Brian Rella Epic Horror Urban Fantasy Tue, 23 May 2017 18:56:16 +0000 en-US hourly 1 The Latest Second Death Book – And Goodies for You Sat, 12 Nov 2016 23:12:45 +0000 qotf_3d_389x500In my last post, I teased you about the upcoming launch of the new Second Death novel. It’s been 8 months since the last book hit the shelves, so I want this new book to hit the digital shelves like a hulking monster, scaring all other horror novels out of the way!

With the new book launching on November 16, I want to offer a discount on the regular price of my books to my mailing list subscribers as a “thank you” for being part of my writing journey. So in just a short few days, once I dot all digital “i’s” and cross the digital “t’s”, I’ll do just that for both Queen of the Fallen and Watchers of the Fallen.

You might remember I am offering a FREE copy of my novella Rising: The Second Death Prequel for joining my email list. If that sounds super-awesome to you, just click the link below, signup, and grab your free copy:


Click Here to Download Your Copy of Rising: The Second Death Prequel


This book is one of my favorites that I’ve written – and it’s short enough to devour in a couple of hours. The book has 4.6 out  5 stars on Amazon (I’ve copied in a few reviews below) and it’s my gift to you for being part of my readers’ group. Check out what other people are saying right here:








So, make sure you grab your copy while it’s still hot – and I’ll be back in a few of days with full details about the new novel and some special discounts for mailing list subscribers.

I can’t wait to share them with you 🙂


Jessie. Is. Back. Wed, 26 Oct 2016 09:00:48 +0000 NOVEMBER


Queen of the Fallen

New Book to Read While You’re Waiting for Jessie’s Return… Mon, 10 Oct 2016 10:00:48 +0000 Hey Everyone!

I hope you had a great weekend! I’ve been with my family in the Berkshires in Massachusetts leaf peeping, pumpkin picking, apple picking, and in between the rain drops and falling leaves, I’ve been putting the finishing touches on Queen of the Fallen before it goes over to my proofreader.

I’ve gotten a few requests for other books that readers might enjoy while they wait for Jessie to return, so I thought I’d let you know, Iain Rob Wright has a new book out, and he was generous enough to share a chapter with us!

Happy reading! And don’t worry, Jessie’s next book is coming in November…

Here’s your free chapter from Iain’s latest, TAR







Bodies packed the observation room of the Oceanic Super Collider. Scientists and engineers squeezed together shoulder to shoulder, inside the glass bubble overlooking the vast tunnels below—a 24 mile circuit hidden beneath the Australian Outback. The OSC facility was cutting edge. Six square-miles, with a High Luminosity Hadron Collider that even CERN lacked. That was the point. Tired of being left out of the loop by the European and United States science elite, Australia, New Zealand, Malaysia, Singapore, Japan, and the Philippines banded together to create the OSC—the largest, most expensive science facility in the world. Its creation had near bankrupted many of the countries involved, but the pride and possibilities it presented were worth it. The calibre of international students already flooding to the University of Melbourne had boosted the country’s intellectual population, and donations from the private sector increased all the time. Australia had formed its very own burgeoning Silicon Valley, full of tech start-ups and research companies. The future had switched hemispheres.


And today history would be made. The OSC would fire two extremely dense ionic beams at each other and record the resulting collision with eighteen different sensors. Anything could happen. They might create a stable black hole—with all the possibilities that brought—or even discover a new particle to make the Higgs Bosun a forgettable footnote in the history of Physics. Today’s results might be a precursor to quantum power, and give the host countries an invaluable patent that would quadruple their GDP. Australia might not have led any great wars, or invented the Internet, but it would cement itself at the forefront of human discovery. It would make itself heard.


Lead Scientist, Chester Shepard, adjusted his spectacles and waved an arm at his chief engineer. “Initiate the run.”


The room grew silent. Four dozen eyes stretched wide. Anxious breaths were held. The room was a schoolyard full of grinning children. Beneath their feet, the glass floor shimmered—a delicate tremble at first but growing to a fierce vibration that pulled them off balance. It was like standing on the surface of a drum. The excited scientists giggled as they widened their stances to keep balance. An almighty whine accompanied the shaking of the room, the sound of a million parts working in unison. A mechanical dragon breathing fire—the fire of scientific discovery.


They were going to change the world.


“Look,” someone said, pointing a finger at the tunnels below. “What is that?”


“Is that supposed to happen?”


“Out of the way,” said Shepard. “Move!” The lead scientist shook his head in confusion. A confused scientist could be good or bad. It could signal the start of a quest of discovery, like Isaac Newton wondering why an insolent apple had fallen on his head. Or it might be a bad omen, like a sudden bump against the Titanic’s hull on its maiden voyage. Scientists yearned to understand and control; a confused scientist was a scientist without control.


“Damn it! Halt the experiment,” Shepherd barked. “Something has gone wrong.”


Smoke filled the tunnels, destroying the positivity in the observation room. Dreams dead in an instant.


The chief engineer halted the experiment. The mechanical whirring puttered out and the dragon went back to sleep. People slumped against the walls and groaned.


“Okay, people,” said Shepherd, taking off his spectacles and polishing them with the tail of his lab coat. “We’ll assess things and see where we stand, but there is no reason to lose heart. No scientist ever walked a straight path to discovery. Humanity’s destiny has always been a meandering zig-zag. Each obstacle in the road gives us a tiny glimpse at the mysteries of our world—and how to overcome them. This is our first obstacle, my friends, and it won’t be our last, but each one will move us closer to victory. We will revisit this day; you have my word.”


The disheartened scientists lifted their heads. Some mumbled agreement. Today was just a bad day soon forgotten.


“I’ll get a team down there to check the damage,” said the chief engineer. “I’ve got the extractors running to get that smoke cleared. Crikey, what a bloody mess.”


Shepherd gave the man a withering stare. “Your job is to keep things running, Cecil. I trust you’ll repair anything broken and allow us to correct today’s unfortunate misfire. There’s no point regretting what has already passed. Tomorrow is a new day.”


The chief engineer sodded his understanding and headed out of the room, unlocking the magnetic locks and leaving the room open. The scientists began shuffling out.


“What’s happened to the floor?” someone asked as Shepherd headed towards the exit himself. The woman pointing was Karen Paul, his Quantum Theorist. He glanced at her feet where she pointed. A frown found its way to his eyebrows.


Something was happening in the tunnels below their feet.


“It’s moving,” somebody said. “It… It looks sticky, like tar.”


Shepherd shoved one of his assistants aside to get a look at the patch of glass floor behind her. Clinging to the surface of the glass, something grey and viscous moved. Grew. The odd stain was growing, creeping along the bottom of the glass, like blood seeping into carpet fibres.


“What the hell is going on?” Shepherd asked to no one in particular. His confusion had reached an apex. Either he turned the corner towards understanding or would careen, screaming, into the gutter.




Everyone in the room spread out against the glass walls, as a circle opened between them as they stared at the transparent floor. Shepherd, however, remained in the centre of the room. The smoke cleared in the tunnels as the extractor fans did their work, but the electronic catacomb grew dim as the lights flickered and died.


What was happening?




The glass floor shook.


“It’s going to give way,” someone yelled. “We need to get the hell out.”


The grey tar continued spreading, covering the underside of the entire glass floor now. A dull droning sound came from somewhere—or perhaps from everywhere—and a silvery cobweb scratched itself into the patch of glass directly beneath Shepherd’s feet. It was enough to finally make him move back towards the wall with the others.


“Jesus Christ,” came a muted voice belonging to the chief engineer in the tunnels. Shepherd turned. He glanced out of the window and spotted the man struggling on the floor. The lights behind the chief engineer were still lit, but the ones in front of him had blinked out. The grey substance clinging to the underside of the glass floor also seemed to be clinging to the engineer’s legs in the tunnels. When the man tried to sit up, Shepherd saw the terrified expression on his face.


“Everybody out!” Shepherd screamed. “Evacuate!”


The room burst to life, screams and yells bouncing off the glass walls. People threw themselves at the exit, but it was only a single-body wide door and people pushed and panicked. Shepherd shouted at them to remain orderly, but fear of the unknown drove them to irrationality. Fear of the unknown was a scientist’s motivator, but it was no longer their muse today. Today that fear terrified them like chickens before a wolf. Even Shepherd struggled to put one shaking foot in front of the other.


Was the facility about to blow up?


What kind of chemical reaction was taking place?




The floor opened in a chasm, the glass shattering into a thousand pieces.


But no one fell to the tunnels below.


The grey substance remained in place, floating where before it had clung to the bottom of the glass. The shards of glass seemed to sink into it, dissolving.


No, Shepherd thought, frowning.


The glass shards transformed into the same tar-like substance that was spreading everywhere. The tar wasn’t growing: everything it touched was adding to it. And Shepherd realised he was standing in it.


His feet rested atop the viscous blanket as though it was a carpeted floor. It was soft.


He tried to lift his foot but couldn’t.


The tar held it.


A dozen panicked colleagues were also trapped by the alien substance and Shepherd could taste their fear. His inner caveman broke free and fought furiously to escape. But it was no good. His feet refused to budge. His shoes had gone—turned into tar.


What of his feet inside those shoes? Were they also being consumed?


Shepherd experienced no pain, and neither did anyone else by the sound of it. His colleague’s cries were of fear, not agony. He sensed something in his lower extremities, but it was dull and far away—perhaps an itching. What Shepherd felt most was that he felt nothing. He tried to wiggle his toes, but it was if they had never existed.


Shepherd twisted his hips and managed to stare at the tunnels below. Dozens more lights had extinguished and the chief engineer was nowhere to be seen. A creeping river of sludge covered all.


Shepherd glanced down and saw that his shins and knees were no longer part of him. They had become tar. “What have we done?” he whispered.


Shepherd was covered by the black, sticky stuff, and it changed everything it touched. The grey river flowed up his legs toward his groin, and it was then he finally felt something. As his genitalia turned to thick sludge, Shepherd became nauseous. His body burned as his organs ceased operating—or disappeared completely. Others in the room screamed too, so hard that their vocal chords snapped and ruined voice boxes emitted strangled shrieks.


The agony started. A chorus of pain.


The entire team of the OSC was being eaten alive, consumed by a blanket of death.


Shepherd spewed a mouthful of blood against the glass window that was already half-consumed by tar. The room grew dark. The tunnels below were a solid river of choking sludge.


The world closed in.


Shepherd shook his head as his organs liquefied and darkness overtook him. My God. What have we done?





CLICK HERE to Grab Your Copy of TAR from Amazon Now!

How do you go on living when you’re already dead?

The world has ended, yet a few places still cling to life, dragging out their final, dwindling moments until the last second. The United Kingdom is one of those places still left alive, but it is only a matter of time before it too is wiped from the face of the earth.

The Tar is coming, covering every inch of the globe. There is no escape.

It means the clock is ticking for Finn, who needs to find the monster that murdered his sister. The world might be over, but vengeance never dies.

By bestselling author, Iain Rob Wright, comes an apocalypse like no other. Follow a broken brother’s vengeance as he seeks to kill a man who is already dead.

Title contains the new horror novella Tar by Iain Rob Wright, followed by an Author Showcase featuring short stories from several writers.



2c38e8e36fac0a22d17aa5-l-_v379637321_sy470_Iain Rob Wright is from the English town of Redditch, where he worked for many years as a mobile telephone salesman. After publishing his debut novel, THE FINAL WINTER, in 2011 to great success, he quit his job and became a full time writer. He now has over a dozen novels, and in 2013 he co-wrote a book with bestselling author, J.A.Konrath.

The three most important things in his life are his wife, his children, and his fans.

His work is currently being adapted for graphic novels, audio books, and foreign audiences. He’s an active member of the Horror Writer’s Association and a massive animal lover. Join his mailing list and receive five FREE books, as well as all the latest news and releases.

You can find him at: or

Book Update – Queen of the Fallen (Second Death Book 2) Sat, 10 Sep 2016 13:40:49 +0000 Hey There!

A huge welcome to everyone who recently joined my mailing list! I hope you’re enjoying your free book, Rising: A Second Death Novella. I love to hear from readers, so drop me a mail and let me know. My email address is

It’s been an amazing summer here in the River Towns of New York. Fantastic weather, lots of fun trips with the family, and many weekends at the pool. I DID NOT want it to end.

We also had a big milestone: Jedi son #1 went off to Kindergarten this week! We are so proud of our BIG BOY! I have to admit, I’m also a little sad too…because I’m getting OLD! Kindergarten already? Come on…

But summer wasn’t all sunny days and ice-cream, I must admit. I did have two major issues:

First, my sons Jedi mind-tricked me and managed to freeze me in carbonite like Darth Vader did to Han Solo. Man, it was cold! It took forever to thaw and I had a massive brain freeze to boot! Here’s a picture my wife took for the family photo album:

Me, frozen in carbonite, by Darth Vader and Darth Maul.

Me, frozen in carbonite, by Darth Vader and Darth Maul.


The other major issue I had this summer was with my book. This was definitely more painful than the carbonite freeze…

When I started writing novels, THEY told me that the first book is the hardest book to write. THEY LIED. I had so many problems with this book, I thought my editor and cover designer, Jake Logsdon, was going to feed me to the Walking Dead. Thankfully, he’s a compassionate man, and in three separate, but equally painful edits, he got me back on track.

I am now polishing the manuscript for a final edit with him (fingers crossed). Then a proofread to get rid of all those nasty grammar and speling misstakes, and finally, I’ll be publishing in November.

I know a lot of you have been telling me to write faster and get it done already! Well, I could have published on my original deadline of September, but you would have thrown your Kindles, iPads, Nooks, and paperbacks across the room, cursed me up and down, and banished me to the Second Death if I published any of those crappy versions!

So instead, I spent a lot of time writing and rewriting, and I have to tell you, it was worth it. This is THE BEST writing I’ve done, yet! Jessie, Arraziel, Frank, and Nssu are back, plus a new Watcher, some new demons, and one bat-shit-crazy, whack-job, lunatic for your reading pleasure! Some of you might even recognize the crazy-man, but I don’t want to give it all away! This book is bringing all the intense horror, suspense, and mystery you’ve been waiting for!

Okay, enough of me jabbering on. Here’s what you can expect between now and publication:

  1. Because you’ve been so patient, and because I’m so happy with how this book is turning out, I’m going to send you the FIRST CHAPTER FOR FREE in the next few weeks.
  2. Jake is hard at work on the cover and an illustration of one of the scenes from Queen of the Fallen. Both of those will be coming your way at the end of October / early November.
  3. For new members of the mailing list, if you haven’t gotten THE MAIL yet, you will soon. THE MAIL will tell you how you can GET EVERY BOOK I EVER PUBLISH FOR FREE, including Queen of the Fallen, Book 2 of the Second Death.

Okay, I will let you get back to your weekend now. Thanks for your patience with the new book. It will definitely be worth the wait!

My very best to you and your loved ones,



Mencken and the Monsters Wed, 17 Aug 2016 12:30:15 +0000 View More: made fantastic friends during Joe Bunting’s Story Cartel writing course in 2014. Today, I want to introduce you to one of them: Jeff Elkins.

When Jeff isn’t busy with his five kids or working his day job, he’s running Short Fiction Break, contributing articles to The Write Practice, and publishing essays, short stories, and reviews at In his spare time, Jeff also writes novels.

On September 10, 2016, Jeff will release the first book in his new Defense of Reality series. He was generous enough to let me post the first chapter of this highly anticipated first-in-series for my blog. So get cozy, grab your beverage of choice, and enjoy Chapter 1 of Mencken and the Monsters.



Mencken and the Monsters



Chapter 1


“You’re wasting your time. This story isn’t going to save the city.”


The smooth female voice tickled Mencken’s ear, urging him to gaze on its beautiful source, but Mencken resisted the temptation to look up from his crouch. “What’re you getting at?” he said, staring down at the black puddle of thick oil on the sidewalk in front of him.


“All I’m saying is that this is a waste of your time. There’s nothing here. No story.” The enchanting voice belonged to Detective Rosario Jimenez.  Mencken knew that if he were to allow himself to look up, he would be trapped, able to do nothing but stare into her deep green eyes. He figured her hair was pulled back in a tight bun, leaving her perfect neck exposed. She was probably wearing those flawlessly fitting slacks and that blouse that always commanded his full attention.


He risked glancing at her shoes. They were white running shoes with pink laces. Just like her, strong and feminine, disarmingly beautiful, but able to run you down and kick your ass if you tried to bolt. This was why, Mencken knew, he could not look up. He could not break his focus, for if he gave Detective Jimenez the smallest amount of attention, she would bewitch him, and his day would be forsaken to dreams about her.


“Where you see nothing, I find truth,” he said, working the oil-like substance between his fingers.


“You’re so full of shit,” she laughed.


Continuing to battle against her charms, he listened to her walk away. Mencken brought his fingers close to his face for a better look. The substance was odorless and sticky. It didn’t look like blood. He considered tasting it, but then stopped; tasting strange substances found on the sidewalks of Baltimore was always a bad idea.


Mencken stood and looked down the street. The beat cops were wrapping up with the two witnesses. He moseyed in their direction, hoping the police would leave soon. He paused after ten yards, and glanced back at the puddle. It had sure looked like a pool of blood from afar. Sliding his arms out of the straps, Mencken shifted his backpack to his front. He unzipped the top and pulled the small notebook from inside. The notebook’s black leather cover was worn and wrinkled. He removed the sharp pencil from behind his ear and made a note about the location of the supposed crime.


Mencken watched as the boys-in-blue got in their cars, and pulled away. The witnesses turned to leave. “Hey,” Mencken shouted across the street. “Hey, hold up.”


The two witnesses stopped and looked at him. The first was as fat as he was tall. He wore a loose-fitting white t-shirt and baggy jeans. A large, orange hair pick protruded from his perfectly rounded afro.


The second was a short, hard-looking, elderly man with a bald head, powerful forearms, squinty eyes, and slight under-bite. He had the smashed face of a boxer who’d never learned to duck. He wore grey sweats and a blue t-shirt with the Greek letters delta, sigma, and theta across the middle. Mencken doubted the old man had ever been to college. More likely, he’d picked the shirt up at the local Goodwill.


“You guys got a second for the press,” Mencken called as he drew closer.


The old man took a pack of cigarettes from the front pocket of his pants. He pulled a stick for himself with his teeth and then held the pack out for the fat man who accepted the cigarette, while producing a lighter from his pocket. Mencken smiled at the coordination. Mencken respected strategic systems when he saw them. It was clear these unlikely partners were united for their mutual survival. The fat man flicked his lighter once with his thumb, then a second time, then rapidly over and over, but there was no spark.


Mencken reached into his pocket and retrieved a silver flip lighter. He didn’t smoke. He carried it because lighting cigarettes for people tended to open them up.


“You don’t look like press,” the old man said, using Mencken’s lighter to start his cigarette.


“Yeah,” the fat man said, taking his turn with the lighter. “Yeah, you got a badge or something? Let us see your badge.”


Mencken sighed. “Journalists don’t have badges.”


“Well,” the fat man said, crossing his arms and tossing Mencken a suspicious look. “You got like a press pass, or credentials, or something?”


“What about a business card?” the old man said.


“Yeah. Yeah. We ain’t saying nothing until you give us a business card,” the fat man agreed.


Mencken reached into his right back pocket and removed his wallet. Digging through it he asked, “Why do you care? I just want to ask you what you saw.” He passed the men two white cards. On each card there were only two words: Mencken Cassie. The men accepted the cards and examined them.


“Looks legit,” the old man said.


“Alright,” the fat man said, putting the card in his pocket. “Let’s talk finder’s fee.”


Mencken sighed and looked into the sky. “You didn’t find anything,” he said.


“Listen up mother-fucker,” the fat man said, pointing his finger in Mencken’s face. “You’ve got to pay for my life story, because it’s a fucking epic of giant proportions. This is Game of Thrones shit here. You got that. Sex. Drugs. Violence. Jail. Drugs. Lesbians. This story is huge, and if you’re going to get famous off my shit, you’ve got to pay.”


“Shut the fuck up,” the old man said.


“What,” the fat man replied, wounded. “I’m just trying to get us paid.”


“I’m not paying you for anything,” Mencken said.


“Come on, man,” the fat man said. “Us brothers got to help each other out. Twenty bucks. Twenty bucks, and I’ll tell you everything. Even the lesbian parts.”


“Gentlemen, I don’t have time for this,” Mencken said, pulling his cell phone from his pocket to check the time. “Do you want to see your name in print or not?”


The two men looked at each other, confirmed, and then looked back at Mencken. “What do you want to know?” the old man said.


“Tell me what happened,” Mencken replied.


“So here’s how it went down,” the fat man began, uncrossing his arms and waving them wildly. “Do you have like, a camera or something? Because you’re going to want to tape this shit here.”


“No. I don’t have a camera. I’m a writer.”


“Ooooh, big, tall, fancy man is a writer,” the fat one mocked.


“Just get on with it,” the older one said.


“Alright. Alright,” the fat man said. “So we’re coming out of a meeting.”


“Are you a part of the Mission?” Mencken asked, nodding toward the old fire house behind them. The building served as a recovery center for homeless male addicts.


“Yeah, yeah. Afternoon meeting. It’s the open one. Anyone can come in for lunch as long as they stay for the meeting. All kinds of weirdos come in off the street,” the fat man explained. “So we was coming out of the meeting for a smoke, and there was this fish with us.”


“Fish?” Mencken asked.


“Yeah, yeah. Fish. Like fresh fish. Like a new guy.”


“Oh. Okay.”


“So the fish was all asking us for a smoke, because we all need a little pick-me-up after Kevin shares. He talks about the most boring shit. Going on and on about how his grandmother died when he was just a kid. Oh it’s so sad. My poor Mammy.”


“Stick to the story,” the old man grunted.


“Alright. Alright,” the fat man said, frustrated at being reigned in. “So the fish was here and then the other two fish came up on us.”


“Other two?” Mencken interrupted again.


“A man and a boy,” the old man said.


“He wasn’t a boy,” the fat one said. “He was a like a teenager.”


The old man snorted with indifference.


“So they came up on us,” the fat man continued.


“Wait, wait,” Mencken said. “Were they in the meeting?”


The two men looked at each other. “Why not?” the fat one said. “Sure. Yeah. They were in the meeting.”


Mencken shook his head and looked at the sky again. It was getting dark.


“You want this story or not, cuz I can call other papers, you know. People going to compete for this,” said the fat man, moving his hands down his body as if that was what was being sold.


“I’m sorry,” Mencken said. “Continue.”


“So they came up on us. And the fish was like, ‘Just leave me be. I ain’t done nothing.’ And the other fish was like, ‘You’re here. That’s enough.’ And the first was all, ‘Why you got to be like that? You don’t have to do this. I’m not hurting anyone.’ And then the teen was all, ‘You ain’t supposed to be on this side.’”


“This side?” Mencken asked.


“That’s what he said,” the old timer replied.


“And then the first fish was like, ‘I’ll leave. I’ll get a coin and leave.’”




“I don’t know,” the fat man said, angry at being interrupted again. “Maybe it was for the fucking bus. Do I look like a street interpreter or something? Zing-a-zang-a Whack-a Whack-a. That means ‘let me finish my fucking story’ in Street.”


“Please, go on,” Mencken said.


“So then the kid,” the fat man said.


“You mean teen,” the old man said with a grin.


“You mother-fucker,” the fat man yelled. “Interrupt me again and see what happens. Just watch. I’ll pound your old stupid ass.”


The old man laughed.


“So the teen says, ‘You don’t have one. Even if you did, we couldn’t let you use it.’ Then the scary fish says, ‘Enough talk. Finish it. But watch out for the tail.’ Then the teen was like,”


“Watch the tail?” Mencken asked.


“Yeah,” the fat man said. “That’s what he said. ‘Watch the tail.’ You’d understand if you let me finish. Shit.”


“I’m sorry,” Mencken said again. “Go ahead.”


“So he’s all, ‘Watch the tail.’ And the kid does this roundhouse kick. Wham!” The fat man swung his foot in the air to demonstrate. “Then he punched the fish in the face. Za-cow!” The fat man swung wildly in the air with his right fist. “Then we was all like, ka-pow! And boom-boom!” the fat man exclaimed, kicking the air again with one foot and then the other. “And the fish was bleeding this black stuff all over the place. But then the fish, like, spun and lashed out with his tail.” The fat man demonstrated, spinning in circles. “But the kid like, ran up his tail, using it like a step, and then he grabbed his chin, and snapped his neck. Wha-pow!” The fat man pantomimed snapping a man’s neck with both hands. “And the fish went down. And all this black blood came out his mouth. But then the two fish grabbed the first fish’s body, threw him in the trunk of the car, and drove off.”


The fat man put his hands on his knees and sucked air in and out with desperation. “Phew,” he said between breaths. “That’s, um. That’s how it happened.”


“A tail?” Mencken replied.


“The cops didn’t believe us either,” the old man said.


Mencken looked over what he’d just jotted down in his notebook. “I don’t know. A tail? You sure it wasn’t, like, a crowbar or something? Maybe it just looked like a tail?”


“It was a mother-fucking, giant-ass, rat-looking tail, damn it. I said ‘tail’ and I meant a mother-fucking tail. So when you going to put us in the paper?” the fat man demanded.


“I don’t think this one’s going to make it to print,” Mencken said, rubbing his shaved head with his right hand. “I don’t think anyone is going to buy this karate-kid-versus-the-rat-man thing. But, I tell you what. I’ll type it up and put it online.”


“Teen,” the old man said again, with a laugh.


“Fine, karate-teen-versus-the-rat-man,” Mencken replied. “Like I said, no one’s going to print it, but it should get some hits online. Can I use your names?”


“Sure,” the old man said. “They call me Popeye.”


“Of course they do,” Mencken said, making a note in his book.


“And I’m Sexy Tony,” the fat man said. “That’s Sexy Toni with an ‘i’.”


“Where does the ‘i’ go?” Mencken asked.


“Where ever you want to stick it, baby,” Tony said, with a seductive smile.


After thanking the two men, Mencken returned to his bike. He took the black helmet off the back, strapped it on, and swung his foot over the beast. He’d found the wrecked 2003 Dyna Super-Glide in the back of a used car lot ten years ago. It had taken him most of his junior year of high school to restore it. It was perfect for getting through the crowded streets of Baltimore. He revved the engine, soaking in the powerful growl of the monster.


Before pulling off, he glanced at his phone, thumbing through his Twitter feed.


@BmoreVoice, shots fired at harlem deli, monroe and harlem. no cops yet


That sounded promising, Mencken returned the phone to his pocket, and pulled onto the street in search of a real story.


Mencken and the Monsters

Click Here to Pre-Order Your Copy Now! 

Release Date: September 10, 2016

Mencken Cassie is a passionate reporter on a mission to save Baltimore from an organized crime ring and a brutal hitman who is terrorizing the city. When Mencken declares war on the organization, he enters a world of monsters more terrifying than anything he could ever imagine. To save the city he loves, Mencken must unmask the true threat to Baltimore by finding new sources of strength in the community around him.

Mencken and the Monsters is an urban fantasy novel that features fast paced action, terrifying horror, clever dialog, and a compelling mystery. In this first installment of the Defense of Reality series, the gritty world of the Wire meets the thrilling world of a Stephen King novel.

Iain Rob Wright – Fear on Every Page Wed, 20 Jul 2016 09:00:46 +0000 Hey Horror Fans – Happy Wednesday! Have I got something amazing for you today – an interview with one of the great indie horror writers around: Iain Rob Wright!

A prolific writer, and all around cool dude, Iain has been tearing up the horror scene with his terrifying tales for several years now. In fact, Iain’s debut novel, The Final Winter, is a critically acclaimed bestseller. You read that right – his debut novel! And to this day he continues to pump out high quality horror and thriller fiction, adding new twists and a unique style to both genres.

Iain is also giving back to the indie author community in a big way. He’s published a Writer’s Resource page – a must read for self published authors of any genre – and he’s launching his own online course, the A-Z of Self Publishing in the next few weeks.

I was lucky enough to interview Iain recently, and pick his brains on the current state of horror, his influences, and his thoughts on self-publishing. So grab your favorite beverage, settle in, and enjoy Iain in his own words.

And don’t forget to check out Iain’s website where he’s giving away FIVE FREE BOOKS!


Tell us a little about yourself. Where do you call home? Was writing your first career? How long have you been writing? What got you started?

My home is in the United Kingdom, somewhere in the middle. It takes me a little over 90 minutes to drive to the sea on a good day. Writing was not my first career (who is that lucky). I was a salesman for most of my working life and it was the unhappiness in that career that spurred me to consider self-publishing. I’m extremely glad I did.Writing was a hobby I enjoyed and I harbored dreams of one day being published. A Google search led me to Amazon KDP and recklessness forced me to take a chance. I got into the Indie Publishing explosion at the beginning, which gave me a head start. Timing and luck definitely played their part.


When I tell people I’m a Horror author, the next question is typically, Why Horror? Let me put that question to you: What’s the draw for you to write horror fiction? Why not historical romance or fantasy? I’ve also read your thriller, Soft Target. Are you planning on writing in multiple genres?

Horror is my favorite genre, so I understand it and find writing within it easiest. Writing is fun, especially when you are writing what you like. I also enjoy thrillers, which is why I have the Soft Target series. I hope also to write a Game of Thrones type series in the future too. My books represent my tastes, so you can see that Horror is my favorite, followed by Thrillers.


What distinguishes your story-telling? Are there certain themes or tropes that you’re drawn to, consciously or subconsciously, that are common threads through your stories? Do your stories have an underlying message you are trying to convey or is your aim to entertain readers (and by that I mean scare the crap out of people)?

I enjoy stories of redemption and stories of loss. Many of my bad characters evolve into heroes when motivated by loss. Writing is a way for me to deal with my darker emotions and it often feels good to see a character make amends, to make their future better than their pasts. I like writing about hope. The horror comes from a byproduct. Life can be pretty horrible all on its own.


Can you share your thoughts on the state of the horror genre today? We’ve seen the rise of the sympathetic monster in horror a la Vampire Lestat, Twilight, and many others. What are your thoughts on these re-imaginings and new takes on old tales? What other trends are you seeing in the genre?

Overall (and I contribute to this), it is a little stale. Zombie, vampires, werewolves, etc. There are few genuinely unique ideas and that makes it really hard to find a fantastic read, but there are plenty of authors who are talented and respectful of the genre, so I have hope. I think Blake Crouch is the one guy creating truly original stories right now, and I would like to try and open up my own view of horror as I evolve as an author. I think many of my talented colleagues will do the same. Horror needs to move forward; Stephen King isn’t going to live forever.


Who influences you as a writer? What authors do you read and admire? Do you read other genres?

Stephen King is my idol for what he has accomplished in what is essentially a ‘niche’ genre. I love Richard Laymon, Brian Keene, James Herbert, and Simon Clark for having such strong personal styles that create worlds instead of mere stories. I respect Matt Shaw, David Moody, Adam Neville, and Wayne Simmons for working their arses off relentlessly. I wish I could work as hard as those guys. I respect Hugh Howey, Joe Konrath, and Russell Blake for doing so much to help so many. They make indie publishing what it is today.


Why self-publishing and not traditional publishing? What advantages does self-publishing provide you over traditional publishing? What are your thoughts on the state of self-publishing today? Where do you see publishing in the next five years?

You say that like it’s a choice. For most authors it is self-publishing or nothing, and that’s great because before Amazon changed the game it was just ‘nothing’ for a lot of passionate authors. I have dabbled with traditional publishing and I’m confident I could get with one if I put my mind to it, but it’s a lot of work for nothing. I am making a good living all on my own, so why do I need a publisher? If they want to offer me a big fat deal then they know where I am. Show me the money, or I’ll show you my arse.Self-publishing is harder now that it was and it will no longer be an avenue for a quick buck. Only the most dedicated authors will succeed in the current climate, and that’s good because it will eventually result in a higher quality marketplace for books. While publishing a book should be something anyone ‘can’ do it’s not necessarily something everyone ‘should’ do. Like business, the strong will swim and the weak will sink. That’s perfectly fair, and better than the old traditional publishing system of hoping to be plucked out of the water by a golden fishing line.


What were some early lessons you learned about self-publishing? What would you have done differently, if anything? What advice do you have for new writers interested in self-publishing?

Don’t DIY the important things. To this day I am still having to tweak my earlier books because I didn’t hire decent editors. I had to pay to redo several covers because they sucked. The lesson is to do things right the first time or else you will pay for it later. Your book is an investment so don’t worry about losing money to begin with. If you are serious about being a writer, you plan to make that money back, right?


What are you working on now?

I have just finished my latest book Legion and will be releasing it soon, but my current project is a secret. Let’s just say that it is big, and it is not a book. [Editor’s note: it’s he own online course, the A-Z of Self Publishing. Details here.]


In a head to head battle, who would win and why?

Bram Stoker’s Dracula vs Stephanie Meyer’s Edward Cullen

Edward Cullen is young so he could use technology and stuff to fight Dracula. Maybe it’s time for Dracula to die?

Mary Shelley’s Frankenstein vs Dean Koontz’s Frankenstein

Haven’t read Dean’s, so I will assume it’s great and that his monster would win.

Norman Bates vs Hannibal Lecter

Hannibal Lector would fuck Norman up, yo!

Michael Meyers vs Jason Vorhees

Jason is supernatural and pretty much invincible. I would say Michael would lose that one. Plus, Hockey players are pretty badass in general.

Pinhead vs Freddy Krueger

Freddy is a minion of Hell. Pinhead is a Lord of Hell. Freddy would be Pinhead’s bitch.


Anything else you would like add?

Yes, to those who have not yet checked out my books, I would just like to let them know that they can five of my stories for free by visiting:

Interview with Author Tom G. H. Adams Wed, 15 Jun 2016 10:55:54 +0000 51h3pgqlHdL._SY346_Author Tom G. H. Adams took time out of his busy schedule to let me pepper him with questions recently. Tom and I met through an online writing course, and immediately hit it off sharing stories about what it’s like being a horror author today.

After bouncing some emails back and forth, I picked up his novel, The Psychonaut,  and once I started turning pages, I knew I was reading something I had to share with you all. So I asked him if he’d like to do an interview and he kindly agreed.

Tom’s writing style is reminiscent of Anne Rice, and yet is distinctly his own voice. His descriptions and eloquent phrasing are something I strive for in my own writing. And did I mention, the first scene in his book scared the crap out of me and still haunts me as I type this?

Links to Tom’s work and places where you can follow him are at the bottom of the interview. Be sure to check out this rising star on the horror scene. You can grab Tom’s free starter library from his website by clicking here. I promise you’ll be pleasantly terrified…



Tell us a little about yourself. Where are you from? Where do you call home today? I know you write music as well as fiction and non-fiction books. Which came first? Why? If you could only choose one, which would it be?

I’m a horror and dark fiction author hailing from the north of England and a little known part of the world called Cumbria, sometimes called Middleland because it’s on the border between Scotland and England.

I’ve been writing stories since the age of eight, when I would produce comic books inspired by Marvel and 2,000 AD. At the age of twenty five I attempted to write an epic fantasy novel called ‘Aukben’s legacy.’ This was very much a craft learning exercise and remains unpublished.

Since then I’ve taken a leaf out of Ray Bradbury’s book and written numerous short stories, but only recently produced my first full length novel.


When I tell people I’m a Horror author, they always ask, Why Horror? Now let me ask you: Why horror and dark fantasy? What’s the draw to the genre?

One day I’m going to write an essay on this! So many horror authors have their own views on why they’re drawn to the dark side. Stephen King likened it to growing nails or hair – it’s just something that happens as a biological function of who you are. From Neil Gaiman – “If you are protected from dark things then you have no protection of, knowledge of, or understanding of dark things when they show up.” Whereas Clive Barker stated “I don’t think I write horror. I am a man who invents worlds of dark, and light, and somewhere in between.”

For me, it’s part therapy. I don’t get so scared of death, the unknown or the future if I embrace the darkness. I get far less nightmares since I got into horror – now I inflict them on my readers! Another strand is the idea that great literature accompanies progress in developing civilisations. The reason? Great stories and characters help a reader to empathise, to put themselves into another’s shoes – very important if society is to accept others and improve the lives of all. Horror fiction takes the evoked emotions to an extreme level, so we are able to experience dread, terror, sense of loss as well as love in its variety of forms. There you are, we horror writers are providing a public service.


Describe your story-telling. What authors influence you? Who would you compare your writing to? What’s unique about your fiction?

To be honest, I don’t think I’ve found my definitive voice yet. I’m experimenting in different styles but trying to keep it consistent within a current work in progress. I’ve always been influenced by authors in the fantasy genre. So Tolkein was an obvious starting point, but I also read Stephen Donaldson, Michael Moorcock, Ursula Le Guinn, Madeleine L’engle early on. I got into horror and the darker side of things in my late teens and devoured anything by Stephen King, James Herbert, Dean Koontz, Richard Laymon and Brian Lumley. All these have no doubt fed into my muse and I think I’m at the stage now where I’m moving away from mimicking anyone else’s style and being confident to be who I am. As to being unique? I’m not sure I am in terms of storylines or plot. I like to think I can create unique characters and settings, however; and I try to aim at giving an entertaining read. If I can provide a gateway for someone to escape the everyday pressures of the rat race, then I’ll consider I’ve done a good job. I guess I’ll let the readers be the judges!


Can you share your thoughts on the state of the horror genre today? What trends are you seeing in the genre? What do you like about today’s horror? What do you dislike (if anything)?

I think horror as a genre has always had a die-hard core of supporters and with the recent resurgence of interest in quality horror flicks, such as the Walking Dead and American Horror Story, it’s perhaps moving into a renaissance period. Whether this will spill over into books, I don’t know, but horror is the 5th most popular category in terms of sales at present. I’m discovering many new authors who are putting new twists on the genre and writing truly amazing tales. Recently I’ve been reading Nicole Cushing, Ralph Robert Moore, Ted E. Grau and Ray Cluley. But there are still some classic authors I need to delve into – like Jack Ketchum and Ramsay Campbell immediately come to mind. I also, like to experiment reading self-published authors. For example, Chris McLoughlin’s bringing out his book, Kobe, at the end of the month. He’s a fellow horror author on the website, Scribophile and writes breath-taking horror.


Do you self-publish or publish with a traditional press? What are your thoughts on the state of publishing today? Where do you see publishing in the next five years?

I’m no expert, but I did deliberate for at least a year before deciding to go down the self-publishing route. In the end, it came down to not wanting to wait around for acceptance by a publisher, only to have to wait another 12 months or more to be published and not have control over things like cover art and the genre one writes in. With the advent of so many platforms for authors, such as Amazon, iBooks, Goodreads, Smashwords and the possibilities of reaching an audience through social media, self-publishing became more and more attractive to me. Even traditionally published authors have to do a lot of self-promotion, so I figured – why not go the whole hog?  I’m certainly sticking to it for the time being.


What were some early lessons you learned writing that could help other aspiring writers? What would you have done differently, if anything? What would you have done more of?

Having only given my earnest attention to writing fiction in the last two years, there’s so much I’ve had to learn. Writing stories is so different to writing non-fiction, which I have done for quite some time now. Apart from generally having confidence in myself and committing to finish a project, one of the most revolutionary aspects of the writing craft I had to learn was ‘show not just tell.’ I didn’t even know this existed when I started writing fiction, but it’s so fundamental to bringing a reader into a scene you’ve created. I still have a long way to go, and when I read authors like Ray Bradbury and Craig Clevenger I contemplate hanging up my pen because they’re so good at it.

I wrote an attempt at a first novel back in my twenties, and it was rubbish. I needed to have a lot more life experience, read more, learn the craft – and there wasn’t the wealth of information back in the 80’s that the internet provides now. So I think I’ve benefitted from waiting. Some people are naturally talented from an early age and don’t need to put the years in. I wish I was one of them. One thing I’ll finish with is to never give up on your aspirations. Write, even if the world doesn’t offer any encouragement. Just keep doing it – eventually the words will flow.


What are you working on now? Tell us about your latest work.

My dark fantasy novel, The Psychonaut, came out in e-book format on May 20th, so I’m in the throes of marketing it, preparing the print version and recording the audio book. It’s been an exciting ride penning the story, and represents eighteen months’ work, so I’m very proud to have got it out there. It features a main character who is a skeptical atheist, yet possesses a supernatural power called Psychonautics – he’s kind of in denial about it at the start of the tale. From there, the whole plot expands to global and galactic proportions in true Tolkien style.

I’m just finishing off a novella entitled ‘Coffin Dodgers’ which is a sci-fi/horror hybrid, due out this Summer, and my next collection of short stories is just about completed too. So there’s plenty to keep me busy.


In a head to head battle, who would win and why?

Bram Stoker’s Dracula vs The Vampire Lestat

I like both characters, but it would have to be Dracula, as he is the first and most ancient of the undead. Having been around a long time he knows one or two things about avoiding garlic, holy water and crucifixes. Lestat was always a tad naive.

Leatherface vs Jason Vorhees

I must confess to not having watched the Friday 13th series – a sinful omission on my part. But it does mean I’m in for a binge of a treat one of these days. I saw Texas chainsaw massacre soon after it went to video. It was being shown at my local student union. I eventually had to leave the room before the end as I was crapping myself so much. So on the fear front, Leatherface truly delivers. It would be an evenly pitched battle, I think – as long as Leatherface left the chainsaw stuff to when he dismembers the body. They’re difficult to wield in a skirmish unless your opponent moves with the speed of a zombie.

Jigsaw (Saw Movies)  vs Hannibal Lecter

It would have to be Hannibal Lecter as he’s so smart. He enjoys the kill but doesn’t let things go to his head. Jigsaw may be imaginative, but he lacks the cold, calculating streak that’s kept Lecter alive since the second world war.

Jack Torrence vs Norman Bates

Norman Bates. Our Jack spends half his time sozzled, so he wouldn’t have the presence of mind to win out in a battle of peers.

The Thing vs Alien
The Thing wouldn’t stand a chance (I take it you mean the Thing from the old movies, not Ben Grimm of the Fantastic Four.) The Alien and its offspring have aeons of evolution on their side. They’re the perfect killing machines.


Anything else you would like add?
Just that I love connecting with horror aficionados – whether it’s film, reading, writing or music so feel free to introduce yourselves on any of these platforms:

My blog can be found at

Facebook page:



Youtube book trailer:


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My Interview with Jimmie Jones from the Erosion Factory Radio Show Thu, 19 May 2016 01:00:41 +0000 Image courtesy of BTD Radio

Image courtesy of Beyond the Dawn Studios


Jimmie Jones, host of the Erosion Factory Radio Show on BTD Radio, interviewed me for the second time this week. The show aired on May 18, 2016, and Jimmie kindly gave me a copy of our chat to host here in case you missed the show.


Click Here to Download the Interview


Jimmie’s show has exploded onto the horror and industrial metal scene in recent months. He has over 180,000 regular listeners and that number grows each week. We first spoke 6 months ago and I was thrilled to be invited back to talk about my new books, Rising: A Second Death Novella and Watchers of the Fallen.

Erosion Factory Radio airs every Wednesday from 3pm – 7pm PST and repeats on Saturday at 4pm PST. If you’re into horror and hardcore metal, set your reminder, bookmark the BTD Radio link, and be sure to check out Jimmie and Erosion Factory Radio every week.


The “Back Cover Blurb” for Watchers of the Fallen Thu, 11 Feb 2016 14:47:40 +0000

Image courtesy of

Hello from the Rivertowns of New York!

The snow keeps trying to make a comeback, but I think (hope) winter is in its final fits and tantrums. It’s been flurrying all week, and we’re due for some arctic temps this weekend, but believe it or not, the Yankees first spring training game is in 3 weeks! 3 weeks? Wow, this winter went fast! I can’t wait for Spring!


The “back cover blurb”, also known as the synopsis, is the hardest part of writing a book for me.

Why? Because I spent months writing thousands of words, and now I have to boil the story and characters down to a handful of words. Well, maybe I have a little more space than a handful of words, but still, distilling an entire novel into even two hundred words is challenging. How about less than twenty words? It’s agonizing.

Writers, I know some of you feel my pain on this one. I’ve struggled in the past, but this time I had some great advice from a pro. Here’s what Joanna Penn of The Creative Penn suggested. It worked wonders for me:

“Find ten best sellers by indie authors in your genre and copy out their back cover blurbs.”

So simple and it works. I did exactly that and surprise, surprise, I think my back cover blurb turned really well. I’d like to know what you think too. Have a read through my long version synopsis below and tell me your thoughts. Is this a book you’d read? Would you change anything? If so, what?


One group stands in the way of Jessie and her evil plan—The Watchers.


When Jessie Hailey stole a book of dark arts from the bookshop in her backwoods hometown of Beauchamp, Louisiana, she freed Arraziel, one of the Fallen, and used his power to take revenge on her tormentors. But Jessie was unaware the ancient evil she unleashed was intent on destroying the world.


Thousands of years ago, god-like beings, called the Fallen, came to Earth and enslaved humanity. Humans worshiped and bred with the fiendish beings creating a new race called the Watchers. Watchers looked like normal men and woman, but had the supernatural powers of the Fallen. A group of Watchers fought to save mankind, and imprisoned the Fallen in enchanted artifacts and the Realm of the Second Death.


Spellbound by the King of the Fallen, and with Arraziel at her command, Jessie travels to Chicago to build an army and free the monstrous King of the Fallen from the Realm of the Second Death. Now, Frank Bishop and The Order of the Watchers must hunt her down and stop her before the world comes under the savage rule of the Fallen again.


So what do you think? I’d love to here your thoughts. Please let me know in the comments or drop me an email. I read every one.

A quick note for writers: This long version synopsis is 195 words and will fit into Amazon’s 2000 word limit for book description. As you probably know, not all 195 words will be visible (there will be a “read more” link), but the first two paragraphs should be, which I hope is punchy enough to grab people.

I also need shorter versions of the synopsis. Why? Because not all retailers offer the same amount of description space and 195 words probably won’t fit on the back of a paperback.

So I wrote 4 different blurbs of varying length for that reason and a few more. They are all slight variations and reductions of the longer one:


One Liner (14 Words):


One group stands in the way of Jessie and her evil plan—The Watchers.



50 Word Description:


One group stands in the way of Jessie and her evil plan—The Watchers


When Jessie freed Arraziel, she unleashed ancient evil intent on destroying the world. Now, Watcher, Frank Bishop, must hunt Jessie down, and stop her from freeing the bloodthirsty King of the Fallen from the Second Death.



100 Word Description:


One group stands in the way of Jessie and her evil plan—The Watchers.


When Jessie Hailey stole a book of dark arts from the bookshop in her backwoods hometown of Beauchamp, Louisiana, she freed Arraziel, one of the Fallen, and used his power to take revenge on her tormentors. But Jessie was unaware the ancient evil she unleashed was intent on destroying the world.


Spellbound by the King of the Fallen, and with Arraziel at her command, Jessie travels to Chicago to build an army and free the monstrous King of the Fallen from the Realm of Second Death.


The 100 word synopsis will likely fit on the back of a paperback. The others will be used for things like my website, Twitter, Facebook, and promotions. Overall, it took me 4 to 5 drafts to write all the blurbs.


This week, I am finishing the rewrite of Arraziel and hope to send it to my editor, Jake Logsdon, on Monday. I’ll send it to you as soon as I can produce the ebook files. Maybe end of next week, but likely the week after.

Have a great rest of the week and for those of you in the U.S. enjoy the long weekend!


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Cover Reveal! And The Winner Is… Thu, 04 Feb 2016 15:13:24 +0000 BOOK COVER 2


Thank you all so much for your votes! I was delighted by your feedback, encouragement, and suggestions. Your commitment and support for my book is inspiring. I can’t say it enough — THANK YOU!

The votes were close, which shows how strong both covers are. A huge thanks to Jake Logsdon for his amazing, terrifying artwork!

Here’s the final vote:

Cover 2 = 56%

Cover 1 = 44%

So… my day job threw me a curve ball, and as a result, it’s looking like I won’t be able to publish until March. I’m slightly disappointed, but hey, life happens.

I am now aiming for the week of March 14th to publish, and hopefully there are no more curveballs to delay things any further. Thanks for your patience.

In the meantime, I am working on the back cover blurb for Watchers of the Fallen, and if all goes as planned, I”ll have that to you next week.


One final note before I let you get back to your busy day. I am experimenting with another social media site, PinterestIf you’re curious about the research I use for my writing, and want a glimpse into the locations, inspirations, and background for the plot of Watches of the Fallen, head over to Pinterest where I’ve created a board to give you a behind the scenes look at what I read in order to create Watchers of the Fallen. And please drop me a note, letting me know what you think, including any suggestions you might have to make the Pinterest board more interesting.

Watchers of the Fallen Research on Pinterest


Thank you all again for your continued support. It means so much. More to come next week. Until then enjoy the rest of your week and have an awesome weekend!