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Questions can be referred to Erin Al-Mehairi, publicist, at hookofabook(at)hotmail(dot)com.



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Hell Hole by Hunter Shea





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Roger Ebert (1942-2013)









DID NOT FINISH by Simon Wood

Rough Cut by Brian Pinkerton (Bad Moon Books)

Dead of Winter by Brian Moreland (Samhain)

Forest of Shadows by Hunter Shea (Samhain)

Wolf's Edge by W.D. Gagliani (Samhain)

See the blog post about my Gun Store experience!

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Lupo's World ~ A Blog

Tough Guys by Hunter Shea

November 17, 2014

Tags: tough guys, horror, westerm, weird western, protagonists

I love tough guys.

Let me clarify. I love tough guys existing in desperate situations, men who know fear, but who also know how to work with that fear. Conquerors, vanquishers, men of action who make no apologies. The world needs men like this now more than ever. Imagine a place where tough guys routinely strode up to politically correct mullet-heads, slapping them silly – slapping sense into them. Better yet, let’s send a battalion of tough guys to Washington and get our collective heads out of our asses.

I’ve always been intrigued by cowboy culture. To me, the men of the range were the next to last tough guy generation (the last being those who fought in WWII and reshaped the world). Cowboys were heavily mythologized by Hollywood in the 20th century, so for most folks, it’s impossible to separate tall tale from true story.

Then again, there’s a certain sublimity to a well told tall tale (say that 10 times fast, pardner). So, where is all this heading? Honestly, I’m not so sure. Really, this is a snippet of what was going through my head when I sat down to write my weird west novel, Hell Hole. Yes, it had to have horror because that’s what I and Samhain live to write and publish. But this time around, I craved something different – to lose myself in the character of a bonafide tough guy. Nat Blackburn, the former cowboy, Apache scout and Rough Rider is as tough as it gets, but not in an Aahnold or Die Hard parody. He’s simply a man, flesh and heart hardened by decades of hard living under the unrelenting sun. Despite his swagger, he knows he doesn’t have all the answers and he necessarily doesn’t relish facing danger. But when you’re in a tight spot, a man does what a man’s gotta do.

America needs more men like this. I can only imagine what Teddy Roosevelt would do and say if he was alive today. Heads would roll and he wouldn’t give a damn about the popularity polls. He wouldn’t get re-elected, but his four years in office would be a hell of a ride.

But, seeing as that’s not going to happen, it’s up to us writers to spin our tales, taking you back to not necessarily simpler times, but at least ones where every action wasn’t picked apart by media and consumers alike. Living ain’t pretty. Hell Hole takes you to a place where it’s downright ugly. It takes a man like Nat to spit in its eye.

You’ll wish you could be a man like Nat…or be with a man like him.

Tough guys are a dying breed. But they’re not dead yet.

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HELL HOLE Synopsis:

Deep in a Wyoming mine, hell awaits.

Former cattle driver, Rough Rider and current New York City cop Nat Blackburn is given an offer he can’t refuse by President Teddy Roosevelt. Tales of gold in the abandoned mining town of Hecla, in the Deep Rock Hills, abound. The only problem–those who go seeking their fortune never return.

Along with his constant companion, Teta, a hired gun with a thirst for adventure, Nat travels to a barren land where even animals dare not tread. But the remnants of Hecla are far from empty. Black-eyed children, strange lights and ferocious wild men venture from the deep, dark mine...as well as a force so sinister Nat’s and Teta’s very souls are in jeopardy.

There’s a mystery in Hecla thousands of years old. Solving it could spell the end of the world.

Hunter Shea, Biography:

Hunter Shea is the author of paranormal and horror novels Forest of Shadows, Swamp Monster Massacre, Evil Eternal, Sinister Entity, which are all published by Samhain Horror. HellHole came out in August 2014 and is his first western horror. His next Samhain novel, Island of the Forbidden, publishes January 2015.

His thriller Montauk Monster was published by Kensington/Pinnacle in June 2014, and he's working on a second novel for Pinnacle. A short story to be read prior to Sinister Entity, called The Graveyard Speaks is available for free download, and he has written a book of stories called Asylum Scrawls. Hell Hole (Samhain) is his first western horror. 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, 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.

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


Is it insanity if you are really possessed? By Ira M. Gansler

November 13, 2014

Tags: Ira Gansler, insanity, crime, crime fiction, horror fiction, psychological terror, possession, demonology

If you talk about the plea of insanity in murder cases, most people would argue that it is simply something that is often used as a loophole to try to set the guilty free. However, with the rising tide of mental health diagnosis, due in part to a better awareness and ability to diagnose, it is easier to see that perhaps the previous cases in history that we find of a murderer claiming insanity might have been true. After all, the history of our mental health system in this country is one of very mixed results. On one end of the spectrum, you have a growing field of professionals coming up with amazing insights and methods of diagnosis and treatment as every year passes. On the other end, you have shameful, neglectful, and abusive care on the part of hospital and institution providers as well as an almost manic fear of mental health disability that led to people being repeatedly locked up instead of treated. Considering all of this, it really is no surprise that many famous cases have involved a killer pleading insanity as a reason why they can’t be held accountable for their crimes. But what about the more severe and strange cases?

Many murderers throughout the history of the United States have used the insanity plea as an attempt to avoid punishment for their crimes. Sometimes they truly are insane and suffering from a variety of mental illnesses as they claim. But what about the instances where the claim goes beyond just a chemical imbalance in the brain to something more sinister? What about those who have claimed to be possessed by a demon or spirit and that being the cause of their crimes? What can we say about those people? Part of it, of course, depends on your stand on possession. Is it something that really happens, or is it just a popular catchphrase to draw us in to the horror fiction industry? This is the idea that I chose to explore with The Things in the Darkness. The book is a novel of psychological terror where you get a front row seat to watch the deterioration of a human mind, but there is always the suggestion of something more. It is the question of mental illness versus possession that drove me to write the book. The truth is that there are plenty of examples of real-life killers who have sworn to the time of their death that they were possessed. Here are a few examples (source: http://www.oddee.com/item_98653.aspx):

Claiming that he was possessed since an early age, Arne Cheyenne Johnson was the first recorded defense to attempt to claim possession as a reason for innocence in his crime. Johnson murdered his landlord in 1981 and then tried to make the claim that he did it because he was possessed. The judge didn’t buy it, despite the family documenting an early consultation with famous demonologists Ed and Lorraine Warren. Johnson was sentenced to 10 to 25 years in prison and served 5.

There is nothing like accusations of infidelity to bring out the demon in someone. In 1974, Michael Taylor starting acting extremely erratic and screaming obscenities during a prayer group after being accused by his wife of having an affair. Taylor’s behavior continued for months until he finally had a 24-hour-long exorcism performed. Even as he was declared clean, the priest warned him that the demon may just be lying dormant within him. He immediately went home and brutally murdered his wife and dog. Afterwards, Taylor was found wandering the streets covered in blood. He was found not guilty by reason of insanity.

Perhaps the most famous case of possession-induced crime was that of David Berkowitz, the Son of Sam killer. It’s hard to say if Berkowitz really belongs on this list, but his is an interesting case. In 1976, New York City lived in fear of the Son of Sam killer. The killer struck repeatedly for over a year before being caught by police. He left taunting notes at his crime scenes and kept the police off his trail throughout most of the year. When he was finally caught, Berkowitz said that he had performed the murders because he was ordered to do so by his dog, who was possessed by a demon. Berkowitz was convicted and sentenced to six life sentences. Later, in the mid-90’s, Berkowitz recanted his original statement and instead insisted that he had performed the murders as part of ritual sacrifice for a satanic cult of which he was a part.

So were these the rants of deranged minds? Was the insanity by reason of possession plea just an attempt to get away with their crimes? Or, most frightening of all, were these killers really acting on the whims of a demonic force that had consumed their very being? We may never know the answers to these questions, but they can certainly keep us up at night. Kevin Tremmel faces the same terror. He can feel himself being consumed by something and must figure out if it is the delusions of a sick and injured mind or a malevolent force at work on his body and soul. Check out “The Things in the Darkness” and see if you can figure out the answers before it is too late.

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The Things in the Darkness, debut novel by Ira Gansler, October 2014

Synopsis:
An accident puts Kevin Tremmel into a coma. Upon waking, he is not the same. Is it psychological trauma or something darker at work?

Until recently, Kevin Tremmel was at peace with his life. He had a wonderful family, a meaningful career, and his life is finally settling down. Everything seems to be going great - until the night he dies in a car accident.

When the doctors revive him, it's evident that he's not the same. Strange urges and images haunt his waking hours, and he finds himself fighting frightening new impulses. Has the trauma of the accident caused a mental illness -- or has he brought some malevolent being back with him?

In order to save his sanity, his sense of self, and his family, Kevin must discover what force is at work on him and how to overcome it. It’s that, or give up all he loves and become a servant to the things in the darkness.

Praise:
"Terrifying and engaging, impossible to put down." Henrique Couto, Writer/Director of Babysitter Massacre and Director of Haunted House on Sorority Row and Scarewaves.

"Creepy, contemporary riffs on Lovecraftian themes!" John Oak Dalton, Screenwriter - Among Us, Haunted House on Sorority Row, and Scarewaves.

Author Ira Gansler, Biography:
Ira M. Gansler is the father of three girls whom he adores and hopes to one day mold into fellow horror fans! He has been married to his fantastic, supportive wife for almost twelve years. Ira focuses on honing his writing craft through fiction, blogging, and screenwriting. He was one of the writers for the film Scarewaves, having written the screenplay for the “Office Case” segment.

Ira has been an avid horror fan since the time at age five when he ran screaming back to his bed after having witnessed the scene in A Nightmare on Elm Street where Freddy was dragging a bloody and dying Tina across the ceiling. Since then, he has embraced all types of horror. The Shining, anything by H.P. Lovecraft, and the original Night of the Living Dead will always hold a special place in his twisted heart. He prays that when the zombie apocalypse does come that it consists of slow zombies and that the Elder Gods show mercy on us all.

You can follow Ira M. Gansler on his blog, The Rage Circus Vs. The Soulless Void at http://ragecircus.blogspot.com, on twitter @RageCircusBlog, or on Facebook at www.facebook.com/ragecircusblogger. Ira also writes reviews and conducts interviews for the From Dusk Till Con Network at www.fromdusktillcon.com.

Giveaway:
Enter to win one of two great prizes during the #DarknessEmerges Tour. Ira is giving away a GRAND PRIZE of a signed print copy of his book, The Things in the Darkness, plus a signed copy of his “Office Case” segment from the movie, Scarewaves. As a second prize, he’s giving away another signed print copy! Enter to win through the Rafflecopter below. Enter now until Dec. 1, 2014. This is a tour wide giveaway, and open to U.S. Residents only due to shipping. If you want to enter from outside the U.S., and you can, but if you win, you’ll receive an e-book.
Direct link to Rafflecopter: http://www.rafflecopter.com/rafl/display/231aa30b13/

Giveaway for Reviewers!
Anyone on the tour, or outside the tour, who reviews The Things in the Darkness on Amazon and GoodReads and sends their review link into Erin (Publicist for Ira Gansler) at hookofabook@hotmail.com, now through Dec. 31, 2014, will be entered to win a $20 Amazon gift card.


Selected Works

fiction - horror/crime thriller
A Nick Lupo novella, set between the novels Wolf's Gambit and Wolf's Bluff. Find it on Amazon!
What do you do when two enemies come at you at the same time? Pit them against each other! Lupo keeps trying to get out, but they drag him back in...
Bram Stoker Award nominee that began the Nick Lupo series...
Is now back in ebook and trade paperback editions from Samhain Publishing!
Nick Lupo #4!
The stakes are high when Wolfpaw finally reveals what it wants from Nick Lupo. And why.
Fiction - Horror/crime thriller
"In Wolf's Bluff Gagliani once more proves that werewolves are scary as hell ... fast, vicious and thoroughly satisfying."
-- Jonathan Maberry
Fiction - Horror/crime Thriller
Wolf's Gambit is the sequel to the Bram Stoker Award-nominated novel Wolf's Trap. It's now published by 47North, an Amazon imprint.
Fiction - noir crime Thriller
Savage Nights is a tough, pulls-no-punches, hard-noir thriller that's not for the faint of heart.

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