Tuesday, October 31, 2017



Interview WITH
Joe hart
Copyright © 2017 by Joe Hart

On behalf of Halloweenpalooza, thanks so much for agreeing to participate. I’d like to start with a few quickies that’ll help us get to know you a little better.
Favorite color: Gray
Favorite food: Sushi
Favorite horror movie: Way too many to narrow down, but with a gun to my head I’d say Aliens.
Favorite scream queen: Drew Barrymore (see what I did there)
Favorite film scene (one that made you get all queasy and scream for help ): The corn scene from Signs.
Guilty Pleasure: Bourbon
Have you ever carved a pumpkin: Hundreds.
Favorite place to write: My office.

1. Why horror? What is it that attracted you to horror?   

My sister is ten years older than me and a longtime horror fan. At an early age she started passing down her Stephen King, Dean Koontz, and Robert McCammon books. Fell in love with the feeling of being afraid and wanted to provide that feeling for others.

2. How do you know something you’ve written is scary? Do you rely on others to tell you or do you just know?   
If I can creep myself out while writing the scene I know I’ve done it. Although readers generally find their own terrifying moments that hit them personally. Being afraid is so uniquely different for everyone.

3. What do you hope your readers take away from reading one of your novels? What do you hope to get across—other than full-blown panic? 
I hope they really fall in love with the characters and are able to feel their struggle/happiness/sorrow. Characters and their interactions are what make any good novel and are especially important when trying to create fear. If you don’t care about the characters you aren’t going to be afraid for them.

4. Since you’re the author of several wildly popular novels, could you please post an excerpt where you think nailed it and done horror proud?  
Sure, this is from my novel THE WAITING.
~ * ~
He hadn’t flipped any lights on when they entered, and the house held a smoky quality with shadows beginning to give up their posts. Evan walked to the kitchen and observed the mess he’d created in his frenzy to find the winding key. He sighed. As tired as he was, he’d have to clean that up before Shaun rose for the day. He didn’t know if the boy would understand or not, but he was embarrassed by the scene of chaos. Silverware on the floor, towels strewn out of cupboards, plates and dishes stacked in uneven piles. Evan placed the heel of his hand against his right eye and wondered when he’d begun to lose his mind.
“You haven’t lost it yet, bub. Get your shit together,” he said to the room and strode toward the front door. The blanket from their trip sat at the edge of the living room along with the rain slicker. Evan picked them both up intending to put the blanket out on the porch to dry and the jacket back inside the closet. As he picked up the slicker he caught a powerful whiff of something. Evan paused, pulling the jacket to his face and inhaled. It wasn’t the jacket and it didn’t smell like mold or mildew, more like something rotten. It smelled like the moment he’d opened the refrigerator on their first day in the house.
Scowling, Evan sniffed once more, wondering if a mouse had crawled into the house and died. If so he couldn’t see it in the dark. Snapping on the light near the entry he turned around to put the slicker away.
Two sets of toes poked out from under the closet door.
Evan stopped, the hand reaching out to pull the door open frozen, fingertips shaking. He opened his mouth as every inch of his scalp cinched tight to his skull. The toes were discolored, the skin patched with purple and green like mottled bruises or rot. The smell of decay grew stronger and Evan found he couldn’t look away from the toes. Some of their nails were missing and some were broken, sticking up like open car hoods. As he watched the toes wiggled once, a wave of motion from one direction to the other.
Evan wheezed out a strangled breath and dropped his hand as he stepped back, his momentary paralysis broken. There was someone, something, in the closet, waiting on the other side of the door. Evan felt his jaw tremble and the thought of speaking died in his throat. As if reading his mind, the feet attached to the toes shifted, like whatever waited there was eager to come out, to open the door and rush at him. He didn’t want to see what was attached to those feet, oh God in heaven, he didn’t want to see it.
Evan didn’t realize he was moving backward until his arm brushed something beside him and he spun, raising a fist. The table lamp he’d bumped rocked on its edge and he caught it before it fell to the floor. It was made of a heavy piece of lacquered oak with a burnished brass base. Its cord draped out and led to a nearby outlet in the wall. With a jerk, Evan pulled the cord free while yanking the lamp’s shade off. He gripped the lamp’s smooth torso like a batter waiting for a fastball.
“Come out,” Evan croaked at the closet door. He watched the toes for a reaction but they sat still like lumps of decaying clay. Maybe it was a joke. The thought capered through his mind in ribbons of hope. Someone, Jason or Jacob had come here in the middle of the night and put these fake toes in his closet for a joke. Ha! Ha! So funny! Now it can be over and we can go back to a sane reality where dead things didn’t hide in closets and wriggle their toes.
Evan took another step, his muscles so tight beneath his skin he thought soon he would hear the snapping of his own tendons. The image of Shaun, defenseless and asleep in the other room hardened his crumbling resolve. What if it got past him? What if it got to Shaun?
Evan lunged forward, gripping the lamp with one hand while he reached for the knob with the other, ready to bash whatever came out of the closet into paste. Before his fingers could graze the handle, the closet door flew open with a bang and Evan leaped back, his bowels loosening almost past the point of no return.
A solid stench hit him, so strong and putrid, he gagged.
The closet was empty.
~ * ~

5. You’re walking alone down a dark alley. What’s the one character you’ve created that you would most not want to encounter and why? 
I’d hate to run into the little man in the black suit from my short story The Edge of Life because after that point I would most likely be put in the worst moral dilemma anyone could encounter- kill an innocent stranger to save someone you love.

6. As you know, our theme this year is Friday the 13th. What about this date? Are you at all superstitious? Do you at least have a pair of “good luck” writing socks? 
I’m not so much superstitious as I am afraid of randomness/fate. Numbers don’t bother me but when you can see either the universe aligning perfectly to cause harm or just simply dumb luck changing something for the worse, both of those mystify and worry me greatly.

7. Ever have encounters with the supernatural? What do you think of people who experiment with occult items like the Ouija board? 
Strangest thing I ever encountered that I couldn’t explain was one night staying up late with my sister in her room we both heard a strange noise, almost like a quiet “click”. Then there was a blinding white light that lit the entire room for maybe a second before disappearing. All of the lights were off in the house and we lived way out in the country. Never figured out what it was but it was very strange. Anyone who experiments with a Ouija board has more guts than I do!

8. In terms of Halloween, is it a big part of the Hart household? Any favorite memories that standout? 
It is! We always carve several pumpkins and decorate as much as time allows us. We’ve done horror movie marathons before in the evening which is really a blast- my daughter’s big into scary stuff so I guess I have a movie pal for life.

9. In terms of your fans, do you like receiving feedback? What’s the nicest thing a fan has done? 
Love receiving an email or seeing a review for my work, it really makes all of the toiling behind the keyboard worth it. Not sure if I can pick out just one instance but several readers have reached out to say they know authors hear critical feedback a lot and wanted to make sure I knew how much they loved my work. It’s wonderful to get messages like that.

10.  What’s next for Joe Hart? We all want to know what you have planned! 
I just finished a series of edits for my next novel titled Obscura, which will be out next May. It’s about a neural radiologist whose daughter is diagnosed with a new form of Alzheimer’s that can strike any age. In an effort to further her funding and research she accepts a mission to space where strange and deadly occurrences are plaguing a crew of astronauts. Very excited for everyone to read it!

Thanks so much for all the excellent questions, it was really fun!

GREAT INTERVIEW and the perfect way to spend HALLOWEEN! But there’s more we expect from this holiday sooooo let her rip!!!!  It’s GIVEAWAY TIME and we’ve saved something special for you!!!! In addition to the signed print copy of  the waiting that’s in the HALLOWEENPALOOZA GRAND PRIZE DRAWING, Joe’s giving away TWO MORE BOOKS!!! An audio version of LINEAGE and SIGNED PRINT COPY OF CRUEL WORLD ARE UP FOR GRABS!!!!
To win click on back over to our HALLOWEENPALOOZA EVENT PAGE and COMMENT I WANT TO WIN!!!! First winner will receive the choice of which book they want and second winner will receive the remaining title!!!! 





Pain, horror, fear- These are the things that bestselling novelist Lance Metzger's life have been comprised of. His childhood remains a riddled wasteland of abuse by a sadistic father and the abandonment of an apathetic mother. In turn, his only refuge became his writing.


When Lance loses his ability to write and becomes haunted by a nightmare that he'd thought was buried, he is drawn inexplicably to a house on the shores of Lake Superior where he finds his muse once again, but something is waiting for him when he arrives.


Now he must unlock the devastating secrets that the house holds and uncover the mystery of his own broken past before he loses his sanity, and perhaps his soul.


Hidden away from the world by his famous father, Quinn Kelly strives to find meaning in his life while struggling with a deformity that has kept him from leaving the only home he has ever known. On the eve of his departure a sudden and deadly virus sweeps across the nation, killing nearly all it touches. Within days Quinn is left to fend for himself in an empty world.

But there is something still very much alive beyond the walls of his sanctuary, its malicious intent clear all too soon.

Joining forces with a young single mother and her blind son, Quinn must cross a dangerous and silent America in the search for refuge and a truth that may shatter his sanity and strip him of the last things he holds dear.

Joe Hart was born and raised in northern Minnesota. Having dedicated himself to writing horror and thriller fiction since the age of nine, he is now the author of eleven novels that include The River Is Dark, Lineage, and The Last Girl. When not writing, he enjoys reading, exercising, exploring the great outdoors, and watching movies with his family. For more information on his upcoming novels and access to his blog, visit www.joehartbooks.com.

Monday, October 30, 2017

JOHN EVERSON: Redemption


John everson
Copyright © 2017 by John Everson

SIX FINGERS CURLED around Alex’s neck and shoved her hard against a rock wall. At least, she supposed there were six fingers because that’s how many that there were on the hand that pinned Ariana to the wall across from her. The realization chilled her when she absentmindedly counted the fingers around Ariana’s neck… and then counted them again to be sure.

They were long, dark, gnarled. The demon itself – well, at least Alex assumed it was a demon – leered at her with teeth that seemed too large for its heavy jaw. They glistened in the dim room.

“Were you looking for something?” it asked. The voice was a low growl; like a chain dragged across an iron bucket.

Ariana answered, from the opposite wall.

“We were looking for you,” she said. Her voice was artificially sultry. Alex wanted to barf. The woman was smooth as plastic, and just as real.

The demon didn’t buy it.

“Yeah, and I was looking for dinner. Thanks for coming when I called.”

He leaned in and bared dark teeth. It looked as if he were going to chew out Ariana’s neck.

But then she dropped the act.

“Wait!” she demanded. Her voice was cold. Hard.

The demon stopped. It raised an eyebrow. Or, at least, the ridge where a human eyebrow would be. This creature didn’t seem to have any hair. It resembled a human close enough, but obviously differed too. Its eyes were longer, as if someone had grabbed it by the corners and pulled. It wore no clothes, and its chest and belly were scarred with the dark lines of past wounds. Its sex looked heavy, and dangerous. Alex thought there might be spines at its end. She didn’t lust to become the object of its “affections.” It might be a tryst she wouldn’t survive.

“I can help you,” Ariana said.

Alex raised an eyebrow. She couldn’t wait to hear where this was going.

“No place good,” Malachai whispered in her head.

The demon laughed. “I wasn’t looking for any help,” he said. “I’m perfectly capable of ripping the two of you limb from limb by myself. And I don’t think you’d want to help me with that anyway. What are you going to do to help me?”

“I can help you open the door between worlds,” Ariana said quietly.

The demon paused. It looked at her more closely. Considered.

“And why would I believe that?” it asked.

“We’re here, aren’t we?” Ariana said. “How do you think that happened?”

“How do I know you are the one who found your way through? There are many of us who have reached through the walls between worlds and brought back a toy. I’d guess that you are the toys of someone else. Someone who will probably be looking for you. Them, perhaps?”

The demon gestured back in the direction they’d come from. There was noise at the entrance of the hall.

Voices. Feet.

“If you don’t get us to someplace safe quickly, I won’t be able to prove anything to you,” Ariana warned. “You know they will torture and play with us until we are dead.”

The demon nodded. “As will I.”

“If you don’t get us out of here in about ten seconds, you’ll never know what you had.”

The hand tightened around Alex’s neck until she choked.

“If you are not serious, I will make sure that your death is far slower and more painful than you would have received at the hands and feet of the mob,” the demon said.

It yanked them from the wall, and pushed them in front of its legs, already in motion, forcing them to a staggering run. After they rounded a corner, it stopped, and slipped one arm around each of their waists.

Alex felt her feet lift the ground and her head tilt forward. And then the demon was carrying them, and they were flying through the dark. Twisting through silent corridors and vaulting up winding stairwells. The air grew warmer, and smelled of something heavy and bitter.

The sounds of the other demons disappeared behind them, and eventually, their captor slowed his pace. Alex’s feet touched the ground but she wasn’t free. The demon’s long fingers crushed around her arm, and dragged her into an alcove in the black rock of the corridor. She was pushed ahead, and Ariana’s bare skin suddenly plastered itself against hers. The demon held both of them with one arm, as it opened the door ahead.

“Welcome home,” it growled, pushing them into the dark room beyond.

A flame guttered into existence on the wall ahead and suddenly Alex could actually see the room. The fire flickered and grew on its sconce. There was nothing else on that wall, but there was a collection of trophies displayed on the far one. A human skull decorated the center, but around it was a mélange of bones and other skulls; she saw what looked to be a ram’s head, with curled horns hanging from the wall, but most of the bones were from creatures that Alex couldn’t identify.

She didn’t have time to try; the demon hustled them through the room and opened another door. Without warning, a heavy hand shoved her in the back and Alex fell forward. Her feet left the ground and she landed on her shoulder, rolling down a short ramp to crack her head against the ground at the bottom. Ariana’s hip smashed into her face. She cried out from shock and pain. From above, the demon laughed.

“Make yourselves comfortable. When I come back… we’ll have much to talk about.”

With that, the door at the top of the incline closed, and Alex and Ariana were left in absolute darkness.

Yeah, baby!!!! The night before Halloween and you had to have known John would make this special!!! He’s giving away FIVE ECOPIES OF HIS BRAND NEW STONE-COLD CHILLER REDEMPTION!!!!  So hurry and click on back to tonight’s post featuring John Everson and comment I WANT TO WIN!!!! Five lucky winners will!!!


What if you woke up in hell?

Alex hadn’t really thought of what would happen after she dragged Ariana through the portal to close the gate between worlds. She hadn’t given sacrificing herself a thought, she’d just wanted to end the demonic summoning before it was too late.

But when Alex wakes up on the other side, in the world of the Curburide, she has to think fast if she ever wants to see Joe Kieran, or Earth, again. Her only ally is an occult serial killer. Demons are searching for both of them, and there’s nothing demons love more than human fear and pain. They feed on it. In the world of the Curburide, demons are everywhere.

And they’re hungry...

The stunning conclusion to the story that began in Covenant and Sacrifice!

John Everson is the Bram Stoker Award-winning author of nine novels of erotic horror and the macabre, including his latest, REDEMPTION, the conclusion to his demonic Curburide Chronicles trilogy. Other novels include the Fountain of Youth erotic thriller THE FAMILY TREE, the Bram Stoker Award-nominated tour de force NIGHTWHERE, the Bram Stoker Award-winner COVENANT, its sequel SACRIFICE and the standalone novels THE 13TH, SIREN, THE PUMPKIN MAN, and VIOLET EYES. He also is the author of four collections of short horror fiction, including his latest, SACRIFICING VIRGINS.
John shares a deep purple den in Naperville, Illinois with a cockatoo and cockatiel, a disparate collection of fake skulls, twisted skeletal fairies, Alan Clark illustrations and a large stuffed Eeyore. There's also a mounted Chinese fowling spider named Stoker, an ever-growing shelf of custom mix CDs and an acoustic guitar that he can't really play but that his son likes to hear him beat on anyway. Sometimes his wife is surprised to find him shuffling through more public areas of the house, but it's usually only to brew another cup of coffee. In order to avoid the onerous task of writing, he occasionally records pop-rock songs in a hidden home studio, experiments with the insatiable culinary joys of the jalapeno, designs book covers for a variety of small presses, loses hours in expanding an array of gardens and chases frequent excursions into the bizarre visual headspace of '70s euro-horror DVDs with a shot of Makers Mark and a tall glass of Revolution Brewing's Anti-Hero IPA.
Learn more about John on his site, www.johneverson.com, where you can sign up for a direct-from-the-author monthly e-newsletter with information on new books, contests and occasionally, free fiction.
Want to connect? Follow John on Twitter @johneverson, or find him on Facebook at www.facebook.com/johneverson.