Give Me More Monsters

I don’t usually talk about movies on this site. I mostly focus on writing, books, and comic books, but sometimes I see films that I just have to talk about. In this case, I watched the trailer for A Quiet Place 2.

I loved the first film. It was so exciting to see an original, threatening monster introduced in a big budget film. I feel like we haven’t had those in a long time, though they were a staple in many horror movies in the 1990s. Mimic and The Relic are two that immediately come to mind.

Often created with practical effects instead of flimsy CGI, the unique monsters that used to creep people out in theaters dwindled away in the box office. Now don’t get me wrong, there are plenty of incredible horror films. Get Out, Us, Midsommar, all of these have been incredible films in their own right. The horror genre in film has led to a horror renaissance.

So what happened to all the monsters?

Then A Quiet Place came out in 2018 and when I saw the first trailer, I was SO excited. This was a unique monster that didn’t hide details in the shadows like Lights Out, or be a human monster like in Don’t Breathe. These monsters were a constant threat, a true danger, and their strengths and weaknesses were well explained within the world. The characters had to modify everything they did to avoid them, and that’s honestly the kind of horror film I love.

Similar to Richard Matheson’s I Am Legend and Josh Malerman’s Bird Box, the world had to change to fit the monsters in it, and I feel like that’s a piece that is daunting to many writers. It’s difficult understanding how people would live differently, what choices they would make, what unique challenges they would have. I love that about those books, and it’s one of the reasons I enjoyed the first film despite its flaws.

The only question I had was how did the world get that way. That’s always the fantasy lover in me, that I seek answers to unanswered questions. I always want to know more about the world, though I admit that sometimes it’s fun to not know the answer too. I didn’t expect that explanation to be explored in A Quiet Place 2, and I certainly didn’t expect one of my favorite actors, Cillian Murphy, to pick up a major role in the film.

I’m looking forward to this resurgence of monster movies, of seeing unique monsters showing up in big hit movies, and I can’t wait to see where it goes. Just based on the trailer it looks like practical effects are still favored just like it was in the first movie, and that’s the kind of film I love.

If you haven’t seen A Quiet Place yet, I highly recommend it. And I personally plan to go opening weekend to see the sequel!

Book Releases and a Cover Reveal, Oh My!

The year has barely just begun and already things are moving quick. March and April are going to be particularly busy times around here, so I’ve created a run-down of everything happening in about a two week time-span.

  • Friday, March 27 – The cover reveal for The Seeking!
  • Tuesday, March 31 – Release day for the Masks anthology!
  • Tuesday, April 7 – Release day for Broken!

See what I mean? It’s going to be back-to-back book releases and a cover reveal! I’m really looking forward to seeing the cover for The Seeking too because that book is going to be SUPER creepy.

Help with the Cover Reveal!

If you run a blog or a website and want to help me with the cover reveal for The Seeking, and to help with releases and cover reveals for other books from The Parliament House too, feel free to reach out on the Contact Me page! I know the secret handshake to get you in the door. 😉

Want to see what to expect within the pages? Check out the Pinterest board!

Screenshot of The Seeking board on Pinterest
Yes, there are monsters!

It’s all set around Halloween, so it’s the perfect read for Fall. I’m super excited for that book to hit shelves! (Have you added it to your Goodreads yet?)

Then Book 2 of the Stolen series, Broken, is coming out in April. And to top it all off, I’m going to be out of town that day so it’ll be extra exciting (and stressful) than normal.

Sometimes I think about where I was just a few years back. I remember working hard on my books and on my writing, hoping to someday publish my stories but never really thinking I would. Sometimes I have to stop and realize where I am and how I got here and take a breath.

It’s easy to feel overwhelmed sometimes. It’s easy to worry that I’ve forgotten something or to fret that my writing isn’t good enough. Then I think back on myself from but a few years back and how pumped I would be to have these challenges then. I have to remind myself that it’s okay to feel this way, but that this is where I want and need to be right now.

The best way to remind myself that all this work is worth it? Reading amazing reviews. Hearing from people who loved Stolen. Knowing that there are many people itching to read the continuation. Reminding myself that someone out there needs to read my books, and that the only way to reach them is to keep on pushing.

That’s ambrosia for the soul right there, folks. I’m going to go roll up my sleeves and get back to pushing.

Review: Morsus

You all probably know how much I love Peter Salomon’s books by now. I mean I’m happily moving through every book that he’s published, and I don’t have a single problem with this. If you want to check out other books of his that I’ve reviewed, take a look at:

Finished: 11/24/2019

Let me start off by saying it is a crime that there are not more reviews of this book on Goodreads. I’m pretty sure I’m the only one who has posted a review thus far and it deserves so many more!

The Morsus hide from the notice of humans. Some like the LaMontaine family hide in plain sight as part of the Louisiana police. Others like the Cromwells live in an expensive exclusive military compound completely insulated from human society. Morsus themselves feed off human adrenaline with their long, black claws. Their feeding can be addictive to adrenaline junkies, and deadly if they take too much. Morsus are also going extinct.

Lily Cromwell, the daughter of the ruthless Baron, lives with the expectation that as the youngest female Morsus, she must one day bear an heir. Her father forces her to train regularly and works with researchers to farm her eggs for experimental study.

Bayard (Bay) LaMontaine is a teenager having a hard time dealing with his new curse. His transformation is different from his parents’ and he soon runs into trouble at school.

Once the Baron discovers that Bay exists, he’s determined to have him wed to his daughter to continue the Morsus lineage. Only Lily will do anything to gain freedom from the demands of her father, and Bay quickly learns he’s not like other Morsus at all.

The world of the Baron and Lily’s rebelliousness gave me big Underworld vibes. Something about the Baron having a whole dedicated militia under his control just felt so similar to that world. This book started slow for me, but once Lily and Bay met, the action picked up quickly! About halfway through I had a hard time putting the book down cause I wanted to know what happened next! (Not at all unusual for one of Salomon’s books, I might add!)

I was so relieved to see this is book one of a series cause I still have so much I want to know! This was a very good book, and I think fans of the Underworld series would really love the style. As I said the first part is a bit slow to me, but I’ve read Salomon’s work before, so I knew my patience would be worthwhile.

Definitely a must read for a new breed of disturbing monsters. I can’t wait to read book two!

My Overall Rating: 5/5

Review: Bring Her Back

Finished: 10/17/2019

Frank calls himself ugly, but is also clearly socially awkward too. His story starts out happy enough when he falls in love and starts dating the flower girl down the street. It’s when he gets mixed up with some drug dealers that his life goes sour quickly.

The tone of this book is a lot of fun despite hor dark it is. Strand knows how to pack a lot of character into Frank’s voice and it’s a fun, compelling read.

As things go bad for Frank, the action picks up, and you’re cheering him on through dangerous and violent decisions. Finally the book ends on some gruesome body horror that I ultimately had to skip through.

Although I’m not a fan of body horror, that’s ultimatelyl not what made me knock a star off this book, it was for a very different reason that I’ll explain with…

SPOILERS START

(Highlight the white space below to read them.)

Abigail grew on me as a strong, reasonable woman and even when she’s kidnapped, she doesn’t lose herself. However when she is ultimately killed, I was frustrated because she was the only woman in the book. When it happened “off screen” though, that only made it worse for me. For the rest of the book she’s the reasoning for all of Frank’s actions, and I wanted to at least hear what her last words to him would have been.

SPOILERS END

Despite this and the body horror, this was a good book. If you’re not a stickler for these details like I am and you love a book with multiple horror facets, I think you’ll love this read! For readers who love dark, bloody horror alongside humor and fun movie references, this is definitely the book for you!

My Overall Rating: 4/5

A Dark, New Cover

I wrote Night Feeders back in 2012, and let me tell you, it was in desperate need of a complete makeover. Don’t believe me? Take a look at the old cover.

The old cover for Night Feeders

It didn’t give the gritty western vibe of the book. It felt generic and sorely dated. The story itself is still fantastic, and I just spoke with a reader a few months back who told me how reading Night Feeders got him back into reading for fun. (I can’t tell you how much joy that brought me as an author!) I realized as he was discussing the characters, the setting, and the action that I haven’t given this book the attention it really deserved.

You can check out the book page for Night Feeders and see the love that readers have shared for it. They not only enjoyed the story, but they hunted down my website, found the post about the book, and commented on how much they loved it. Considering how limited my formatting skills were early on, that’s dedication.

This new cover, though, I just fell in love with. It was designed by Saba Designs over at The Book Cover Designer. It reflects the horror in the blood splatter, it feels like your protagonist could be a gritty detective, and the fact that this picture could have been plucked up straight from the pages only makes it better.

Here you go, the brand new cover for Night Feeders!

The brand new cover for Night Feeders!

Isn’t it amazing? I love the detail, the color, the way it makes you want to open the doors… okay, well maybe not that part.

If you haven’t gotten the chance to pick up this horror western featuring a werewolf detective, a vampire brothel, and one bad sheriff, I hope you’ll give it a shot! It’s a quick read, but very engaging!

This book is a prequel to a series I’m working on because I really love everything about Colton and his world, from the historical aspects, to the terrifying monsters that lurk in the shadows. If you want to peek at what the adventures planned for Colton, check out the Books page and look for One Way Down!

Night Feeders

There’s a bad sheriff in town.

It’s a dangerous existence living out in the Old West, but it’s even worse for supernatural entities. When a brothel of concerned vampires reaches out to the Agency for the Betterment of Supernatural Creatures for help, werewolf detective Colton Fen steps in to solve a disappearance.

Sheriff Ritters keeps a ghastly group of monsters underground to keep the impoverished people of Clarkville in line. Anyone foolish enough to cross his path is thrown to the creatures. Can Colton solve the disappearance and bring peace to the terrified town without getting killed?

Now available on Amazon, and at many other online retailers.