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

Friday, January 30, 2015

A Chat with Hunter Shea

The prolific and extremely talented Hunter Shea has stopped by my blog to talk about his newest book and a number of other things, some of which may surprise you!

Can you talk a little about Island of the Forbidden? Is the island or house on the island based on a story or legend you've about?

The house, and the island, are completely fabricated. However, the idea to make a haunted house – on a haunted island – came from sitting on beaches in the Bronx, of all places, and seeing these little islands with dilapidated structures. These houses were once residential areas, some housed hospitals, asylums and even a potter’s field. Very intriguing and creepy stuff. If I ever decide to become an Urban Explorer, I’ve vowed to explore those islands. I named the island, and colonial mansion, Ormsby after Alan Ormsby, who was the main character in the early 70s zombie movie, Children Shouldn’t Play With Dead Things. In that movie, an acting troupe visits a fog shrouded island to raise the dead, with regrettable consequences. The concept of being stranded on an island, without communication, surrounded by something paranormal and potentially evil was what drove me to write Island of the Forbidden. It’s all about isolation in the face of your deepest fears.

A lot of your books deal with the paranormal—Forest of Shadows, Sinister Entity, The Waiting, Island of the Forbidden. When did the subject first interest you and when did you think “Hey, I’m going to write a novel dealing with it?

I have always been a fan of the strange and paranormal. As a kid, I was raised on scary movies, comic books and tales from my grandmother who was a local psychic who made tables rise from the floor and spoke with the dead. Thanks to In Search Of, I was hooked on true stories of ghosts and monsters at a very young age. When my wife and I were married in the early 90’s, we moved into our current house. It didn’t take long to realize we were not alone in the house. For twenty years, we’ve had an extra member of the family who comes and goes as he pleases. When I sat down to write my first full length horror novel, I knew I had to incorporate all of the things that had thrilled and frightened me, as well as the strange situation I was currently living in.

Some authors stick to writing the same kind of book, like gore-filled or action-packed or sci fi oriented horror or atmospheric, etc. It seems you like to write in different areas of horror—sci fi based horror, atmospheric, gory and action-packed. Is there one area you enjoy writing about the most or is tackling the gamut more to your liking?   

I haven’t even gotten started with all of the different story types I want to explore. One of the wonderful things about Samhain is that our editor, Don D’Auria, lets us explore and experiment – as long as the story is solid and the scares are real. Right now, I’m flexing my cryptid muscles. Those books (Swamp Monster Massacre, The Montauk Massacre and the upcoming Dover Demon) tend to mix monster horror with lots of action. I seem to be in my element when I combine the two. But after writing a book like that, I like to try my hand at something else, kind of like cleansing the palate. I’ve noticed that you’re writing style is very similar. I love the range of stories that your books uncover. It’s a blessing to have editors who are there to support your wild imagination.

Let’s change it up a little. What do you like to do when you aren’t writing?

I read – a lot! I’ve always been a big reader, and even more so now. You’d think with having to find time to write, along with a crazy day job, there would be less time to read. But I realized long ago, if you just turn the TV off, you have plenty of time to do everything. I spend a lot of time with my family. My girls are teens now, so they dig a lot of the crazy stuff I dig. And there’s learning to drive, going to concerts, finding every hibachi joint in the state of New York. I’m never at a loss for things to do. I’ll rest plenty when I’m in a nursing home.

Okay, back to the craft. Do you have a writing routine and if so what’s it like?

When I’m working on a book, I try to write every day, even if it’s a stolen moment at lunch or in my car. As long as the words keep coming, I’m happy. On weekdays, I write at night, after work and dinner and shooting the breeze with my family. On weekends, I get up early and do a few hours. When I finish a book, I step away from it for a week, then dive into editing. The key is to keep moving, like a literary shark, and to always finish what you started. You have to learn to step away from a manuscript and declare it done, then send it off to your editor.

Besides writing horror, is there another genre you’d like to write about, or have you?  

The very first book I wrote was a romantic comedy, followed by a very dark comedy. So yes, I definitely have a tendency towards humor. I plan to try my hand at another comedy very soon. I’m also going to try my hand at literary fiction and see how that goes.


Will the New York Mets make the playoffs this year? (Be honest)
Oh man, you had to ask that. The Nationals just made themselves a monster with their winter acquisitions. I think if everything goes right, the Mets could make the wild card. But odds are, this will be a great year to watch with marked improvement but no October ball. If they get another big bat after the 2015 season, and all of those young arms stay healthy, they will win it all in 2016.

Until then, I’m a lifelong Seahawks fan, so I’m thoroughly enjoying their run to the Super Bowl. I hope they kick the Pats in their deflated balls.

Writing influences?

It goes without saying, Stephen King. He was the man who taught me to love grown up horror. Hemingway taught me to keep it short and tight. Elmore Leonard gave me dialogue without being surrounded by extraneous nonsense. Every book I’ve ever read has influenced me in some way – showing me what to do and what not to do.

Name your 3 favorite horror movies.

The Haunting
Dawn of the Dead

What’s the hardest part about writing?

The writing itself, even the editing, is wonderful. I love the process of spinning a big old yarn and working on it until it’s fit for human consumption. It’s all the other stuff around it that can get a little nutty. Authors have to handle the majority of marketing their work. If you’re not careful, you can get sucked into the big black hole of marketing, chomping away at time better spent writing. If you want your books to be front and center, you have a hell of a lot of work to do. I thank God every day for my publicist Erin at Hook of a Book Media. Her incredible efforts allow me the time to work on that next book.

The easiest part?

The first draft. Sure, there are moments where you stop and say, “This is crap. What the heck have I done???” The working writer knows how to push through that. There are so many endorphin rushes when you work on the first draft. I love it.

Can you talk a little about your upcoming release Tortures of the Damned?  (It looks awesome!)

Tortures is a post apocalyptic novel set in Yonkers, NY. I take a nice, innocent family, and drag them into the end of the world, exploring how normal people evolve in an abnormal world. The theme of that book is knowledge. When the bombs hit, all communication is lost. No one knows what happened, who did it, why, or how encompassing the devastation is. In a world where we’re all plugged in and connected 24/7, what do we do when that plug is pulled?

And of course, I add some of my signature mayhem to the mix. If the world goes to hell the way I wrote it, please let me be at ground zero.

Any advice for aspiring or new writers? 

Three simple things : read until your eyes are sore, write until your fingers are cramped, and type The End.

Is there anything else you’d like to add?

Thank you so much for letting me hijack your blog. I’m a huge fan of your work and lucky to call you Samhain brother. If anyone wants to learn more about my work, watch my video podcast Monster Men or just kill time reading all of my Bigfoot articles, swing on by my blog and chain at www.huntershea.com.

Island of the Forbidden by Hunter Shea continues the story of Jessica Bockman, the ghost-hunting heroine who has appeared in Forest of Shadows, The Graveyard Speaks and Sinister Entity, all published by Samhain Horror. 
To read more about the series and Jessica Bockman, read Hunter’s recent article.

Island of the Forbidden Synopsis
Sometimes, the dead are best left in peace.

Jessica Backman has been called to help a strange family living on a haunted island in Charleston Harbor. Ormsby Island was the site of a brutal massacre two decades ago, and now the mysterious Harper family needs someone to exorcise the ghosts that still call it home. The phantoms of over one hundred children cannot rest.

But something far more insidious is living on the island. When the living and the dead guard their true intentions, how can Jessica discover just what sort of evil lurks on Ormsby Island? And why is Jessica the only one who can plumb its dark depths?


Enter to win one of five Hunter Shea books being given away! Two signed copies of Montauk Monster, one signed copy of Sinister Entity, and two e-books of choice of his titles are up for grabs! One book to each winner, given in order of random drawing. Enter to win at the Rafflecopter link. Must use valid email that winners can be contacted by. Print books are U.S. residents only. Contest ends Feb. 28, 2015. Any questions, contact Erin Al-Mehairi, Publicist, at hookofabook@hotmail.com.

Direct Link:


Purchase Links
Samhain Horror:
Barnes and Noble:

Raves for Hunter Shea
Forest of Shadows
"A frightening, gripping story that left me too frightened to sleep with the lights off. This novel scared the hell out of me and it is definitely a creepy ghost story I won't soon forget." --Night Owl Reviews
Sinister Entity
"This is the real deal. The fear is palpable. Horror novels don't get much better than this." --Literal Remains
". . .Culminates in a climactic showdown between human and spirit that keeps you glued to the pages!" --Horror Novel Reviews
Evil Eternal
"Hunter Shea has crafted another knockout. At turns epic and intimate, both savage and elegant. . .a harrowing, blood-soaked nightmare." --Jonathan Janz, author of The Sorrows
Swamp Monster Massacre
"If you're craving an old-school creature-feature that has excessive gore. . .B-horror movie fans rejoice, Hunter Shea is here to bring you the ultimate tale of terror!" --Horror Novel Reviews

Hunter Shea, Biography
Hunter Shea is the author of paranormal and horror novels Forest of Shadows, Swamp Monster Massacre, Evil Eternal, Sinister Entity,  HellHole and Island of the Forbidden, which are all published by Samhain Horror. 
The June 3, 2014 release of his horrifying thriller Montauk Monster was published by Kensington/Pinnacle. His second Kensington novel, Tortures of the Damned, will be published later this year.
He has also written a short story to be read prior to Sinister Entity, called The Graveyard Speaks (it’s free, go download!), and a book of stories called Asylum Scrawls.
His work has appeared in numerous magazines, including Dark Moon Digest, Morpheus Tales, and the upcoming anthology, Shocklines : Fresh Voices in Terror. His obsession with all things horrific has led him to real life exploration of the paranormal, interviews with exorcists, and other things that would keep most people awake with the lights on.
He is also half of the two men show, Monster Men, which is a video podcast that takes a fun look at the world of horror. You can read about his latest travails and communicate with him at www.huntershea.com, on Twitter @HunterShea1, Facebook fan page at Hunter Shea or the Monster Men 13 channel on YouTube.

Thursday, January 15, 2015


Russell James stops by to answer some questions about his newest novel, Dreamwalker, and other things. I've been a fan of his since I read his first published novel, Dark Inspiration. He really knows how to scare, and Dreamwalker is some of his best and most frightening work yet.

Let’s get right to it. How did Dreamwalker come about?

The main character, Pete Holm, has very vivid dreams, ones with continuing storylines. I dream like that. While I’m in a dream, I can remember previous dreams from that imaginary place. I wondered what it would be like if that wasn’t an imaginary place, but an alternate reality, running in parallel with the real world. That kicked off ideas about Dreamwalker.

Did you do a lot of research on dreams? On Haitian customs and lore?

I did a lot of research on Haitian customs and voodoo. Nothing tests the bonds of trust in a marriage like coming home to see your spouse reading books on voodoo. That stuff is seriously creepy. A lot of people swear to the power voodoo possesses. It is apparently enough of a worry that it was legally banned in the 1950s in Haiti. That says something. I mean, I think Ouija boards are scary, but they haven’t been made illegal.

I’ve spent several week in the Dominican Republic, which shares the island with Haiti, so all the location atmosphere for Prosperidad’s early years there came from my experiences.

What’s your writing process like? And how long does it usually take you to complete a novel?

I’m a serious pantser when it comes to writing. Outlines are for research papers. The plus side to being an outliner is that those people can write a lot faster than I do. I’m lucky to get one novel a year out the door.

It’s kind of obvious that you like to write horror. Have you written anything other than horror? If not, do you plan on writing in some other genre? Western? Sci fi? Romance?

I’ve written in a few other genres. I have one Supernatural/Romance short story called Island Girl with Gypsy Shadow Press. Most of my other work is in Sci-Fi. I’m in several benefit anthologies with my critique group. Out of Time and Still Out of Time are collections of time travel stories. Centauri Station and my solo Outer Rim collections are space travel-themed. The last three are new. Out of Time was a top anthology seller with Amazon right out the door. All the royalties from the group collections go to Doctors Without Borders and we’ve sent them thousands of dollars last year. That is a good feeling.

Out in left field, I finished a historical novel about the life of John the Baptist. I’ll publish that under the pseudo-pseudonym R.R. James. Kind of like hiding in plain sight, but setting it apart from the horror-genre stuff. The royalties from that will also be donated.

What made you write your first novel?

On long car trips, I would tell my wife stories that I’d thought up, or what I thought might be more interesting plot twists for movies or TV shows we’d seen. She told me I should write them down and get them published. I told her that was ridiculous, that no one would want to read something I’d written. She gave me a Gotham online writing class for Christmas that year, and from that moment on, all my free time disappeared.

Who are some authors whose work you enjoy reading?

There’s this guy named Bernstein, don’t know if you’ve heard of him? He wrote a story called Apartment 7C that had this masterfully horrific ending. Other folks I’ve read and loved lately have been Catherine Cavendish’s Saving Grace Devine, JG Faherty’s  Legacy, and Hunter Shea’s new Island of the Forbidden.

Writing influences?

Any horror writer who doesn’t say Stephen King is lying. Poe is great for his language construction and what, for the time, were groundbreaking horrific ideas. I also like Harlan Coben for his stellar dialogue. 

Dreamwalker is the sixth novel that Russell James has published with Samhain Horror under legendary horror editor Don D’Auria!
Dreamwalker Synopsis
Two realities. One hope.
What if you lived in two worlds, and could die in either?  Pete Holm can. He is a dreamwalker, able to travel to the realm of dreams, including the devastated world of Twin Moon City, where an evil voodoo spirit holds living souls in terror with his army of the walking dead.
In the waking world, drug lord Jean St. Croix knows only the power of the dreamwalker can stop him, so St. Croix vows Pete must die.
Pete is the only hope to rescue the lost souls in Twin Moon City…unless St. Croix kills him first. Can anyone survive when two realities collide? 
Purchase Links
Samhain Horror:
Barnes and Noble:

1)      Open reviewer giveaway: Anyone who reviews Dreamwalker on Amazon and one other site like GoodReads, etc. and sends Erin Al-Mehairi, publicist, their links to hookofabook@hotmail.com will be entered to win a $20 Amazon gift card. This contest ends on Feb. 28, 2015.

2)      Rafflecoper giveaway for two copies of Russell’s previous books. Two winners will each win one of two books, Black Magic and Dark Inspiration. US only, no international shipping. Must use a valid email that you can be reached by. By entering the giveaway, you consent to allow Russell to have your email for very infrequent newsletter updates. Contest ends Feb. 28, 2015. Other contest questions can be referred to Erin Al-Mehairi, publicist, Hook of a Book Media at hookofabook@hotmail.com.

Direct Link:

Praise for Russell R. James
“James has a talent for combining action-packed vignettes into a powerful, fast-paced whole.”
—Library Journal on Black Magic

(Five Stars, A Night Owl Top Pick) “I loved the story so much that I’m eagerly waiting to read more from him. He carefully and very intricately wove his storyline to have elements of mystery and suspense throughout. I now have a new favorite book I’ll read over and over again.”
—Night Owl Reviews on Dark Inspiration

“The book had me at the edge of my seat. The writing is so vivid I even jumped a few times. If you're a fan of the genre, love ghosts and are drawn to the supernatural, then do yourself a favor and pick up a copy of this book!”
—Long and Short Reviews on Dark Inspiration

       Russell James grew up on Long Island, New York and spent too much time watching Chiller, Kolchak: The Night Stalker, and The Twilight Zone, despite his parents' warnings. Bookshelves full of Stephen King and Edgar Allan Poe didn't make things better. He graduated from Cornell University and the University of Central Florida.
      After a tour flying helicopters with the U.S. Army, he now spins twisted tales best read in daylight. He has written the paranormal thrillers Dark Inspiration, Sacrifice, Black Magic, Dark Vengeance, and Dreamwalker. He has two horror short story collections, Tales from Beyond and Deeper into Darkness. His next novel, Q Island, releases in 2015.
      His wife reads what he writes, rolls her eyes, and says "There is something seriously wrong with you."

Visit his website at www.russellrjames.com and read some free short stories.

He and his wife share their home in sunny Florida with two cats.

To find out more about Russell R. James, please visit his Website or follow him on Facebook! Join him on Twitter, @RRJames14. Also, feel free to drop him at a line at