OF A DARKER ART

OF A DARKER ART

Got hell in mouth
Devil on tongue
Voodoo mama on brain
Demon in heart.

Dig bones from dirt
Bury spleens in hearth
Keep gris-gris round neck
Darkness never part.

Never sell this spell
But steal your charm
Tongue flick tail rattle, baby
Yeah, snake round arm.

But hell in mouth
Need devil on tongue
Voodoo mama on brain
You the demon in my heart.

© Copyright 2012 Joseph A. Pinto. All Rights Reserved.

MOLD

MOLD

I saw you there;
in the half-light of candle
you seemed a flickering wraith
but the pruned expression with which
you regarded me only served to extinguish
me further. I wished to reach out,
to reshape the face I once recognized
but clay only hardens if left to serve testament
to air.

© Copyright 2014 Joseph A. Pinto. All Rights Reserved.

HEARD

HEARD

Silence;
a river running through my head; train
cries in the distance
its solace muffled
much the way I am
unable to find my tongue.
Fog clouding
the window—it’s unbearable
but the droplets streaking the glass
expose
highways, crossroads the likes of which
I’ll never have the nerve to explore.
Still in
my head I trace
a route so blissfully appealing
compared to the
silence
flooding my ears;
the last thing I ever heard.

© Copyright 2014 Joseph A. Pinto. All Rights Reserved.

PURPLE Giveaways and Donation!

I‘m making this holiday season PURPLE!

From now until January 1, 2015, ALL proceeds from my book DUSK AND SUMMER will be donated to The Lustgarten Foundation for Pancreatic Cancer Research!

Purchase a paperback copy of DUSK AND SUMMER and YOU will be eligible to win a $30 gift card from Amazon. Purchase an eBook copy and you’ll be eligible to win a $10 gift card from Amazon. Also, if you’ve lost a loved one to pancreatic cancer, I will personally make a $50 DONATION in THEIR name to The Lustgarten Foundation (you will receive proper verification).

All you need to do is take a selfie (face optional) displaying either paperback or eBook version of DUSK AND SUMMER as proof of purchase and post it as a reply on my Facebook page: Joseph A. Pinto, horror author and more.

Three people will be randomly selected for the $30 gift card, the $10 gift card, and the $50 donation.

Make a difference for your heart. Then make a difference for a life. Fight AND end pancreatic cancer.

Dusk and Summer on Amazon US

Dusk and Summer on Amazon UK

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Hunter Shea and the Hell Hole Tour

Hello all! My good friend and fellow Pen of the Damned mate Hunter Shea takes over my blog today!  So without further ado, take it away Hunter!

‘From the Desk of Squatchmo’

My gracious host, Joe Pinto, and lots of other people often call me Squatch Man, Squatchmo, Mr. Bigfoot and a host of other cryptid-tinged monikers. I wear those names with pride, man. When I saw the Patterson-Gimlin film of Bigfoot on In Search Of in the mid-70s, I was hooked. I’ve been a Bigfoot loving beast ever since.

Going from passive Sasquatch enthusiast to weaver of the legend’s tales has been one of the high water marks of my career, if not life. Sure, I don’t write about true tales and investigations into BF. I leave that for folks like Loren Coleman and Nick Redfern. They own that corner, if you know what I mean.

For me, the thrill has been trying to explore new avenues of the Bigfoot mythos, to boldly go where no squatch has gone before. I got my first crack at it with my book, Swamp Monster Massacre. There, I turned to the lesser known Skunk Apes of the Everglades and let the horrific times roll! The book was my best selling (until The Montauk Monster came along this summer) and started me down the cryptid fiction path – a path I’m thrilled to tread.

So, when I started my weird west novel for Samhain, Hell Hole, I figured I’d done my bit with Bigfoot for a while and sent my heroes, Nat and Teta, to a haunted abandoned mining town in Wyoming. At the start, I planned it to be a straight up ghost story.

But, somewhere along the way, I added wild men into the mix. The book is set in 1905, before the name Bigfoot was made popular. At that time, they were known as wild men (among many other nicknames given by various Indian tribes over the centuries). Well, before I knew it, I had packs of wild men descending on Nat and Teta, howling and tearing things up before fading into the night.

This unexpected turn changed the entire story, making it, I feel, far better and scarier. And who needs 1 Bigfoot when you can have hundreds? The key here, and part of my quest to change things up, is that they may not be exactly as they seem. No matter what their origin, they are terrifying.

So my fascination with BF continues. If you want to see what two old cowpokes do when faced with the hairy fellas, check out Hell Hole. Just remember to oil your six-shooter and bring a change of pants.

hell hole

Deep in a Wyoming mine, hell awaits.

Former cattle driver, Rough Rider and current New York City cop Nat Blackburn is given an offer he can’t refuse by President Teddy Roosevelt. Tales of gold in the abandoned mining town of Hecla, in the Deep Rock Hills, abound. The only problem–those who go seeking their fortune never return.

Along with his constant companion, Teta, a hired gun with a thirst for adventure, Nat travels to a barren land where even animals dare not tread. But the remnants of Hecla are far from empty. Black-eyed children, strange lights and ferocious wild men venture from the deep, dark mine…as well as a force so sinister Nat’s and Teta’s very souls are in jeopardy.

There’s a mystery in Hecla thousands of years old. Solving it could spell the end of the world.

Amazon:

Samhain Horror:

https://www.samhainpublishing.com/book/5076/hell-hole

GoodReads:

http://www.goodreads.com/book/show/22548186-hell-hole

Raves for Hunter Shea:

Forest of Shadows
“A frightening, gripping story that left me too frightened to sleep with the lights off. This novel scared the hell out of me and it is definitely a creepy ghost story I won’t soon forget.” –Night Owl Reviews

Sinister Entity
“This is the real deal. The fear is palpable. Horror novels don’t get much better than this.” –Literal Remains
“. . .Culminates in a climactic showdown between human and spirit that keeps you glued to the pages!” –Horror Novel Reviews

Evil Eternal
“Hunter Shea has crafted another knockout. At turns epic and intimate, both savage and elegant. . .a harrowing, blood-soaked nightmare.” –Jonathan Janz, author of The Sorrows

Swamp Monster Massacre
“If you’re craving an old-school creature-feature that has excessive gore. . .B-horror movie fans rejoice, Hunter Shea is here to bring you the ultimate tale of terror!” –Horror Novel Reviews

Hunter Shea, Biography:

Hunter Shea is the author of paranormal and horror novels Forest of Shadows, Swamp Monster Massacre, Evil Eternal, Sinister Entity, which are all published by Samhain Horror. HellHole came out in August 2014 and is his first western horror. His next Samhain novel, Island of the Forbidden, publishes January 2015.

The June 3, 2014 release of his horrifying thriller Montauk Monster was published by Kensington/Pinnacle. He’s working on a second novel to come through them.

He has also written a short story to be read prior to Sinister Entity, called The Graveyard Speaks (it’s free, go download!), and a book of stories called Asylum Scrawls. His next book from Samhain Horror, titled HellHole, is set to come out in August 2014 and is his first western horror.

His work has appeared in numerous magazines, including Dark Moon Digest, Morpheus Tales, and the upcoming anthology, Shocklines : Fresh Voices in Terror. His obsession with all things horrific has led him to real life exploration of the paranormal, interviews with exorcists, and other things that would keep most people awake with the lights on.

He is also half of the two men show, Monster Men, which is a video podcast that takes a fun look at the world of horror. You can read about his latest travails and communicate with him at http://www.huntershea.com, on Twitter @HunterShea1, Facebook fan page at Hunter Shea or the Monster Men 13 channel on YouTube.

Hell Hole button

Part Six: Dusk And Summer

I had no outlet for my grief after my father passed. All I knew was that I needed to honor his fight, his bravery, in some endearing fashion. I could not bear the thought that after everything he had gone through battling pancreatic cancer, then suddenly that was it. To believe his life ended that way betrayed what he had endured. There had to be more. I simply refused to use two of the coldest words in our language – the end.

Six months after he passed, I sat behind my computer and typed this sentence: I lost my father between dusk and summer. So began the telling of a myth.

Life is a series of stories waiting to be told. They are inside all of us to be poured like a good wine, a little at a time. Sipped. Savored.
Shared.

Some stories are real. Some embellished. Some take a life all their own.

Some simply possess magic from the start.

You just need to believe…

In honor of my father, I proudly donate proceeds from Dusk and Summer to the Lustgarten Foundation for Pancreatic Cancer Research. Together, we can make a difference.

DuskAndSummer_JosephAPinto_FrontCover_Large

Does Heaven await beneath the waves? One man needs to know.

When his dying father whispers a cryptic message to him, he has no choice but to summon his courage and begin the quest of a lifetime. It’s a race against time to realize his father’s wish and fulfill his own destiny; it’s a discovery of the unbreakable bond between father and son. It’s a journey of the heart that unfolds where only the Chosen exist – in the moments between Dusk and Summer.

“A poignant, metaphoric conversation between son and father. A story that will warm your heart.” –Yvonne S. Thornton, M.D., bestselling author of The Ditchdigger’s Daughters

The author will be donating a portion of the proceeds from this book to the Lustgarten Foundation for Pancreatic Cancer Research.

Dusk and Summer is available at:
Amazon: US |UK | Canada | Australia | Germany | France | Spain | Italy | Japan | Mexico | India | Brazil
CreateSpace | Smashwords
Barnes & Noble | Kobo | iTunes (Apple)

Part 5: A Saint Goes Marching In

Part 4: Lazarus

Part 3: Faith and Windows

Part 2: Phone Booths and Four Words

Part 1: Renovations; Shaken Foundations

November 1 – Purple Hope and Saints

Part 5: A Saint Goes Marching In

It was a gut-wrenching decision for me to make.

My good friend Chris listened patiently on the phone; I had called him when my father was released from the hospital and into hospice. For some time I’d been agonizing over writing a eulogy for my father. The thought of it haunted me every day. I remember our conversation clearly.

“I can’t do it, Chris,” I told him. “I mean, I want to write it now while I can, while I can still think clearly. But if I do, it’ll be like I’ve tipped the scales somehow, like I’ve given up. I’ll never do that to him.”

There was a long pause until my dear friend said simply, “I know you. You’ll know when the time’s right. You’ll figure it out.”

You’ll figure it out.

Life had come full circle. I knew writing my father’s eulogy would be a transcending and sacred moment, but the feeling that I needed to do it at the proper time overwhelmed me. I believed strongly that my psyche would be plugged into the universe, into all powers unseen. I believed that somehow I’d have a hand in dealing his fate.

My father battled out from the hospital not once but twice. He battled out from hospice, for God’s sake. His war became something of myth to me. This beast of a disease – pancreatic cancer – tore at him with teeth and claws, and while my father staggered from his wounds, he never gave an inch. His sword still sliced the air. He suffered so much, yet fought with a will I never knew could exist in any human being.

I shared Father’s Day with him. We went to a restaurant; he sat across from me. By then chemotherapy was no longer viable. His body could not tolerate it. Inner fortitude was now his only medicine. An oxygen tank clanged against the table; my father constantly poked at the tubes in his nose. He didn’t eat much of his pasta. He didn’t eat much of anything. But there was one part of the meal he really enjoyed. I ordered my father an espresso. I made sure to have a double shot of black Sambuca added to it. My mother complained, but I didn’t listen, nor did I care. My dad was going to have his drink come hell or high water.

There was one thing about our lunch that I’ll never forget. It actually happened after I dropped my parents home. My wife commented that my dad’s shoulders had become so thin, so frail. The funny thing was that I never noticed. Not once.

All I saw was how much bigger he’d become in my eyes.

It was my last Father’s Day with him.

Near the end, his body systematically shut down. It started with his hands. The very hands he’d made his living from, the very hands he’d used to help so many people over the course of his life, now betrayed him. He couldn’t hold anything in his grip; cups would slip from his fingers. It was so difficult to watch. He could barely walk on his own. Each breath of air was a battle within itself. My father was admitted into the hospital a third time.

All through my father’s battle with pancreatic cancer, our rally cry had been never drop the ball. I said it to him all the time. I wrote it on his hospital room’s blackboard in bold letters; the nurses knew better than to erase it. I still had my New Orleans Saints jersey hanging in his house. I did everything in my power to let my father know that he wasn’t alone in his fight. I channeled so much of my own positive energy into him. But there was one odd thing: my father never spoke our rally cry. I was the one always telling him never drop the ball. He simply listened.

It was a Saturday, and I arrived at the hospital as usual. About a week before, my father lost his ability to speak. He said some words, but they were incoherent ramblings. He often stared at a distant point on the wall. I made my way to his room, but this time, something was different. Horribly different. As I walked the hallway, I heard someone crying out in pain. I lost all sense of time; reality blurred. Oh God oh God oh God, my mind raced, please, don’t let that be him. But I already knew.

I entered the room to find my father moaning in anguish. His hands clawed the sheets. My blood froze.

Then a miracle occurred.

My father saw me, pulled himself from the bed, clutched my arm and said, “I’m giving you the ball now. You run with it.”

It seemed a scene scripted for a movie and even then, I might have had trouble believing it. I’m sure most people would as well. But it did happen.

They were the last full sentences he would speak to me.

My father never dropped the ball. He never dropped the ball. In his mind, he was running for that touchdown. Somehow, even in the end, my father had the strength and awareness to hand me the ball.

He scored. He found a way.

He figured it out.

And I realized all at once he had passed me the torch…

I then prayed to the Lord to take my father. He had nothing left to prove; the man was a champion’s champion. But I still had one thing left to do. I recalled my dear friend’s words and four days later, in the dying light of dusk and summer, I wrote my father’s eulogy.

When I finished, I honored him with a shot of his favorite drink, Johnnie Walker Black. Then for the first time since he’d been diagnosed with pancreatic cancer, I sobbed.

I woke the next morning, Thursday June 28, 2007, and laid in bed for nearly an hour. I visualized my father in my mind’s eye. He was there, vivid, young. Whole. Healthy. As I’ve always known my father. As he will always be. He was walking the beach, gazing across the sea he so dearly loved. The sunshine was brilliant. My father was smiling. Yes, he’d scored that touchdown. And I know with every fiber of my being that I had made a connection with him that morning – I plugged into the universe as I knew I would – for not long thereafter, I received a call from the hospital that my father had passed.

I did not witness his death. On the contrary, I witnessed the miracle of his rebirth. For though his body faltered, his soul grew larger and larger.

I buried my father in my New Orleans Saints jersey. The very one I hung proudly in his house. My mother said in disbelief, “But he’s a Giants fan.”

I shook my head. “Yes, but he’s my Saint now.”

He filled that jersey like I never could. Talk about plugging into the universe: the Giants won the Super Bowl the year my father passed on. The following off-season, the Giants traded one of his favorite players, Jeremy Shockey, to the Saints. And as I’ve always held steadfast to my faith, the Saints won the Super Bowl the very next year. I flew to New Orleans to watch the game that weekend, proudly wearing a new authentic team jersey. As I celebrated our miracle championship amidst thousands of fellow Saints fans, I could feel my father watching me – and I knew he didn’t mind wearing my Saints jersey at all.

But what of my father’s identity, you may be wondering. What of the notion I believed he led some kind of superhero double life? Did I indeed ever learn the truth? I’d like to share with you my answer from a passage straight from my father’s eulogy:

“And so it came to my suspicions. After thirty-six years, I had to learn the truth. Two days after my father had given me the ball, I spent the morning in his room. I waited for the nurses to leave. I drew the curtain closed. And then, using the inner voice I always had, I looked under his bed…

There lay a dusty pair of boots. Across them, neatly folded, pitted with welding burn holes, a red cape. I took them gently from under the bed, and the sweet comforting smell of grease and diesel fuel and long, backbreaking hours of labor filled my nose. I hugged them close, leaned and kissed my father upon the head. Carefully, I placed them in a bag and hid them where not even my wife could find them. And they’ll stay hidden, until I have my own children, until I’m man enough to fill those boots and cape, until my kids know of the superhero their grandpa was, and until Superman can fly again.”

(Part Six: Dusk and Summer soon to come)

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Part 4: Lazarus

Part 3: Faith and Windows

Part 2: Phone Booths and Four Words

Part 1: Renovations; Shaken Foundations

November 1 – Purple Hope and Saints