highly recommended!" —Jeff Strand, author of Pressure

Witch Island

Witch Island
Reminiscent of 80s slasher flicks!!!!!

The Tree Man

The Tree Man
"Warlocks, witches, spiderlike familiars, and the ghosts of the evil dead... pit them all against a kid with a stolen shotgun and you've got a helluva dark ride! Creepy as Hell! Bernstein has crafted a Grimm's Fairy Tale for the modern age." -John Everson, author of NightWhere and Violet Eyes

Damaged Souls

Damaged Souls
"David Berstein's Damaged Souls is a hard-hitting mix of gut-churning horror, strikingly dark imagery, and prose as sharp as a cultist's sacrificial dagger. Don't miss it!" -- Tim Waggoner, author of The Way of All Flesh.

Fecal Terror

Fecal Terror
The Shittiest Book Available!!!!

Amongst the Dead

Amongst the Dead
"David Bernstein is a real craftsman, and one of the most thrilling voices to come along in a decade. He's who you should be reading now." —Joe McKinney, author of Flesh Eaters and Apocalypse of the Dead “David Bernstein is a rare kind of writer who really delivers the goods when it comes to horror. He'll be burning up the best seller lists soon. Count on it.” —Eric S Brown, author of A Pack of Wolves "David Bernstein's work resonates off the page, unforgettable in its elegant delivery, a ripple effect no doubt translating to ever bigger and vaster audiences as he continues to terrify -- and impress!" —Gregory L. Norris, author of The Q Guide to Buffy the Vampire Slayer

Tears of No Return

Tears of No Return
“Tears of No Return begins with a gripping chaos of mind-readers, secret government agencies and vampires and never lets up. It demands to be read for all its intensity. David Bernstein plants a central idea in a minefield and just sits back and watches the explosions domino on each other. Thoroughly entertaining and highly recommended!” —Benjamin Kane Ethridge, Bram Stoker Award- winning author of Black & Orange and Dungeon Brain

Thursday, November 6, 2014

The Dark Servant

                                   By Matthew Manochio

Sometimes original ideas can be thousands of years old. And right under our noses.

I realized that in December 2012 when my boss asked me if I’d ever heard of Krampus—the subject of my debut novel, The Dark Servant (Samhain Publishing). I hadn’t. (Apparently he’d just discovered him, too.) He showed me www.krampus.com and something clicked. I wasn’t looking to write a novel, but when I read about Saint Nicholas’s dark other half—Krampus, a chain-wielding devil who kidnaps bad children and punishes them into repentance—I knew I had to write something.

What amazed me the most was that I’d never heard of him up until that point in my life.

I was 37 years old and thought I was reasonably in tune with odd, obscure things. As a kid, I read numerous books about the Loch Ness Monster. I once believed werewolves were real and refused to go outside to the mailbox on the night of a full moon if someone forgot to get the mail. I collected Monster in My Pocket toys and knew about the Wendigo, Ymir, and Catoblepas, to name a few. And who didn’t love Greek mythology as a kid when learning about the Minotaur, Medusa, and Charon? And I can identify just about every creature in Jabba the Hutt’s palace in Return of the Jedi. (That really doesn’t compare to human mythology, but I like throwing it in there.)

Somehow, Krampus, a European legend that dates back to the time before Christ, slipped through the cracks.

Was I the only one? We all know about vampires, werewolves and zombies. Fiction is littered with them. But not Krampus. I checked Amazon and B&N and found one commercially published book and a few self-published offerings. And that was it. My first decision was to not read any of them—and not because I thought they would be bad. I simply didn’t want any other writer’s vision of Krampus affecting my own.

Whether I do the monster justice? That’s up to others to decide. I’ve never had more fun writing anything in my life, though. And in researching Krampus, I learned there are other European variations of the myth, such as a Frau Perchta, Knecht Ruprecht and Belsnickel (I’d heard of Belsnickel due to Dwight portraying him on The Office, but didn’t associate it with Krampus).

One of the things that delights me is searching “Krampus” on Twitter and finding scores of Americans who have no idea what he is. It makes sense. I mean, do people in Belgium spend much time thinking about Bigfoot? America, I believe, will become more familiar with Krampus in the years to come. Filmmaker Kevin Smith is working on a movie featuring Krampus vignettes, and I know there are a few other Krampus flicks that have either been completed or that are slated to be filmed. There’s a comic book, too, and Krampus has been portrayed on television shows like Fox’s American Dad and NBC’s Grimm.

If I can be one of the people contributing to Americans learning a little bit about Krampus, and hopefully entertaining them at the same time, then great. Perhaps it will inspire others to seek out the exciting and new—while dusting off the history books to learn about it.

About Krampus:
December 5 is Krampus Nacht — Night of the Krampus, a horned, cloven-hoofed monster who in pre-Christian European cultures serves as the dark companion to Saint Nicholas, America’s Santa Claus. Saint Nicholas rewards good children and leaves bad ones to Krampus, who kidnaps and tortures kids unless they repent.

The Dark Servant, Synopsis

Santa's not the only one coming to town ...

It's older than Christ and has tormented European children for centuries. Now America faces its wrath. Unsuspecting kids vanish as a blizzard crushes New Jersey. All that remains are signs of destruction—and bloody hoof prints stomped in snow. Seventeen-year-old Billy Schweitzer awakes December 5 feeling depressed. Already feuding with his police chief father and golden boy older brother, Billy's devastated when his dream girl rejects him. When an unrelenting creature infiltrates his town, imperiling his family and friends, Billy must overcome his own demons to understand why his supposedly innocent high school peers have been snatched, and how to rescue them from a famous saint's ruthless companion—that cannot be stopped.

The Dark Servant is everything a thriller should be—eerie, original and utterly engrossing!”
Wendy Corsi Staub, New York Times bestselling author

“Beautifully crafted and expertly plotted, Matt Manochio’s The Dark Servant has taken an esoteric fairy tale from before Christ and sets it in the modern world of media-saturated teenagers—creating a clockwork mechanism of terror that blends Freddy Krueger with the Brothers Grimm! Highly recommended!”
Jay Bonansinga, New York Times bestselling author of The Walking Dead: The Fall of the Governor

“Matt Manochio is a writer who’ll be thrilling us for many books to come.”
Jim DeFelice, New York Times bestselling co-author of American Sniper

“Matt Manochio has taken a very rare fairytale and turned it into a real page-turner. Matt has constructed a very real and believable force in Krampus and has given it a real journalistic twist, and he has gained a fan in me!”
David L. Golemon, New York Times bestselling author of the Event Group Series

"I scarcely know where to begin. Is this a twisted parental fantasy of reforming recalcitrant children? Is it Fast Times at Ridgemont High meets Nightmare on Elm Street? Is it a complex revision of the Medieval morality play? In The Dark Servant, Matt Manochio has taken the tantalizing roots of Middle Europe’s folklore and crafted a completely genuine modern American horror story. This is a winter’s tale, yes, but it is also a genuinely new one for our modern times. I fell for this story right away. Matt Manochio is a natural born storyteller.”
Joe McKinney, Bram Stoker Award-winning author of The Savage Dead and Dog Days

“Just in time for the season of Good Will Toward Men, Matt Manochio’s debut delivers a fresh dose of Holiday Horror, breathing literary life into an overlooked figure of legend ready to step out of Santa’s shadow. Prepared to be thrilled in a new, old-fashioned way.”
Hank Schwaeble, Bram Stoker Award-winning author of Damnable, Diabolical and The Angel of the Abyss

“In The Dark Servant, Manochio spins a riveting tale of a community under siege by a grotesque, chain-clanking monster with cloven-hooves, a dry sense of wit, and a sadistic predilection for torture. As Christmas nears and a snowstorm paralyzes the town, the terrifying Krampus doesn’t just leave switches for the local bullies, bitches, and badasses, he beats the living (editor’s note: rhymes with skit) out of them! Manochio balances a very dark theme with crackling dialogue, fast-paced action, and an engaging, small-town setting.”
Lucy Taylor, Bram Stoker Award-winning author of The Safety of Unknown Cities

“A fast-paced thrill-ride into an obscure but frightful Christmas legend. Could there be a dark side to Santa? And if so, what would he do to those kids who were naughty? Matt Manochio provides the nail-biting answer with The Dark Servant.”
John Everson, Bram Stoker Award-winning author of Violet Eyes

“A high-octane blast of horror. A surefire hit for fans of monsters and gore.”
Mario Acevedo, author of Werewolf Smackdown

“Have yourself a scary, nightmare-y little Christmas with The Dark Servant. Matt Manochio’s holiday horror brings old world charm to rural New Jersey, Krampus-style.”
Jon McGoran, author of Drift

Matt Manochio is the author of The Dark Servant (Samhain Publishing, November 4, 2014). He is a supporting member of the Horror Writers Association, and he hates writing about himself in the third person but he’ll do it anyway.

He spent 12 years as an award-winning newspaper reporter at the Morris County, N.J., Daily Record, and worked for one year as an award-winning page designer at the Anderson, S.C., Independent-Mail. He currently works as a full-time editor and a freelance writer.
The highlights of his journalism career involved chronicling AC/DC for USA Today: in 2008, when the band kicked off its Black Ice world tour, and in 2011 when lead singer Brian Johnson swung by New Jersey to promote his autobiography. For you hardcore AC/DC fans, check out the video on my YouTube channel.
To get a better idea about my path toward publication, please read my Writer's Digest guest post: How I Sold My Supernatural Thriller.

Matt’s a dedicated fan of
bullmastiffs, too. (He currently doesn't own one because his house is too small. Bullmastiff owners understand this all too well.)
Matt doesn’t have a favorite author, per se, but owns almost every Dave Barry book ever published, and he loves blending humor into his thrillers when warranted. Some of his favorite books include Salem’s Lot, Jurassic Park, The Hobbit, Animal Farm, and To Kill a Mockingbird.

When it comes to writing, the only advice he can give is to keep doing it, learn from mistakes, and regardless of the genre, read Chris Roerden’s Don’t Sabotage Your Submission (2008, Bella Rosa Books).
Matt grew up in New Jersey, where he lives with his wife and son. He graduated from the University of Delaware in 1997 with a bachelor's degree in history/journalism.

Photo Credit: Eric Schnare
See more about Matt and his book on his website: http://www.mattmanochio.com and follow him on Facebook, Twitter (@MattManochio), Pinterest.

Tour Giveaway!
For everyone! CREATE a PINTEREST board by choosing one of the following themes: Krampus, Old World Legends, Vintage Holiday, Old World Christmas, Christmas Around the World, Traditions and Legends,  Myths, Monsters, and Horror, or something very similar.
Second rule: You must pin Matt's book cover and Amazon purchase link or Samhain Horror Purchase link. Third Rule: Follow Matt Manochio and Erin Al-Mehairi.
Third Recommendation: Extra points for pinning extra things about Matt, such as tour page, articles, etc.

Your board will be judged on the above PLUS your creativity and effort in the project! Send Erin at hookofabook@hotmail.com your Pinterest page to enter by Dec. 8. Of course you can continue to use it through the Holiday if you wish!
Prize: A "Santa Checked His List and I'm on the Naughty Side" package. This will include your choice of Krampus themed apparel (t-shirt or sweatshirt, men or women, visuals to come) and a signed paperback of the book.
There might be shipping limitations. Check back to tour page before entering if you live outside the U.S. for updated information.
And a board about Matt:
Giveaway for Reviewers!
Anyone on the tour, or outside the tour, who reviews The Dark Servant on Amazon and GoodReads and sends their review link into Erin (Publicist for Matt Manochio) at hookofabook@hotmail.com, now through Dec. 31, 2014, will be entered to win a $25 Amazon gift card.

1 comment:

  1. "A fascinating, unpredictable, ever-shifting tale of greed and desperation. ... hfairytail.blogspot.com