Tag Archives: horror

Book Review: 31 Tales from Hellview Cemetery

61mczpcfmyl31 Tales from Hellview Cemetery is a fantastic collection of creepy stories, most of which are based on urban legends and ghost lore from around the Bay Area of Tampa/St. Petersburg, Florida. One might assume that a book of scary stories such as this would be specific for Halloween. While I can easily say that this book is in fact essential for one’s Halloween goodie bag, this is simply a great read for any time of the year. There is a vast assortment of unique and interesting characters, ghouls and ghosts, from the thing hiding under your bed, to the creepy old neighbor.

Meet Emily, the little girl with the red buckled shoes you keep seeing everywhere; doesn’t she seem familiar? Take a doomed walk through Boyd Hill at night; will you dare to face what lies beneath its dark and churning waters? Say ‘Hi’ to The Fangrrl, who takes her Fandoms deadly serious; will she become your new obsession, or will you become hers? Step under the Big Top of a Terror-filled circus; can you survive even a mere glimpse of its final performance? Go camping with Jack; can you begin to imagine the surprise he has for you? These are just a few of the folks you’ll meet throughout this horrifying journey in Hellview.

There is so much to love in this book. The twists are surprising, if not downright shocking. It is extremely well-written, but above all it is thoroughly entertaining. The stories are further accentuated with the accompaniment of the grimly-gorgeous photography of Susan Black.

Kudos to Mark Muncy, A.K.A The Caretaker, and his co-author Elizabeth Abbott! I can’t wait to see what’s next for these denizens of Hellview Cemetery. Highly, highly recommended!


Feeding Lazarus to be Published by Fat Lip Press!

image

So here’s that awesome news I hinted about last week:

On September 2nd I will unleash Feeding Lazarus upon the world. The contract with Fat Lip Press is signed and the gears are in motion. I must say, for such a short book, this has been a long time in the making. What started out as two individual short story concepts that got fused together after I realized they were in fact different parts of the same story, and what then aspired to become a short novelette, but after countless rewrites and revisions over the last five years, has grown into a short novel/extended novella.

I believe one reason I’ve taken so long with this is simply due to the nature of this story. Have no doubt, this is a tale of visceral horror, and it deals with some extremely horrific real world issues, primarily that of bullying and abuse. Though Feeding Lazarus  is a work of pure fiction, I have both witnessed and experienced such atrocities in my own life, and that makes this a very personal story for me.

My hope is that the themes and underlying messages in Feeding Lazarus will resonate with others who have had similar experiences, and perhaps bring to light the severe impact these real life nightmares have on their victims. Perhaps it could also become a catalyst to inspire those who witness such things happening to stand up, stand strong, be the hero and take action to stop the bullying, the abuse, and the social exclusion that torments the lives of so many each and every day.

So mark your calendars, for on September 2nd I bring you Feeding Lazarus from Fat Lip Press! And stay tuned, I’ll post updates as we get closer to the release including excerpts from the book and the all important cover reveal. Oh, and happy Father’s Day!

Cheers!

 


Book Review: Sacrificial Nights

imageThe writing team of Boston-Manzetti is a poetic tour de force that cannot be denied. Sacrificial Nights is a testament to this, grabbing you from page one, dragging you into its dark and seedy world woven with twisted characters, horrific happenings, and powerful, memorable imagery. When these two masters, each themselves Bram Stoker Award Winners, blend their voices together, the result is utterly fantastic!

Sacrificial Nights is a great concept that is not only a collection of poems, but creates a poetic novella when read from start to finish as it is meant to be read. I absolutely love this concept and was more than pleased when reading Sacrificial Nights to discover that Boston-Manzetti realize this concept to an astonishing effect, creating not just a superb collection of collaborative poems, but a truly exquisite work of art.

If you are a fan of Bruce Boston or Alessandro Manzetti then you have likely already bought this or are going to. But if you are new to either of these great writers, buy this, read it, but don’t stop there. Go forth and explore the individual works of both of these fantastic, award-winning authors.

Cheers for Boston-Manzetti’s Sacrificial Nights!

Sacrificial Nights is available now in ebook and Paperback editions.


Happy Halloween! Come Fly with Death: Free Days

Come Fly with Death Book Cover - Kindle

Hi folks! Happy soon-to-be Halloween!

As a special promotion for Halloween, the ebook edition of my dark poetry chapbook, Come Fly with Death: Poems Inspired by the Artwork of Zdzislaw Beksinski, is free for Amazon Kindle starting today, Thursday, October 29th, and lasting through Sunday, November 1st. That’s four days to grab a copy if you haven’t already done so, plus a little extra time to duct tape your friends to chairs and force them politely invite your friends to do the same.

Also, I highly encourage you to visit beksiński.pl to learn more about Zdzislaw Beksinski and immerse yourself in his fantastic, horrific, and truly beautiful works of art.

Thanks for reading, and thanks again for all your support.

Cheers!


Another Light – Published in Bete Noire Issue #18

BN 18

Better late than never, as they say: Bete Noire Issue #18 is available now (since March 1st, actually) and includes my poem, Another Light. This is a revised version of the poem originally published in Phantom Kangaroo issue no. 9, July 2012.

And for those who aren’t familiar, Bete Noire is an engaging quarterly publication from Dark Opus Press with a tight focus on “…stories that are well written, character driven and have a dark bent to them.” So head on over to betenoiremagazine.com and grab a copy of the current issue, browse the back catalog, or even grab a subscription.

Cheers!


The Death in Me – Published in Bete Noire Issue #17

BN17I’m a little late in posting this, but Bete Noire Issue #17 is out now and it includes the first-time publication of my poem, The Death in Me.

In case you don’t know, Bete Noire is a great little quarterly magazine full of “…stories that are well written, character driven and have a dark bent to them.”

My poem, The Clog was first published in Issue #6 back in 2012 and it’s great to see this publication not only going strong, but getting better and better with each new issue. So pick up a copy of Issue #17 in print or digital format, and if you enjoy the stories in this magazine, (which I have no doubt you will) consider supporting this small press publisher by grabbing a subscription so you will never miss an issue again!

[P.S. In January look for a slightly revised version of my poem Another Light (first published in Phantom Kangaroo issue no. 9, July 2012) to be included in Bete Noire Issue #18!]


Hell Fossil

Zdzislaw Beksinski

Zdzislaw Beksinski

Today I present ‘Hell Fossil’ from my chapbook Come Fly with Death: Poems Inspired by the Artwork of Zdzislaw Beksinski. In case you missed the previous posts, here are ‘One in Hell‘ and ‘Ocean Eyes.’

Enjoy!

HELL FOSSIL

Men of lost goals
and minuscule purpose
lie crunched and broken,
impacted with the weight

of hollow burden,
angered with the memories,
to bleed forever
with their brethren.

Armies pile high in cold-stone fusion.
They died amidst the pit.
They brought their war to Hell
and marched upon the Black Gates.

Their skulls still don the helmets
of their killing suits,
their death rags,
their funeral wrappings.

Their spines drip upon on the wall,
crags layered with the corpses—
a bluff of rot and suffering
erodes softly into the abyss.

Come Fly with Death: Poems Inspired by the Artwork of Zdzislaw Beksinski releases on Sunday, October 12. Pre-order the ebook here on Amazon for $0.99 or the trade-paperback (List Price: $5.99) on Amazon or the Createspace Storefront. Or wait a week or two and support your local bookstore by ordering directly from them (recommended!).


One in Hell

Zdzisław Beksiński - 1986 (4)

Zdzisław Beksiński – 1986

With only four days until its “official” release, I think it’s time I let you folks sample some of my chapbook, Come Fly with Death: Poems Inspired by the Artwork of Zdzislaw Beksinski. So as a sort of “countdown,” I will be posting one poem from the book right here every day through launch day, Sunday, October 12.

Today I am sharing the first poem included, which is also the first one I wrote for the collection. It was inspired by the image of the painting above (and I might be breaking some copyright laws by posting that, I really don’t know).

So have a read, and if you like the poem, consider pre-ordering the ebook on Amazon for only $0.99, or grab a physical copy, which has (unintentionally) arrived a few days early (whoops!) and is now available to order on Createspace or Amazon for the retail price of $5.99. The print edition should also be available to order through your local bookstore in (just?) a few weeks (why that process takes so long, I have no clue).

And be sure to stop back here to check out a new poem from this little chapbook every day through Sunday.

Enjoy!

ONE IN HELL

Bones wrapped in bones,
wrapped in layers,
layers of bone on bone;
encrusted earth of flesh
crumbles at our feet,
our feet formed of clay.
Your face, my face—
we melt into one.

Our place,
Our flesh,
Our bones,
heaped upon this pole,
this whipping pole,
this torture pole
jutting from the nightmare.

You give me hugs.
I taste your lips;
they are one inside my mouth
and fused in teeth,
blended as I bite,
and eat you whole
and eat your parts.

My heart still beats
somewhere inside your chest,
deep within your cage,
ribs stripped of flesh;
and your heart mingles, tickles,
tingles in my skull.

My eyes peel wide
to wicked weather,
creeping fog,
settling dew
saturated with our fluids;
rain of skin
falls softly now upon us.

Me, you, we—
there is no start,
there is no end;
our twisted corpses
stretching on
forever,
and forever—
we are intertwined.

Meet Daniel from FEEDING LAZARUS

I was recently invited by an author I truly admire, Keith Deininger, to answer a little questionnaire about a character from one of my works. Keith wrote about his character, Kayla from GHOSTS OF EDEN on his blog. Ghosts of Eden, Keith’s latest novel, will be out November 4th of this year in paperback, limited edition hardcover, and for the Kindle. The Kindle version is currently available to pre-order at a reduce price. I highly recommend any and all of the fantastic and disturbing works by this very talented writer.

What is the name of your character?

Daniel Devlin, but in the story you’ll discover a few of his other names and the stories behind them: Devil Boy, Dog-shit, Squirt, and Pisser Licker, just to name a few.

Is he/she fictional or a historic person?

Fictional. But as we writers write what we know, Daniel is a mix of people I have known, even including myself. He is anyone who has ever been abused, picked-on, or bullied. Essentially, Daniel is made up of anyone who has ever been an outcast, or felt that they were different than “normal” people.

When and where is the story set? What should we know about him/her?

Modern day in a small, fictional town in Southern Illinois called Shadow Oaks. The most important aspect of Daniel, aside from his tormented life filled with bullies and abusers, is his strong imagination. It is the power of his imagination which allows Daniel to escape the horrors of his waking life, and it is his imagination which may prove to be his demise. Also, Daniel likes to burn things, even himself.

What is the main conflict? What messes up his/her life?

Daniel is tormented by the people who dwell in his world: the bullies at school who mock him, their pranks steadily escalating into deadly acts of torture; and the monster living in his home who abuses Daniel’s mother, using her as his sex slave to gratify his violent, sadistic desires. But everything starts to change when Daniel finds a dead body at an abandoned construction site–a withering corpse which appears to be returning to life.

What is the personal goal of the character?

Daniel wants to discover the truth about his forgotten past, learn about his real father, and ultimately end the suffering that has plagued him and his mother.

Where can we read more about your novel?

The best place to stay up to date is here on the blog. You can also sign up for our Newsletter, or visit the homepage for Rafe Grayson, the pen name I’ll be publishing under.

When can we expect the book to be published?

I am aiming for First Quarter 2015.

[If you are an author and would like to participate in this blog tour by sharing some information about a character in one of your works, just follow this format and post it to your blog. Then send me a link to your post at wesdgray(at)gmail(dot)com and I’ll share your post and link it with mine. Thanks!]


Come Fly with Death: Release Date (and ebook Cover Reveal)

Come Fly with Death Book Cover - KindleDo you have a date with Death? Well, you do now. On 10/12/14, my chapbook, Come Fly with Death: Poems Inspired by the Artwork of Zdzislaw Beksinski, will be unleashed upon the unsuspecting public.

The ebook is now available for pre-order HERE for $0.99. While this pre-order is exclusively for the ebook, the print version will be available to order on the same date, provided there are no set backs with the proofing.

The ebook cover image is revealed above, and I will post the full-wrap cover for the physical book soon.

And now I will leave you with the book’s newly updated description:

Book Description:

Come Fly with Death is a chapbook of 20 poems inspired by the artwork of the late Polish painter, Zdzislaw Beksinski. Up until the time of his murder in 2005, Beksinski created a fantastic collection of paintings, drawings, sculptures, and photographs, specializing in the field of utopian art.

Like Beksinski’s works, the poems contained here are surrealistic and graphic. They are at times horrific, Gothic, even erotic, and apocalyptic. Above all, they attempt to serve as a rare glimpse into the heart of our most beautiful nightmares.

Contains reprints from: The Horror Zine, Twisted Dreams Magazine, Dark Gothic Resurrected Magazine, Indigo Rising Magazine, Gothic Poems and Fiction, Death Head Grin Anthology Vol. 2, and Fossil Lake: An Anthology of the Aberrant. Also includes several poems never before published.


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