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July 19, 2019

Interview with F. Paul Wilson - a conversation about The Last Christmas

Image result for f paul wilson
Multiple award-winning Grandmaster of horror author, F. Paul Wilson, digs into his well once more to bring us the (allegedly) final installment in his Repairman Jack series. Set between books Ground Zero and Fatal Error, Last Christmas is the book fans have been waiting for. Paul Wilson previously declared he was done turning in a new RJ novel year after year, but if there ever came a time when a new RJ story begged to be tld, he’d have to tell it. Well, that time has come, and The Last Christmas is the story that demanded to be told as only F. Paul Wilson could tell it. 
I was lucky enough to sit down with the author (sorta - he sat at his computer while I sat at mine) to discuss how The Last Christmas came about, what keeps Jack ticking after all these years and what’s next for the author and, of course, our beloved anti-hero, Jack.

Dark Bites: What can you tell us about how you came to work with Barry Hoffman and how his Gauntlet Press came to play host as the next publisher in your Repairman Jack series?

F. Paul Wilson: After I brought Jack back in Legacies, Barry asked if he could do a signed first edition of the next book.  He’s been doing them ever since.  They’re beautiful limited editions, all with art by the great Harry O. Morris.  

DB: As declared in your afterword of The Last Christmas, I understand you’re a proud outliner which is clearly working out for you. Considering the ever-growing depth that is Repairman Jack’s twisting, multifaceted universe, do you tend to keep a running outline that goes beyond any single RJ book you happen to be working, or do you stick to one book at a time as far as your outlining goes?

FPW One book at a time.  I depend on my readers for continuity.  They know more about the series than I do.  One created a website that breaks down every book into characters and plot and synopsis.  I use it to keep things straight.  I outline because the most satisfying fiction offers a symmetry that’s missing from real life.

DB: In your afterward for The Last Christmas, you provide a bare-bones look at the outline you used while writing the book.  One item missing from your outline is the end of the world element you added to the mix of challenges presented to your characters. What caused you to up the ante with an apocalyptic approach previously left out your original your road map if you will?

FPW: That’s always been there as a background arc, at least since the end of Conspiracies.  But it starts to take over the series in By the Sword and the books that follow.  Things are coming to a head and not looking too good for humanity.

DB: If I may say so, I would have to put Jack’s Jewish friend, Abe, as the most endearing character for me outside of Jack.  Like every other character we meet along the way, each stands out vividly on their own set of quirks and style and rarely needs to be named for the reader to guess who’s doing or saying what. Paul, when you’re creating realistic characters like Jack and Abe, do you envision actual people from your own life experience, or is it more of the result of a well-honed craft earned over the years? 

FPW: Abe’s speech pattern comes from the late founder of the group practice I joined.  He was born and raised in Philly but every so often, just for kicks, he’d adopt the patois of a Hasid from Crown Heights or Williamsburg.  He was my resource for yiddishkeit.  Julio is based on Cheech, but drug free.

DB: You mentioned in a recent newsletter of yours that various projects have or are set to roll out Repairman Jack, one of which is a graphic novel series. Are you able to share much about what we can expect from this such as storyline, who’s doing the artwork, or anything else?

FPW: As of this writing I’ve scripted four of the five individual issues that will make up the first graphic novel, called Scar-lip Redux.  Issue one has been drawn and inked by a guy named Antonio Fuso.

DB: While you may not be able to say much on the possibility of a Repairman Jack television show, can you share anything about why things may have veered away from the movie approach towards t.v. land and what you think we can realistically hope for as far as the project goes, if it does go into production? 

FPW: After spending a million-plus on scripts over twenty years, Beacon abandoned the idea of a theatrical film.  They started off with an excellent script from Craig Spector which Universal rewrote into a mess.  After that, one mediocre script followed another until Chris Morgan arrived (before he moved onto the Fast and Furious franchise).  A Jack fan who really knows the character, he did an excellent job.  But by then the studios had seen so many bad Repairman Jack scripts, they didn’t want to read another.  

Beacon now has a showrunner (all I can tell you is that his name is instantly recognizable to anyone with even a casual interest in weird TV) but he’s taking forever to finish the pilot script.  But even when that’s done, it’s still a long way from a series.  

DB: Perhaps the most burning question in this entire interview, what’s up with the Repairman Jack thongs available for fans to buy? How the heck did those come about?

FPW: Lisa and Susan, two devoted Jack fans, put my early web sites together.  They wanted to offer Repairman Jack merch, so Susan designed a logo and contacted Café Press.  The usual coffee cups and T-shirts and hoodies are available, but also a thong which the ladies demanded we offer.  I don’t argue with Lisa and Susan.

DB: On a more serious note, as far as labeling what type of story Repairman Jack is such thriller, suspense, urban adventure, etc. – what do you think it is about this long-running series that tends to be so well received among the horror community in general?

FPW: Well, it has many devotees in the thriller community – Lee Child, James Rollins, and Doug Preston, among others.  Jack has many, many fans in the romance community.  But I think the overarching cosmic horror that suffuses the series is what draws the horror folk.  I understand cosmic horror – I’m a devotee – and I do it right.  I placed Wardenclyffe in the same Secret History as Jack’s; I feel it’s very successful in evoking cosmic dread.

DB: After spending much of your writing career getting to know Jack and his supporting characters, is there anything about him or the series that continues to surprise even you?

FPW: Surprises do occur, even at this late stage.  I still don’t know where the Lady came from.  She appeared in Hosts as a sort of Greek chorus for Jack, and evolved from there into a major player in the series.  Madame de Medici also came out of nowhere.  Okay, not nowhere.  She came from a trio of short stories by Sax Rohmer.  Somehow a similar woman with the same name wriggled her way into Jack’s short story “Infernal Night” as a supporting character with just two scenes.  I cast her (as the Rohmer character) in the antagonist role in my Sherlock Holmes pastiche, “The Adventure of the Abu Qir Sapphire,” and then made her my own via an acrostic message to Holmes.  She fascinates me, so I had to give her a major role in The Last Christmas. 

DB: Paul, do you think there will ever come a time when even Jack’s fateful end is abundantly clear, where the light at the end of the series grows bright enough to be seen, or will Jack and his band of fellow friends, fiends and foes keep on trucking for as long as there’s fuel in the tank to allow it?
Cover art by Harry O. Morris

FPW: I’ve said it before and I’m sticking to it: I see no point in taking Jack beyond Nightworld.  His role is the ghost in the machine and Nightworld breaks the machine.  The Last Christmas exists because of The Void Protocol, which involved that mysterious and wonderful substance melis, which made TLC feasible.  I don’t know when I’ll do another Jack novel, or even if I’ll do one. 

DB: Thanks so much for your time, Paul! Until next time.

This interview first appeared in Gauntlet Press’s newsletter. To subscribe to their newsletter click HERE and add your e-mail to the list, located beneath the welcome section.  /

July 15, 2019

Your Monday Mourning Report #6

Welcome one and all to the latest edition of Your Monday Mourning Report in which I dig around the dark webs and return with bones to share at the table for all who enjoy a quick gnaw now and again.

Normally, this goes out much earlier in the day, but if there's one thing a new baby can be counted on for, it's interrupting EVERYTHING! :)

This week Dark Bites has dug up movie trailers and clips from WIDOW'S POINT and DARLIN', a celebrating of the late great Tom Piccirilli’s with a compilation of his work by Brian Keene, new novels from the likes of Steve Wedel, Carrie Jones and a new EDITION of The Bird Box novel. We also get a rare glimpse into how cats are messing with Mark Rainy's book edits and how easily Christopher Golden pisses off publishers for all the right reasons, and more.

Fresh Meat


44137164. sy475 Stephen Mark Rainy:  "My newest AMERI-SCARES novel — MICHIGAN: THE DRAGON OF LAKE SUPERIOR — is now VERY close to reality. It will be out in time for SCARES THAT CARE in Williamsburg, VA (Aug. 2–4). Hope to see many of you there. Between Elizabeth Massie and me, there will be plenty of AMERI-SCARES titles from Crossroad Press to captivate your young'uns (and you too, if you have a brave heart)."


Image result for Malorie: A Bird Box Novel Special EditionAnnouncing Malorie: A Bird Box Novel Special Edition by Josh Malerman Coming from Dark Regions Press!
The film adaptation of Malerman’s first novel, Bird Box, was watched by over forty-five million Netflix accounts in the first week, the best first seven days ever for a film on the platform. Countless more came to know the story through social media. The image of Sandra Bullock’s character, Malorie, blindfolded—as she’s led through a terrifying near-future apocalypse by the trained ears of her children—has become synonymous with a new generation of horror.
Announcing Malorie: A Bird Box Novel Special Edition coming from Dark Regions Press. Following up on the huge success of Bird Box Special Edition also published by Dark Regions Press, this edition will be printed in the same trim size and feature original dust jacket artwork and multiple interior illustrations by the same artists as Bird Box Special Edition. With just 500 signed & numbered hardcover copies and 26 deluxe signed & lettered traycased hardcovers to ever be created, Malorie will be designed to line up nicely with Bird Box on the shelf.


Image result for A Storm is Coming" Night Worms packageNight Worms book club package:
Night Worms is a monthly subscription book club package which includes a selection of curated, horror books, original artwork by an artist handpicked by us, publisher schwag and a few goodies to enhance your reading experience.
September 2019 "A Storm is Coming" Night Worms package!
Night Worms has partnered with ThunderStorm Books for exclusive paperback editions of A Little Sorrowed Talk by Brian Keene and Tales from the Shadow Side by Jonathan Janz. These will only be sold exclusively through Night Worms.  The paperback editions will be signed by the respective authors and limited.


Image result for In the Woods.steve wedelNew York Times bestselling author Carrie Jones teams up with acclaimed co-writer Steven Wedel in the supernatural mystery, In the Woods.

It should have been just another quiet night on the farm when Logan witnessed the attack, but it wasn’t.
Something is in the woods.
Something unexplainable.
Something deadly.
Hundreds of miles away, Chrystal’s plans for summer in Manhattan are abruptly upended when her dad reads tabloid coverage of some kind of grisly incident in Oklahoma. When they arrive to investigate, they find a witness: a surprisingly good-looking farm boy.
As townsfolk start disappearing and the attacks get ever closer, Logan and Chrystal will have to find out the truth about whatever’s hiding in the woods…before they become targets themselves.
At the Publisher's request, this title is being sold without Digital Rights Management Software (DRM) applied.

Mad Musings

Jeremy C. Shipp‏’s @JeremyCShipp Twitter feed:
“I don't know who needs to hear this but as you grow older, there's a portrait of you in an attic somewhere that's slowly transforming into a raccoon in a bonnet. It serves no magical purpose.”

From Mark Rainy’s Facebook page:
 “Seriously, how can one proofread a novel so many times, have a second reader look at it, send it through a full-fledged professional copy edit, and STILL find a bunch of authorial goofs and gaffes? I'm gonna blame it on the cats. It's GOTTA be the cats.”

F\rom Christopher Golden’s @ChristophGolden  Twitter feed:
“The moment when you’re explaining to a small conference room full of writers how to protect themselves in contracts and a publisher jumps up from his chair, snarls “we’re not all evil,” and storms out of the room. Hit a nerve, I guess.”

Web of Fear

Bloody Disgusting brings us a new exclusive clip from the film, DARLIN’ in which we see The Woman (Pollyanna McIntosh) looking for Darlin’ in a hospital and she gets a little stabby with a doctor who tries to stop her.

At last we get a peak of the new poster and first teaser trailer for WIDOW'S PEAK by film maker Gregory Lamberson.

In celebration of an author who’s life and work is well worth remembering, Brian Keene put together this primer for Tom Piccirilli’s work:


Well, my fellow fiends, that wraps up this week's Mourning Report. Stay tuned for next week which is sure to be as rotten as this week's was.

Enjoyed this post? Please do share, comment and subscribe lest you miss out on this one and others in the future as it really helps me out.

Have some horror news of your own to share? Feel free to let me have it by sending it to the creator of this blog, your's truly:

Until next time, stay dark...stay hungry.

July 08, 2019

Your Monday Morning Report #5

Welcome one and all to the latest edition of Your Monday Mouning Report in which I dig around the dark webs and return with bones to share at the table for all who enjoy a quick gnaw now and again.

Fresh Meat


Dark Bites is getting a face lift of sorts. I’m happy to report that since starting this blog almost seven years ago as a way to share the things I love within the horror world, I’ve decided to scratch that seven year itch by prepping for moving day into a brand new home. After onboarding with a host server and switching over to Word |Press to enjoy more functionality and more options, I hope to create even more content for you all to enjoy. Will it be different? Oh, yes. Will it better? Come find out! Bookmark and be the first to visit the new haunting grounds once everything is up and running, in about one to two weeks.


FIVE NOVELLAS by Jeff Strand. (From Jeff’s Gleefully Macabre site) People often ask when novellas like An Apocalypse of Our Own, Stalking You Now, Kutter and others will appear in paperback. I’ve never really wanted to publish them as individual books (they’re kinda thin) but there’s a huge difference between something like Faint of Heart and Facial, and it seemed like a collection of several of my novellas would be a very odd package. 


From Grey Matter Press’s twitter page The fear mongers at @InkHeist wanted it, and we gave it to 'em. Paperbacks of @JohnFDTaff's THE FEARING: BOOK ONE - FIRE & RAIN are NOW AVAILABLE at @Amazon. Order a copy today and receive it by pub date of 7/9/19! With special Introduction by @RayGarton

John F.D. Taff's highly-anticipated epic supernatural thriller, The Fearing, begins with Book One: Fire & Rain where humanity faces a series of catastrophes spawned by a worldwide event that unleashes all of mankind's greatest fears.

In the American high desert, vacationers returning from a road trip are thrust into a heart-stopping flight from death as they try to avoid a cataclysmic end. In rural Missouri, the lives of a group of high school students are destroyed after their small town is devastated and they're forced to confront the end of everything they've ever known.

And on the eastern seaboard, there's someone else. An enigmatic man who thrives on despair and embraces all fear. A man with his own dark and sinister goals. Someone who wants to ensure humanity goes out with the biggest bang possible.

Mad Musings

L.L. Soares via Facebook:

“This is for the old guys out there. Name 2 "old guy" things you still do. For me, it's 1) I still have a landline phone and 2) I still subscribe to TV Guide. Old gals feel free to post, too. LOL”

Ralph Robert Moore via Facebook:

“One of the most important things a young girl or boy learns early in their pursuit of a career in writing is, if you get an idea, write it down as quickly as possible, while that idea is still visiting. If you don’t have a pen and paper on you, and the nearest pen and paper is an aisle away in a supermarket, knock down as many people as you have to, innocent shoppers, military on home leave, the elderly, people in wheelchairs, tiny toddlers, to get to that pen and paper as quickly as possible. Then afterwards, once you’ve written down the idea, you can retrace your steps and apologize to everyone.”

John Bowen blows a fashion gasket via his Facebook page to bring us the following:

“OK, so Season 3 of Stranger Things is pretty good so far, but I've got some legit concerns about the wardrobe. I know it's set in the '80s, which by design entails a much higher degree of sartorial hideousness than any other decade of the entire fucking 20th century, but seriously, did the producers order the costume department to inflict these atrocities on the cast for demanding unreasonable raises or something? I mean LOOK AT THIS SHIT. Hopper's supposed to enforce the law and raise some orphaned weirdo kid like she's his own while he's rocking this excruciating floral print shirt and mom jeans? Like, HELLO, does anybody remember dignity? And OK, retail uniforms were even worse in the 80s than they are now but were these sailor suits really necessary? And what did Billy do to deserve the degradation of that failure moustache?
Do you realize how far gone things have to be for a walking fashion coma like ME to get upset about anything wardrobe-related? FUCKIN HELL, PEOPLE?!?”

BrianKeene‏ @BrianKeene via Twitter:

“Midsommar by @AriAster is a masterpiece of horror cinema for many reasons. Prime among them is @Florence_Pugh’s evocative, staggering performance. A really remarkable, unsettling film that ranks alongside @JustinHBenson and @AaronMoorhead’s THE ENDLESS as one of the new classics.”

Web of Fear

Sometimes this dark thing of our is about facing our deepest fears – and discovering new ones - in a relative safe zone, but it can also be about helping people out when we can. This is one of those times, as brought to us by Brian Keene:  “The good folks at NECON have started a GoFundMe for @Meteornotes aka Dave, my co-host on The Horror Show with Brian Keene. Help if you can: Dave Thomas, who helps produce The Horror Show, is a long-time member of the horror community and a valued NECON attendee. Right now, Dave needs some help. He is having health problems. Tests are being done, but until doctors can figure out the culprit, he could use some support from the community.

Hospitalizations are expensive, and Dave needs to focus on getting healthy instead of figuring out how to pay for tests and other medical expenses.

The horror community always comes together to help our own. I know Dave has been there for many of us in our times of need. Let's do the same for him.

Thanks to Bob Freeman for sharing this one: This is what actually happens in your brain when you have a near-death experience (this article is rather ad heavy, but a very interesting read).

Because sometimes the scariest things happen in real life, under the very ground we tread upon:


Well, my fellow fiends, that wraps up this week's Mourning Report. Stay tuned for next week which is sure to be as rotten as this week's was.

Enjoyed this post? Share, comment and subscribe with your e-mail lest you miss out. Plus, it really helps me out so thank-you!

Have some horror news of your own to share? Feel free to let me have it by sending it to the creator of this blog, your's truly:

Until next time, stay dark...stay hungry.

July 05, 2019

Reviewing Closing the Wound by A.J. Brown

Let me start off by hazarding a guess and suggest that most of you have never heard of A.J. Brown (that's Jeff to his friends). If I'm right, I certainly won't hold that against you. And if I'm wrong, then advantage goes to you. A.J. stems from that rare and special corner of the writer's universe, that place with the shadows which is all but invisible to the unsuspecting eye. I first got to know AJ about twenty years ago (whoa...) in a small news group where people who loved to read and write horror stories communed for constructive feedback, for love of the genre, and to be among their chosen family of weirdos and fellow miscreants. Many of us, like myself, cut our teeth and honed our skills in that little place we called the Horror Library. The little news group buried deep within Zoetrope, forged friendships and connections for many of us. 

Although mostly disbanded with its members scattered over the globe to live their lives, many of whom carried the torch ignited in that place and went on to keep writing stories with various degrees of success plus a few who managed to shape a career out of it. One such member of the old Horror Library was, of course, AJ Brown, a guy who offered a piece of his soul through his stories. Along with the rest of the HL crew, AJ helped everyone who asked for it to be better writers, including me. Oh, and it turned out the man could fucking write.

Many years and a few lifetimes later, I got reacquainted with AJ/Jeff in the usual way most of us do these days – via Facebook – and he was kind enough to let me read some of the stuff he’d written over the years. Closing the Wound was the one I first read, but I assure you it won’t be the last.

Here’s what I had to say about it.


Closing the Wound

By AJ Brown
Independently published (December 2, 2018)

   Closing the Wound is a story about ghosts, both living and long since deceased. It’s a story about the type of scars which, while faded over time, remain a stark reminder of what’s been lost and what may never be fully understood. It acts as a brief history of sadness about a life cut far too short and the kind of questions which can only be answered by those no longer here. 

Closing the Wound doesn’t come across so much as a coming of age story as it does a coming to terms story. The story clearly provides a cathartic path on which the author has set himself upon while simultaneously creating a outlet for honoring a childhood friend murdered on Halloween night several years past. This story seems to be for both the writer, and his lost friend and is sure to hit several emotional chords for readers along the way.

AJ Brown recalls the painful memories of his past in the same vein as any classic ghost story best told around a campfire long after the kids have gone to sleep when scary monsters get to play with our conscience mind a while. Except, in this case, the monsters are as real as the story told and everything you’re about to read happened as recollected by the author in a bare-bones, journalistic style. 

As much as this story of about 15,000 words was written as a method for healing, it’s hard not to relate with at least some of the author’s mournful experiences which speak volumes to anyone who’s ever lost something they cared deeply for at some point in their life. As the author warns up front, don’t expect a happy ending. Happy endings don’t often belong in the real world. 

While Closing the Wound may leave readers with more questions than answers, I feel it will also imbed within its readers a sense that it’s okay to not understand everything we think we need to no matter how desperate that need may so often feel. If AJ’s book has taught at least this reader anything, it’s to remember that while it seems ideal to find answers as a way of closure, it may be important to find a way to accept what little we’re willing and able to remember – and understand - of a painful experience from even the most haunting moments of our lives.

And with that I urge you to do yourself a favour and grab a copy of Closing the Wound for yourself and put aside a few hours of reflective reading. You’ll be glad you did because there’s a lot more where that came from.

Buy this book and others from AJ Brown RIGHT HERE!

July 01, 2019

Your Monday Mourning Report #4

Here's another installment of your Monday Mourning Report in which I dug around the weird dark web only to return with a few bones to share at the table with you. 

Fresh Meat

The Devil's Equinox by John Everson 
Austin secretly wishes his wife would drop dead. He even says so one boozy midnight at the bar to a sultry stranger with a mysterious tattoo. When his wife later introduces that stranger as Regina, their new neighbor, Austin hopes she will be a good influence on his wife. Instead, one night he comes home to find his wife dead. Soon he's entranced with Regina, who introduces him to a strange world of bloodletting, rituals and magic. A world that puts everything he loves in peril. Can Austin save his daughter, and himself, before the planets align for the Devil's Equinox? FLAME TREE PRESS is the new fiction imprint of Flame Tree Publishing. Launched in 2018 the list brings together brilliant new authors and the more established; the award winners, and exciting, original voices. 

From the twitterverse of producer, Andrew van den Houten‏’s (Jack Ketchum’s THE GIRL NEXT DOOR, HEADSPACE): Getting closer to our @darkskyfilms release of #Darlin' from @hoodriverent! So excited for @THEWOMANMOVIE fans to see this and congrats to our helmer, Polly A. McIntosh.

BEERS AND FEARS: THE HAUNTED BREWERY by Tim Meyer, Chuck Buda, Frank Edler and Armand Rosamilia

There’s an abandoned building in northern New Jersey with a rich, haunted history. Ghosts. Demons. Monsters of all kinds. It was once an asylum for the criminally insane, a craft brewery, and most recently - a decrepit eyesore that should have been demolished years ago. A place where evil dwells. A venue that feeds on the souls of all who enter.
It’s five o’clock somewhere, but here, it’s always just after midnight. So come. Have a drink. Just don’t stay too long. Because here, there is no last call.

Mad Musings

Tim Waggoner on Twitter: The editor that asked for a 6,000 word story won't mind if I wrote 11,350 words, right?
From Stephen King’s twitter: A little help for a work in progress, Twitterverse? Can you think of stories or novels narrated by mentally deficient—or downright stupid—characters? I have THE SOUND AND THE FURY and FLOWERS FOR ALGENRNON. Any help appreciated.
From A.J. Brown’s FB page: Anyone lose a big snake? If so, I think we found it ... or we know where it is: in my garage. I. hate. snakes.
And Matt Schwartz has this to say about the latest installment of CHUCKY: Regarding the Child's Play remake -- it was an interesting choice, though ultimately perhaps not the correct one, that rather than remake the original Child's Play, they instead recreated the "Funzo" episode of the Simpsons (really). Say what you will about the original series -- it's inconsistent but joyously subversive and crazy (especially the insane Bride of Chucky and Seed of Chucky entries). But this remake feels way more by the numbers with some questionable design choices for the doll. It definitely is more of a comedy than horror, but substitutes gore for intelligence. Watchable, but totally forgettable. I give it a C.

Web of Fear

Beware what lurks in the deep! Son of the Kraken, or something else? You decide! Giant squid caught on camera


From Dread Central, Check Out Our Exclusive Video Recap of NECA’s Fan Event 2019: 


Well, my fellow fiends, that wraps up this week's Mourning Report. Stay tuned for next week which is sure to be as rotten as this week's was.

Enjoyed this post or others on this blog? Please do share, comment and subscribe with your e-mail. It really helps me out and let's me know it's not just my mom reading this.

Have some horror news of your own to share? Feel free to let me have it by sending it to the creator of this blog, your's truly: 

Until next time, stay dark...stay hungry.

June 24, 2019

Your Monday Mourning report #3

Welcome to your Monday Mourning Report, in which I scour the inter-webs digging up the dirt on the latest offerings, happening and general going-ons from our favourate authors, film makers and other dark creators.

Fresh Meat


Okay, maybe this book isn’t that fresh, but any day you can snag an e-book of Jeff Strand – in this case, Blister – is enough to freshen up any horror lover’s day, right? But be quick – this book and several others are only available to download from Amazon for free until end of day tomorrow.


Author, Sephera Giron has just received her gorgeous hard cover copy of The Pulp Book of Phobias which contains her story, "Five in the Six!" and shares space with the likes of John Skip, Ray Garton, Richard Chizmar and several others. 


Mick Garris gathers his famous friends for the horror anthology Nightmare Cinema.

Mad Musings 

From John Bowman’s facebook: You know you're writing a review for Rue Morgue Magazine when the last two words are "bandsaw lobotomy."

According to Mat Schwartz, “Had another 3.5 hours of both beautiful and disgusting tattoo work done on my arm last night, courtesy of the amazing Dave Wallin of Eight of Swords. I won't post pictures until it's done, and it will be a couple of more sessions (next is in 3 weeks), but I'm definitely veering headfirst into "What the fuck is wrong with you?" territory.”

Richard Christian Matheson reminds us it has been 6 years since the passing of his father, the legendary Richard Matheson. May he forever rest I piece through his everlasting work.

Web of Fear

From author, film maker and festival director, Gregory Lamberson: Today is the first day of the Extended Late Deadline submission period for Buffalo Dreams Fantastic Film Festival. Thank you to everyone who has submitted! The Extended Late Deadline expires July 13th, no exceptions. We will announce selections soon after.   

From Silver Shamrock Publishing: You don’t have to make a deal with the devil to enjoy IN THE SCRAPE!
Join us on Goodreads’ Horror Aficionados for the month of July as we read IN THE SCRAPE with authors James Newman & Mark Steensland along for the ride. Learn all about how the book came to fruition and maybe a thing or two about the hooligans that came up with it.

T-10 days for Stranger Things’ third season. Who’s with me? 

That's it for today's edition of your Monday Mourning Report. Until next time fellow fiends, stay hungry...stay dark.

June 17, 2019

Your Monday Mourning Report #2

Fresh Meat

Thomas F. Monteleone urges all you fresh writers looking to sharpen your skills that registration for the next Bordlerlands writing bootcamp is heating up: “We are getting lots of applications for our January borderlands press writers boot camp. $100 discount for HWA members. 
Just so you know: Your Pres and VP are Boot Camp grads. I think we are doing something right”

 Apply HERE 

Coyote Rage by Owl Goingback

Synopsis: Bram Stoker Award-Winning author Owl Goingback makes a triumphant return to horror and fantasy in this gripping new novel. Coyote is on a murderous hunt, leaving behind a trail of carnage. The shape-shifter is determined to kill the human representatives to the Great Council in Galun’lati, eliminating the rule of mankind in the New World. But Raven has overheard the Trickster’s evil plan, and will do anything to protect Luther Watie and his daughter, Sarah Reynolds, even if it means turning his skin inside out. The forces of evil are aligning in two very different worlds. Can mankind be saved, or will creatures of fur and fangs once again reign supreme? Cover art by Ben Baldwin



Suburban Grindhouse by Nick Cato
Nick’s debut film book, SUBURBAN GRINDHOUSE, is now available exclusively through the publisher: Headpress Publishing. Join their newsletter to receive a 20% discount off the trade paperback or limited hardcover editions. The book will be released everywhere else early next year, in February, 2020. Read some great early reviews on the above link, too.

"Nick Cato’s desire for sex, blood, and filth fleshes out the lesser-known neighborhood venues where lone pervs would anonymously gather to get their collective rocks off. An essential addition to the grindhouse scholar’s shelf, Cato’s roadmap to cinematic depravity relights those long-dimmed and demolished dingy marquees, comforting us with the gentle solace and reminiscence of what can only be experienced in the darkest shadows of the cinema."  Shade Rupe, author of Dark Stars Rising

Mad Musings

According to Ray Garton (Live Girls): “JAMES BATMAN is a 1966 Filipino spoof,  that pits Batman and James Bond against an evil organization called CLAW. It's playing right now on The Monster Channel and must be seen to be believed.” And you know what? I believe him.

Weston Ochse (Seal Team 666) and David J. Show (The Big Crush)  take to Facebook to discuss the finer points of what it takes to make a proper salad, and what constitutes crap verse a slap to the face.

And in other news. Tom Monteleone (Fearful Symmetries, The Borderland series) was last seen running to the bank with a 3 cents cheque and gloating about making it as a television writer.  

Web Of Fear

Author, Bob Freeman, (Shadows over Somerset) shares his love for Halloween and points us to an article about a new festival celebrating Ireland as the birthplace of Halloween. Drive yourself over HERE and don't mind the muffled noises coming from the trunk.

Even horror writers can get scared sometimes. Brian Keene (The Rising, Darkness On the Edge Of Town) gets back to the basics of blogging to tell us what scares him these days. Click HERE to read all about it. 

So, you want to be a special effects makeup artist? Craig Lindberg (Kong: Skull Island, Boardwalk Empire, The Walking Dead, Johnny Gruesome) explains the basics in THIS INTERVIEW. 


Well, that's it for this week's Mourning Report. Until next time, fellow fiends, stay hungry...stay dark. 

June 13, 2019

Dark Bites Presents Thirsty Thursdays free sample: MY PRETTIES by Jeff Strand

Welcome to Dark Bites newest - and first - Thirsty Thursday event in which a free sampler from your favorite author's newest book is shared for your enjoyment. 

Special thanks to Jeff Strandthe funniest scary guy writing today for providing this teaser from his latest offering, My Pretties.

Without further adieu, pull up a stool, grab a drink and enjoy your free sample. There's more where this came.

The Synopsis:

A serial kidnapper is preying upon women. He abducts them, then locks them in one of the cages dangling from the ceiling in a soundproofed basement. There, he sits quietly and just watches them, returning night after night, hoping he'll be in the room at the moment his beautiful captives finally starve to death.

Charlene and Gertie have become fast friends at the restaurant where they work. But Charlene is concerned when she hears how her co-worker spends her evenings: Gertie's cousin is one of the missing, and Gertie wanders the city streets where many of the abductions took place, using herself as bait with a high-voltage stun gun in her pocket. Charlene reluctantly offers to trail her in a car, just in case she does lure the kidnapper and things go wrong.

Unfortunately, the women find themselves the source of unwanted fame. And now they're on the radar of a very, very dangerous man...

A Free Sample from MY PRETTIES by Jeff Strand

Olivia opened her eyes.
She was swaying back and forth.
Not from being drugged. She was in a cage suspended several feet above a cement floor, with her legs dangling free. There was almost no room to move—at her heaviest weight a few years ago, she probably wouldn't have fit in here. The top of the cage pressed against the top of her head. Her shoulders touched the sides.
She could turn her head. When she did, she saw that the windowless room contained a dozen cages, four rows of three, hanging by thick chains from the ceiling. More than half of the cages were occupied.
A wooden chair and a stepladder were in the far corner, next to a door.
The woman in the cage next to her was pale. Emaciated. Her eyes were open and she was looking at Olivia, but it was unclear if she was actually seeing her.
The other women—and they were all women—appeared to be dead. Three of them were dead without question. The other two might have been unconscious, but probably weren't. All of them were nightmarishly thin. Almost skeletal. One was literally skeletal.
The smell of rot was so overpowering that she had a coughing fit that lasted for almost a minute.
When she stopped coughing, Olivia screamed and screamed.
Then she forced herself to shut the hell up and take stock of the situation. Greg wasn't in the room. She could escape. Her mind was still fuzzy, but there had to be way out of this. One that all of those other doomed women had overlooked.
"Don't," said the woman in the cage next to her. Her voice was a weak rasp.
"Don't what?"
The woman blinked twice, hard, as if to focus. "Scream. It hurts my ears."
"Where are we?"
"Does it matter? Wait it out. It's not as bad once you stop feeling anything."
Olivia began to swing her feet. The cage rocked along with her.
"We've tried that. Tried all of that. Tried everything."
"Well, I'm not going to just sit here."
"Yes, you will. That's all you'll do. Sit here. He'll give you water. But no food. Never any food. Soon we'll be like the others."
"They all starved to death?"
"I think he got mad at the first one. That's what I heard. I wasn't here yet. The rest starved."
"We can escape," Olivia insisted. "If we work together, we can get out of this. There has to be a way."
The woman smiled. "You're cute."
"I'm not giving up."
"You will."
"When will he be back?"
"It doesn't matter."
"Nobody knows."
Olivia's cage swung back and forth, missing the woman's by inches. They'd probably been specifically spaced out so that they wouldn't collide. And she couldn't imagine that the setup would be so flimsy that she could yank the cage out of the ceiling by swinging it, but she had to try something. She couldn't just sit here and die.
The cage did not pop free from the ceiling.
After a while she quit swinging.
Then she went back to screaming.
Of course the room was soundproofed. The other women would've thought to shout for help. She was wasting energy.
Her legs were dangling free. When Greg returned, she could lure him close to her, then kick him in the face. Break his nose.
That wouldn't do any good, though. She'd still be trapped in the cage.
She could talk to him. Reason with him. Convince him that she'd never tell anybody, not a soul. She didn't know what the other women had said to him. Maybe she could say something different. Something that would change his mind.
She screamed some more.
"You're hurting my ears," said the other woman, when Olivia finally stopped.
"There has to be a way out of this."
"You'll stop believing that. When he comes back, he'll sit in a chair and watch us. Just watch us. Quietly watch us starve."


What people are saying about My Pretties:

# Despite the title, there is nothing Oz-like or magical about MY PRETTIES. The only monsters here are humans. This is a Despite the title, there is nothing Oz-like or magical about MY PRETTIES. The only monsters here are humans. This is a crime thriller as well as a horror novel. Jeff Strand's trademark humor comes through in the dialogue between characters, but overall this is one of Strand's darkest and most disturbing novels. Don't start reading this at bedtime; there are several unexpected plot twists that will keep you reading late into the night.crime thriller as well as a horror novel. Jeff Strand's trademark humor comes through in the dialogue between characters, but overall this is one of Strand's darkest and most disturbing novels. Don't start reading this at bedtime; there are several unexpected plot twists that will keep you reading late into the night. #

# My Pretties is a fast-paced novel filled with twists that get more twisted as you reach the climax. What starts out as a story about two young but naive women trying to lure a serial kidnapper into their trap quickly transforms into the grim and sometimes darkly comic tale. My Pretties is a fast-paced novel filled with twists that get more twisted as you reach the climax. What starts out as a story about two young but naive women trying to lure a serial kidnapper into their trap quickly transforms into the grim and sometimes darkly comic tale of a sick man coping with the surprising issues that interfere with the enjoyment of his crimes. In My Pretties, author Jeff Strand shines the spotlight on his villain more so than his female heroines and delivers one of the most original and suspenseful horror releases of 2019.
# One of Jeff Strand’s best if not his best book to date. Very dark,brutal and with plenty of twist. All with Strand’s sense of humor. #

To read MY PRETTIES in it's unsettling entirety click HERE if you dare to order a copy in your preferred format.