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

Just Not Here

I mentioned in last week’s post that the idea behind my short story LUNCH came from a poem I had written back in December 2012. For curiosity’s sake, here it is:

JUST NOT HERE

On this darkened night I hold you
Arms empty. Your memory my solitary light
Wind raps at pane, sneaks under door
The only thing ever to cross this threshold again
Sandwich on counter grows old with mold
Milk sour. Spoiled.
None of it matters; this candle flickers
And ghosts, they creep along the floor
Sounding so much the way your footfalls once did
When you’d kiss my cheek standing in the hall.
I’d walk somewhere if it wasn’t raining so hard
These clothes already stuck to skin
The weight of everything
The wait for anything…
I’ll sit here then
Because somewhere, you are there
Somewhere. Just not here.
On this darkened night I hold you
Somewhere. Just not here.

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

LUNCH in Midnight Echo Issue 10

My short story LUNCH has been published in Australia’s horror magazine Midnight Echo, Issue 10, edited by Craig Bezant.   It’s their ‘ghost’ issue – a must read for fans of things that go bump in the night – and more than 100 pages of ghoulish fun for all!

LUNCH was conjured from a poem I had written back in December 2012 titled ‘Just Not Here,’ a reflection on someone who has tragically suffered the loss of a child, as well a house that will never again be a home.

Authors also contributing to Issue 10 include Gary A, Braunbeck, Martin Livings, A.J. Brown, Richard Farren Barber, Robert Mammone, Alan Baxter, Jacob Lambert, Rebecca Fung and Greg Chapman.

Take a read, won’t you?  Click here for a Kindle copy!

Midnight Echo, Issue 10

Print copies soon to come…

Midnight_Echo_Issue_10

Midnight Echo, the official magazine of the Australian Horror Writers Association

‘LULLABY’ on Pen of the Damned

A belated happy 2014!  I certainly hope this new year will be healthy and positive for you all!

I’ve never been one for resolutions because a particular day on the calendar dictates I should do so.  I believe that every day is a resolution; every moment.  Trust me, it’s a difficult way to think.  There’s so much in our lives to get caught up in.  But January 1st shouldn’t be the only time to change our way of thinking, the manner in which we treat people, or the long awaited pursuit of one’s dream.  Like I said, try to create a resolution every day.  Big or small – do it, be it, live it.  :)

So enough with my chatter!

Pen of the Damned

2013 was a good year for Pen of the Damned.  We’ve created some amazing fiction, and we’ve gained some wonderful and supportive ‘Damnlings.’  That’s why we do it, after all.  When you’re a creative mind – whether it be a writer, musician, photographer, what have you – your art form needs to be expressed and shared.  A creative mind will starve if kept bottled up.  So at least where Pen of the Damned has been concerned, it’s been an extremely positive experience.  And we believe it will only get better in 2014.  We have some great things planned, so stay tuned!

Following with what I have done in past posts here on my blog (and something I am dreadfully behind on), I’d like to introduce (or reintroduce) you to ‘LULLABY‘ which originally appeared on Pen of the Damned back in October 2013.

It was such a fun story to write.  What I loved most of all was that as it evolved from my head, I realized that ‘LULLABY’ could be and should be part of something much larger.  It’s the tale of a woman who finds herself captive in the middle of the woods along with a group of younger girls.  Who…or what…is behind this?  Hmm, good question.  Don’t you appreciate monster stories that just simply ‘are,’ without all the endless, cloying explanation?  I certainly do, and I think that’s why “LULLABY‘ is so appealing.

Take a read (or a reread) won’t you?  ‘LULLABY,’ only on Pen of the Damned.

‘Oats’ on Pen of the Damned

Since 1992, I’ve kept a notebook collection of story ideas and have been faithful in adding to my potpourri of twisted thoughts ever since.

Oats‘ originated as an unnamed, loose story about a child who loses a tooth, and her evil father who won’t allow her to keep it. I’m pleased that my voice has evolved enough to warrant a re-visitation of that entry from all those years ago.

‘Oats’ was first published in The Sirens Call eZine Issue #8 – Men in Horror and most recently on Pen of the Damned.

If you’ve missed it, please indulge in some ‘OATS.’

I’m also happy to announce the winners of my ‘Horror-tica‘ giveaway!  They are: Madison Woods, Malina Roos and Sue Ann Rakes.  Congrats to all!  Please enjoy the anthology :)

‘Horror-tica’ giveaway

Who doesn’t love horror?  Who doesn’t love sex?  I see that smile across your face, so maybe you have the same thing on your mind as I did when I wrote ‘Plastic.’

Plastic‘ originally appeared in the Masters of Horror: Damned If You Don’t anthology back in 2010.  It was a story I wrote just for the hell of it earlier that year; a deranged little tale about a man and his love for his sex doll.  I was happy to find a publisher that enjoyed my warped mind.  Three years later, I’m lucky enough that Kevin G. Burton of Cruentus Libri Press has similarly succumbed to my brand of twistedness.  ‘Plastic‘ is now featured in the anthology Horror-tica.

To celebrate, I’m giving away three (3) Kindle copies of Horror-tica to anyone leaving a comment on this blog post.  It’s that easy!  (winners picked at random, names will be drawn from my lucky New Orleans Saints hat).

Here’s an excerpt from ‘Plastic’ to get you wet – your interest, that is ;)

…He unbuttoned his shirt.  He was a bit clumsy.  He tried not to look as he did so, but fumbled at the buttons.  Nervous sweat dampened his pits.  He only wanted to be as sexy as those Chippendales, but the damn buttons.  He glanced at Bunny.  Oh yeah, her back arched impatiently.  She was ready.  Uh-huh.  Girlfriend wanted him.  She wouldn’t care if he skipped the rest of his dance.  Damn you, Chippendales.

He ripped the remainder of the buttons from his shirt.  Flipped his shoes off, yanked the belt from around his waist as if his life depended on it, tore at the button of his pants and…  The belt dangled from his hand; for a moment, he contemplated.  It’d been awhile since he last drew it tightly around his neck.  But tonight wouldn’t be a night to satisfy fetishes.  Tonight would be a night to appease carnal desire.  He flung the belt aside and removed his pants and boxers…

Horror-tica

Can’t wait for the giveaway and want to pick up a copy of your own? You can find here it on Amazon

‘Hierarchy’ giveaway

When I came across the call for Sirens Call Publications’ ‘Mental Ward: Stories from the Asylumanthology, I eagerly jumped on it.  How could I not spin a tale about what goes on behind the walls of madness?

One thing I have learned about my own writing is that anything I may have planned might as well be tossed out the window.  My stories take a life all of their own and often lead to a narration arc outside the box.  It makes finding a home for them a study in supreme patience, but in the grand scheme of things, that is a good problem to have.  

As I prepared my contribution to ‘Mental Ward: Stories from the Asylum,’ one clear thought in my head emerged: my tale would revolve around an elderly patient named Gloria who had been trapped within an institution for longer than anyone could remember.  Wouldn’t you know it, by the time I hit my stride in only the second paragraph, my brain sprinted off in a completely different direction.

I have to be honest, aside from my initial thoughts about a character named Gloria, I had no inspiration behind what would become my story Hierarchy.’  And that is the complete thrill as a writer — it is like stepping off a ledge to nowhere, only strangely enough, you are completely cognizant that you are heading somewhere

Unfortunately, I cannot reveal the slightest bit about ‘Hierarchy,’ other than to say it was a complete joy to step off that shadowy ledge while writing it.  Divulging anything further would ruin your journey through what ultimately became my spiraling madness.  It is narrated outside the box (would you expect anything less from me?), and I have extreme confidence when I say that you, faithful reader, shall be thrilled to jump off the ledge alongside me while reading. 

I am happy to report that I was not committed upon completion of my tale.

I hope you enjoy my storyHierarchy,’ as well as the other fine stories contained within the walls of Mental Ward: Stories from the Asylum.’  A small excerpt is below.

GIVEAWAY TIME!!  Simply leave a comment on this post & be eligible to WIN a free Kindle version of ‘Mental Ward: Stories from the Asylum.’  Three (3) lucky winners will be chosen at random (the old name in a hat trick lol).


Mental Ward: Stories from the Asylum

MW_Final_Front_Cover_V2

Sanatorium, mental ward, psychiatric hospital – they’re all the same. Places where the infirm, the crazy, and the certifiable go for treatment… Or what passes for ‘treatment’.

This is a collection of stories of bedlam taking place within the padded walls of an institution. Stories of experiments gone wrong, patients revolting against the staff, or even the deranged doings of those charged with giving care. They are sick, depraved, and atrocious – the type of stories that rarely reach the light of day.

Are you brave enough to crawl inside the minds of the thirteen authors who wrote these tales… Or are you afraid you’ll be locked up for peeking?

Featuring the talents of:
Delphine Boswell, Alex Chase, Sean Conway, Megan Dorei, A.A. Garrison, Tom Howard, Russell Linton, Suzie Lockhart and Bruce Lockhart 2nd, Jennifer Loring, Sergio Palumbo, Joseph A. Pinto, and D.M. Smith

Purchase Links:
Amazon: US, CA, UK, DE, FR, IT, ES, BR, JP, IN
CreateSpace   Smashwords


Here is a small taste of ‘Hierarchy’. I hope you enjoy reading it.

I have learned a great deal in my time trapped here. If only the others could say the same…

If only these walls could speak.

But Gloria does. Incessantly. And has not stopped since first admitted to this ward. Ward. I cannot help but snicker at my Freudian slip. The word, cold and unforgiving in its own right, nonetheless suggests the tiniest sliver of hope when spoken in my mind. But cold and unforgiving would be a welcome reprieve for the hell these husks of wasting flesh find themselves trapped within; nothing more than common livestock to be herded, slowly quartered. I will recognize it for what it truly is, then—an asylum, alive of its own accord, its sickened heart bloated with the poison coursing through this decrepit place.

Since first wheeled on the gurney through these doors, Gloria has not shut up.

Chattering to invisible entities —friends, family, perhaps? Always, no one is there; of this, I am quite sure. No soul, living or dead, aspires to linger within this rotted canyon of the lost. Gloria does not truly speak, however; she mouths unintelligible, disconnected exhalations that one would assume are sentences. In truth, they are nothing more than neurotic blatherings. I am sure Gloria did not ask for this. No sane person would. Still, she finds herself here, like so many of the others, the corners of her lips moist with drool, soiled rag of what passes as a nightgown hanging about her emaciated body. Aside from the haunts in her mind, she remains alone. Still, I possess no pity for her.

Not for any of them.

Today, Gloria sits before a crooked wooden desk, a tepid bowl of tomato soup atop its warped surface. She shoves a rusted spoon and a single piece of moldy white bread to the side. Into the coagulating surface of the soup she dips her hand, and then proceeds to greedily suck upon her slickened fingers. The sound simply unbearable, is still a welcome reprieve from her babbling. She slurps each finger down to the knuckle until the bowl is half consumed. Face and gown now a pink slathered mess, she slumps forward.

Then she talks to the walls.

She rambles, a mad incantation of mangled syllables, every so often chortling over her stream of nonsense. Every so often she nods, some sense of approval discovered within the conversation polluting her brain. Today, however, something is different. I have listened to her ravings with as much patience as one could expect, tirelessly enduring as the sun rises and falls beyond the bars of her grime-stained window. Now her endless torrent of gibberish ceases. Now something coherent comes forth from her lips. “I… hear…”

Anxiously I await more, but her focus shifts from the shadows of nether that only her cloudy eyes seem to pinpoint to the orderly that shuffles through the doorway.

A puzzled look upon his greasy face slowly fades as he scans her room for the sound. He has little to check over—sparse, generic furniture squats upon the squalid floors. Characterless, colorless. Lifeless, like so much here. He blows a disgusted sigh from his pudgy cheeks. “You’re a mess.”

Gloria reaches for her white bread. Nibbles disinterestedly on a broken corner of crust…

© Copyright 2013 Joseph A. Pinto. All Rights Reserved.