Sunday, 25 January 2015

Book Spotlight: Blood Vengeance

Today we have another spotlight, shining bright on a debut novel Blood Vengeance by Michael Schutz-Ryan.

Blood Vengeance by Michael Schutz-Ryan

Sick of being bullied, seventeen-year-old Brennan Cooper packs up for San Francisco to start over. But before he can settle into his new home, Bren is drawn to the abandoned apartment downstairs. In its shabby rooms, he sees the grey and rotting ghosts of murdered girls claw each other in sick imitation of their deaths.
With his wild new friends, Brennan explores the seedy streets of the city. But the laughter and screams downstairs continue to both terrify and entrance him. After meeting Tara, his dream girl, he convinces her to explore the downstairs apartment with him. There they encounter not only the murdered victims but the raging spirit of the girls’ dead killer.
Bren and Tara’s ghost-hunt soon becomes a manhunt as they trace the history of the “San Francisco Ripper.” But retaliation for their meddling is quick and brutal. Now time is running out, not just for Brennan and his friends, but for the spirits of the girls trapped for all those years with their murderer.

You can find Blood Vengeance at:


Publisher Website

Author Bio

Michael Schutz-Ryan was born and raised in the frozen tundra of Wisconsin. He attended the UW-Stevens Point and graduated with an English degree from the Madison campus. A lifelong diet of Ray Bradbury and Stephen King whet his appetite for the macabre. A lover of all things horror, he plumbs the depths of Netflix in search of scary movies. Blood Vengeance is his debut novel. His short fiction has been featured in the anthologies Ugly Babies, Cranial Leakage: Tales from the Grinning Skull, and Beyond the Nightlight. He lives in northern California with his husband and the enduring spirit of their cat, Catie.

And be sure and stop back around on Jan 30th, when I post an interview with Michael Schutz-Ryan.

Saturday, 24 January 2015

Interview with Author Jacob Rayne

Today the blog is hosting an interview, this time with talented horror author Jacob Rayne. He chats about his books, the horror genre and more. Enjoy.

Interview with Jacob Rayne

Why don’t you begin by sharing a little about yourself.

I’m a huge fan of horror and heavy music. I love rollercoasters and anything that gets the adrenaline pumping. According to my friends I have a knack for telling really bad jokes. And I’m clumsy as hell. If it can be broken, I’ll manage to break it.

You’re primarily a horror writer. What appeals to you about that genre and what are your favourite aspects of writing horror?

I always remember watching horror films as a kid and getting a rush from them that I didn't get from any other type of film. I think the feeling of being scared makes you feel more alive which probably explains why I enjoy some of the things I do in everyday life. 
I love everything about writing horror but I guess my favourite bit is the action scenes. That’s what I find most interesting in films and books, so I try to keep a heavy emphasis on the action in my work.

Can you tell us a bit about your books?

Most of my books have a relentless pace. I like to cut out the long, shambling introduction and get straight to the carnage. I prefer short chapters (I discovered this as a reader: I came across a book with short chapters with cliff-hanger endings. I could not get through the story quick enough and the chapter length kept me saying, ‘Ah I’ll finish this one then go to sleep’. Fifty pages later…) and try to keep the scares coming all the way through. I try to write a book I’d love to read myself. I always find myself skimming when a writer is describing the weather or a character’s outfit for five pages. 
My aim is to scare the hell out of every reader as much as humanly possible. I want to get under their skin, into their heads. I want them to lie awake at night, with something I've written still making them squirm.
One of the best compliments I've ever had was when a hardened horror reader told me that my novel, Becoming…, had given her nightmares. I’m still grinning about that six months later!

Horror can often be viewed as a violent and bloody genre. Where do you, as a writer, fall on the gore scale? Do you tend to tone down the blood and guts, in favour of more psychological scares, or do you feel comfortable with the splatter? Or do you include it how and if the story dictates?

Right at the deep end: I love the splatter! I think of a horror story like a good burger. You've got a nice juicy chunk of beef in a bun. Now that’s great as it is, but it’s much better with a generous dose of ketchup!
I do like psychological horror too; my novella, Digital Children, is a bit more restrained than the others, but I always find myself coming back to those stomach-churning, blood-up-the-walls style scenes. Again, I guess it’s because it’s what I enjoy in the work of others.

Can you tell us about your writing process?  Where do your ideas originate? 

The vast majority of the time I make it up as I go along. I've tried planning, but I find that doesn't produce an effective story for me. I've learnt to just start it, and let it go where it wants to go. Nine times out of ten, the story takes you to the right ending anyway and usually catches me by surprise in the process. It makes it a lot more fun for me and hopefully for my readers too.
As far as ideas go, they seem to appear and I sure am glad of them. The idea for Flesh Harvest, for example, just came from waiting for my wife at a spa in the middle of nowhere, very similar to the beginning of the story. The thoughts – What’s taking so long? How long should I leave it before I go in and check everything’s ok? Would anyone know we were here if anything has happened? – popped into my head and then the story was developed from there.
I've always been blessed with a hundred and one ideas (often appearing all at once). I wish I had the time to explore all of them. I tend to go with the most appealing one and just have fun with it.

What do you find most challenging about being a writer?

Definitely the promotional side of things. It makes me a bit uncomfortable pestering every man and his dog about my books, but it needs to be done, I guess. There’s a very fine line between keeping people updated and being all ‘Buy my book! NOW!’ every time you get on the internet. I’m not sure if I get that balance right, to be honest, but I do try to be considerate with it.

What do you enjoy as a pastime when not hard at work writing?

I spend a lot of time with my family. Apart from that, watching TV. 24 and Sons of Anarchy are my favourite shows ever. I’m a hopeless addict for both of those. Walking Dead is good too and I’m loving American Horror Story more with every episode.
I read, but not as much as I would like to. I tend to spend my downtime on my own work.
I love heavy metal, so there aren't many things in the house that don’t have that as a soundtrack.
I also enjoy playing guitar, eating and spending far too much time messing about on the internet.

Who (or what) has inspired you as an author?

One thing that has always stuck with me is the scene from The Shining with all the blood falling out from the elevator doors and flooding the corridor. It’s just such a powerful image and has stayed with me all these years. I’m sure my love of horror started with that film.
Reading a really bad book by a well-established author was a powerful motivator. It was a real ‘I can do better than this’ moment!
Other writers have been inspirational. Stephen King. It and Pet Sematary in particular. The late, great James Herbert and Richard Laymon. And I’m getting a good collection of Shaun Hutson’s now too.
Tarantino films. I love his style, the dialogue and the action scenes. He’s cool as a cucumber!

What’s your next project?

I’m currently working on the sequel to Flesh Harvest, one of the first books I released. A lot of my readers have said that’s their favourite, so it’s time to give them chance to catch up with old friends.
The blurb is:

‘Ex-policeman Thomas Campbell is struggling to come to terms with the horrific events that took place in the barn last summer. 
But his nightmares are about to again become reality. 
The thing in the barn bred…
And its offspring are ravenous.’

It should be available for pre-order very soon.

I'd like to thank the author for joining us today, and you can find out more about Jacob Rayne and his books at his website or on his Amazon page.

Thursday, 22 January 2015

Book Spotlight: Boogerman’s House

Today, I have another book spotlight for all you eager readers, this time featuring the horror novel Boogerman’s House by Dax Varley.

Boogerman’s House by Dax Varley

Boogerman’s House has a history – murder, mayhem, suicide. All who live there fall victim to its deadly hold.

When Teagan, Ryan, and Will go after a killer article for the school paper, they figure staying one night can’t hurt. And what better night than the anniversary of the first slaying?

But the boogerman plays fiendish tricks. The three face deadly ghosts, past demons, and a house that is unforgiving of their former sins.

You can find Boogerman’s House at Amazon

Author Bio: 

Dax Varley writes the kind of young adult novels she wishes were around when she was a teen. She's a lover of humor, horror and all things paranormal.

When Dax isn't writing, she's collecting odd photos online, reading recaps of her favorite shows or kicked back with a good book. She lives in Richmond, Texas with her husband, a shelf full of action figures and about a dozen imaginary friends.


Wednesday, 21 January 2015

Drabble Wednesday: The End of Worlds

On today’s Drabble Wednesday we journey to worlds of fantasy for some divine retaliation…


His skeletal hand touched my shoulder, his tattered cloak cast its shadow around me. My hands trembled, and the sand in the hourglass I held tilted slightly. He had arrived, my sweet harbinger, my Death.
“It’s time, then?”
“Yes.” I could hear the hint of mirth in his voice.
I smiled, and tossed the hourglass.
It tumbled in freefall, the sunset rays glinting off its surface, until it smashed against the earth. A crack appeared beneath the remains, and another, as a world began to die.
We waited patiently, then Time and Death walked hand in hand through the ruins.


Blood on the snow.”
The words, from an ancient poem, came unbidden as Ryn stared at the crimson stain seeping into frozen ground. She sliced Akai's throat easily, with one practised stroke, and ended his friend’s life without hesitation. Ryn wiped away his forming tears.
“Am I the next to die?”
The dark creature in leather armour and swords smiled. “Have you also angered the gods?”
“Not to my knowledge.”
“Then your life is not forfeit to my blade.”
Ryn bowed his head as thick, inky smoke engulfed her, taking Nbea, Bringer of Death and Vengeance, back to her realm.


An auburn radiance melded into the dark storm clouds, a blend from the fiery hues of the sunset, and the reflection of the flames consuming parts of the city. The gods had judged Irytajin and deemed it imperfect.
Seri and her child, dressed in elegant, rain-soaked robes, stood atop a neglected dais, as the waters lapped ever higher on the steps. They attempted escape, until the seas slammed their boat into this temporary refuge.
Seri let go of her son’s hand, and opened her parasol. She hummed as the waters swept her boy away, and calmly waited for her turn.

Just a note: Drabble Wednesday will be preempted next week to bring you a stop on the blog tour of the new fantasy anthology, The Toll of Another Bell.  Be sure to check back for a peek at the book, and my review.

Saturday, 17 January 2015

Book Spotlight: Mental Damnation: Dream

Today on the blog, I shine the spotlight on another intriguing book, this time the dark fantasy Mental Damnation: Dream by Konn Lavery, the first volume in a series. Enjoy.

Mental Damnation: Dream by Konn Lavery

Mental Damnation: A brain disease that causes horrific hallucinations, paranoia and schizophrenia. Normally this disease is only seen in humans, but an underworld reptilian named Krista has been infected and is discovered in the Kingdom of Zingalg under strange circumstances.

She becomes a key interest of two men, Paladin and Dr. Alsroc, who struggle to cure the nightmarish disease. Krista finds herself torn between two worlds, gaining acceptance amongst the humans of Zingalg while fighting to survive in the hellish dream world of Mental Damnation. Or is it reality?

Inside this uncertain realm known as Dreadweave Pass, Krista is being hunted down by the realm’s ruler – a corrupt god known as the Weaver who wants her blood for his retribution plot against the Heavens that once banished him!

You can find Mental Damnation: Dream on Amazon

Author Bio:

Writing has always been a fascination of his since he was a kid and his long term goal is to be a full time fiction writer. When he was young, he was inspired to write after watching movies or playing video games because he wanted to create the same awe factor that the movies/games brought him. Konn was part home schooled in high school and found it gave him flexible time to spend on his hobbies, such as drawing and writing.
One feature he enjoys about writing is the ability to share a story/moral with people, and it can be delivered in varying narrative contexts such as board game creation, cartooning/storyboarding, comics and video games. He's always been a fan of mixing media to tell a story, which is why for Mental Damnation he included a lot of visuals through the glyphs and illustrations. Even though they are not key elements to the story they supply extra/different content for the readers.