By Gary Kriss
When the day finally comes that the pen slips forever from his hand, Jeffrey J. Mariotte says he wants only one thing on his tombstone.
Even then it’s not a sure thing that any will gather on Mariotte, a fifty-seven year old Arizona-based writer, who keeps rolling out dynamite thrillers along with other forms of fiction. This month sees the release of his forty-sixth novel SEASON OF THE WOLF (DarkFuse ). Yeap, pilgrim, you read that correctly—forty-six. But wait, it gets better. SEASON OF THE WOLF is also his fiftieth book, provided you don’t count comic books and graphic novels. His short stories and contributions to nonfiction books such as ITW’s THRILLERS: 100 MUST READS? Don’t even go there!
The real battle for Seattle continues in the sequel to Timothy W. Long’s best selling novel AMONG THE LIVING. AMONG THE DEAD finds the surviving characters from the first volume joining the military to take on the phenomenon known as the deaders.
Seattle is under siege by masses of living dead, and the military struggles to prevent the virus from spreading outside the city.
Kate is tired of sitting around. When she learns that a rescue mission is heading back into the chaos, she jumps at the chance to tag along and put her unique skill set and, more importantly, swords to use.
Lester finds a new way to deal with the situation: ignore reality with drugs. When he manages to find himself threatened, he joins with an unlikely ally to take the fight to the dead.
Meanwhile, Mike makes use of his journalistic skills to find the source of the virus, in the process discovering a way to escape the city. Two mysterious words fuel his mad quest: Lazarus Black.
By J.H. Bográn
In the upcoming novel from Toby Tate, LILITH, something has come aboard the U.S. Navy’s newest state-of-the-art super carrier, the USS Gerald Ford, something supernatural and as ancient as time itself. And it’s taking over the crew one by one.
Reporter Hunter Singleton and his wife Lisa, guests invited aboard to witness a routine training mission off the coast of North Carolina, soon learn that the CIA is on board as well, and that some of the ship’s crew are acting irrationally, even violently. When an unexpected monster hurricane slams New York, the ship rushes to assist in the aftermath, and Hunter, Lisa and the crew are faced with the terrifying realization that whatever has come aboard the Ford must be stopped before it is set free on the streets of Manhattan. The clock is ticking…and Time itself is running out.
By Don Helin
In his novel, THE BURNING TIME, JG Faherty delivers a novel so thrilling that Brett J. Talley, author of the Bram Stoker Award nominated THAT WHICH SHOULD NOT BE says, “JG Faherty has delivered a fantastic novel that will delight fans of dark fiction. Horror drips from every page, and his mastery of folklore and the Cthulhu mythos adds an air of reality to THE BURNING TIME that’s impossible to ignore. I highly recommend it.”
Wherever The Stranger goes, evil follows. Wild dogs roam the fields. Townspeople turn on each other in murderous fury. Innocent women throw themselves off bridges. Swimmers disappear, victims of a deadly beast that haunts their waters. And the worst is yet to come. The Stranger plans to open a gateway to the nether realms and release the Elder Gods to bring forth Chaos on Earth.
Only one man knows the truth, a country mage whose family has fought The Stranger before. But can he defeat his ageless enemy before Hastings Mills is nothing but a smoking ruin and the townspeople become unwilling blood sacrifices to the Old Ones? With only the help of a young woman and her teenage son, he will have to use all of his arcane knowledge to thwart his adversary and prevent the final apocalypse. In Hastings Mills, THE BURNING TIME has arrived.
By Ian Walkley
If you’ve sworn never to read a zombie novel, then Derek Goodman’s second novel might be the time to re-consider. Derek takes a new perspective on the zombie apocalypse, adding a humanity and complexity that sets it apart from other stories in the genre.
The main character, Edward Schuett, has just woken up in an abandoned department store to discover that the zombie uprising has come and gone, and he has been a zombie the entire time. Except something is different, because Edward is becoming human again. And that might not be something the rest of the world is ready to deal with.
Rhiannon Frater, author of THE FIRST DAYS: AS THE WORLD DIES, says the book “Delivers a unique take on the genre and is one of the best zombie novels I’ve had the pleasure of reading. It’s now one of my absolute favorites.”
Derek, you mentioned on your blog that you loved reading speculative fiction, sci-fi and horror. Which authors do you feel in these genres have inspired you?
Stephen King was my biggest influence. I always read voraciously as a kid, but it wasn’t until I discovered him that it ever occurred to me that I might want to write as well. The other person that had a profound influence on me was Joss Whedon. He has a way of blending big action with little character moments, and that’s something I’ve tried to achieve ever since.
Four centuries ago witch hunters killed the seven Yardley sisters.
Now Department 18 must battle…the eighth witch!
Four hundred years ago six of the seven Yardley sisters—all witches—were hunted down and killed. The seventh lived long enough to give birth to a daughter. Now, centuries later, that daughter has resurfaced in the town of Ravensbridge, more powerful than her mother or aunts ever were. She has honed her powers, can change shape at will, and has only one ambition—to bring her family back from the dead to seek vengeance against the descendants of all who slaughtered them. Ravensbridge once lived in fear of the seven Yardley sisters, but they have yet to experience the terror of…the Eighth Witch.
Jenda, Matteo, and Soborgne have escaped to Vajdahunyad Catstle in Budapest in search of a safe hiding place from the Dracul. When Matteo confesses all his secrets, the girls learn their part in an ancient prophecy that foretells the destruction of humanity.
Soborgne disappears with the strange man from her dreams and Jenda is left trying to convince the others of her friend’s innocence. While Soborgne is busy relishing the life of a vampire unrestrained and learning the dark secrets of her own life, Celeste calls together a meeting of the Coven and the Clan–a group of vampires and witches–to prepare for war against the Dracul. Jenda learns the key to finding Soborgne and preventing the prophecy, but it comes at a steep price.
By Basil Sands
Wife and mother of five children Catherine Jordan, author of SEEKING SAMIEL, writes from a background that seems pretty normal, except maybe that, in her writing at least, she is channeling a female anti-Christ named Eva.
Welcome To ITW’s Big Thrill, Catherine.
Tell us about SEEKING SAMIEL:
This novel is about the perils of desire—wanting the wrong things for the wrong reason. Who hasn’t ever been bitten by that little demon? I wanted the story to be a horror/thriller because that’s what I like to read, but I’d found a lot of those stories were either over the top or just not relatable. So my response was to make the story relatable with “desire” and to make it as realistic as possible with a cool twist. Demons, in my belief, are real. My twist was making Eva, the main bad girl, the anti-Christ.
If Eva was going to be the anti-Christ, then I wanted to make her a demon. The only female demon I’d ever heard about was Lilith–Adam’s first wife before Eve. And then I stumbled upon Lamia, a female demon who is half serpent, half human. Eva is both Lilith and Lamia; she is the reincarnated offspring of the first female and the serpent.
By J. H. Bográn
Horror is a subgenre from which I’ve tried to stay away. As a child, I was exposed to some terrifying movies-The Omen, The Exorcist and Prince of Darkness-so when it was time to choose reading as a habit, horror dropped to the bottom of the list. Fast forward a few years and when you become a parent teaching your kid to face their fears; it hits you that you must do the same to avoid being a hypocrite. You know, “do as I say and not as I do” and all that Jazz, right? Therefore, Horror is what I’m reading now, and I turn to The Big Thrill to find new releases, like this one:
Thomas M. Malafarina is the author of some of the most frightening and nightmare inducing horror stories you may ever read. His new book titled FALLEN STONES was published by Sunbury Press, Inc.
The story begins when Stephanie Wright and her family inherit and move into a luxuriously renovated rural Schuylkill County farmette she believes all of her worries are over. But then her husband, Jason stumbles on a small ancient family burial site on the property. He decides to destroy the headstones, keeping the gravesite a secret so not to spoil his wife’s newfound happiness. But sometimes the dead have their own agenda. When Stephanie begins researching her family genealogy she uncovers a terrible family tragedy, the true unholy reason for what they originally perceived as good fortune rears it hideous head.
Travel writer Lea Sutter finds herself on a small island off the coast of South Carolina, the wrong place at the wrong time. A merciless, unanticipated hurricane cuts a path of destruction through the island and Lea barely escapes with her life.
In the storm’s aftermath, she discovers two orphaned boys—twins. Filled with a desire to do something to help, to make something good of all she witnessed, Lea impulsively decides to adopt them. The boys, Samuel and Daniel, seem amiable and immensely grateful; Lea’s family back on Long Island—husband Mark, a child psychologist, and their two children, Ira and Elena—aren’t quite so pleased. But even they can’t anticipate the twins’ true nature—or predict that, within a few weeks’ time, Mark will wind up implicated in two brutal murders, with the police narrowing in.
When a young sound engineer scores a job recording rock icon Billy Moon’s new album at Echo Lake Studios, it looks like a chance to rise above slave wages and build a life with the girl he loves. But Jake Campbel is finding it hard to concentrate, holed up in a haunted church with a paranoid rock star and a producer who just might be the Devil incarnate.
Billy Moon’s claim that he sold his soul to his producer is the kind of thing Jake would ordinarily dismiss as the ravings of a burnt out artist, but when the ghost of a woman hanged for witchcraft reaches out with messages played on the piano, and whispered into a microphone, Jake can’t help but trust his ears. And those messages are beckoning Billy to a black pool in the winter woods.
Jake isn’t ready to believe that producer Trevor Rail is the Devil, but he has a growing suspicion that Rail may be plotting Billy’s death to provoke platinum sales. And if the ghost can’t save Billy, Jake may be the only one who can.
The destinies of a serial killer and a police officer intersect during their search for a missing child. Both run a labyrinthine gamut populated by malevolent, unknown creatures.
William Chandler, former prosecutor, repulsed by his past inaction, seeks to redress it. He spills the blood of child abusers, and then attends the funerals of his own victims in order to come to terms with himself by truly understanding the nature of violence.
By J. H. Bográn
In CRESCENT LAKE, Nick Murphy, a mob informant trying to atone for his crimes – and his role in a tragic accident that killed his wife and daughter – is placed into a witness-relocation program and sent to a small, scenic town believed to be the perfect hideout. But from his first day in Silver Springs, he finds himself in a different kind of life-and-death struggle, one where his past sins have come back to haunt him. He and FBI agent Audrey Harper are quickly caught up in supernatural events and bizarre miracles, and must contend with a town besieged by religious fanaticism – and an enemy that can raise the dead.
And while a ruthless mob assassin closes in on Nick’s location, Reverend Bright plans to expand his dark ministry across the country. Nick and Audrey must overcome their own dredged-up sins, and then rally the few residents that have somehow resisted the Reverend’s influence. They will make a last stand against the whole town; but first, they must confront what rests at the bottom of the nearby lake – the source of the Reverend’s unholy power.
By Jeff Ayers
Scott Randall is a corporate VP on top of the world. To celebrate a massive new deal, he’s going to drive from Detroit to LA. But before he leaves, he makes a bad mistake. He cruelly dismisses a homeless panhandler on the street. Along the road, he swears he sees the panhandler again. Then again. And again. Soon he sees the man—who calls himself the Nightcrawler—even in his dreams. No matter how frantically he tries, Scott can’t escape his relentless pursuer. He thought he was going to LA. But the Nightcrawler has a very different destination in mind.
It began with a cow that just wouldn’t die. It would become an epidemic that transformed Britain’s livestock into sneezing, slavering, flesh-craving four-legged zombies.
And if that wasn’t bad enough, the fate of the nation seems to rest on the shoulders of three unlikely heroes: an abattoir worker whose love life is non-existent thanks to the stench of death that clings to him, a teenage vegan with eczema and a weird crush on his maths teacher, and an inept journalist who wouldn’t recognise a scoop if she tripped over one.
As the nation descends into chaos, can they pool their resources, unlock a cure, and save the world?
Three losers. Overwhelming odds. One outcome . . .
Yup, we’re screwed.
In the deepest reaches of space, on a ship that no longer exists, six travelers stare into the abyss…and the abyss stares back.
Brett J. Talley thrills us with more. “Man has finally mastered the art of space travel and in a few hours, passengers can travel light years across the galaxy. But there’s a catch—they must sleep during the journey, and with sleep come the dreams. Only the sleepers know what their dreams entail, for each is tailored to his own mind, built from his fears, his secrets, his past…and sometimes his future. On board, they’re forced to face secrets they’ve buried deep beneath the surface, while discovering a dark truth that could change everything they know about their world. Fundamentally, the novel is all about the unknown—the unknown of space and what lurks in the shadows.
IF GOD DOESN’T SHOW is an apocalyptic novel about a group of survivors who must stop the destruction of all mankind. Thaddeus Archer, an ex-police officer, whose missing daughter holds the key to the mysterious force that threatens to lay waste to our world. It’s a race against time for the broken and desperate and Archer must trust the only man who understands what’s happening, Gibson Blount, an agent of a secret government agency that doesn’t officially exist.
Both men must overcome their differences and personal demons in a world besieged by the re-animated dead, natural disasters, and Cthulhu.
By Don Helin
In Sutton, Vermont, in 1843 a coven was formed devoted to Satan. The cabal of devil worshipers was recruited by Satan’s ever loyal servant, the purely evil Moloch. One coven member broke rank. She and her family were soon slaughtered by fellow coven members out of revenge for frustrating their promise to Satan and his covenant of promised unimaginable rewards.
Somehow an infant child survived. This child was hunted relentlessly by the other members without success. Now the descendants of that first coven, several generations later, are closing in on the last descendant of the infant that had escaped that fateful night. The fulfillment of the Evil Agreement is getting, oh so very close! And then the unimaginable happens!
By Basil Sands
The Frenzy War is the second novel in Gregory Lamberson’s werewolf series “The Frenzy Cycle,” which began with The Frenzy Way. Two years have passed since Captain Tony Mace stopped Janus Farrel, the rogue Wolf who stalked Manhattan. Mace has preserved the secret existence of the peaceful Wolf shadow species, but now a team of assassins descended from the Spanish Inquisition have come to NYC to exterminate the Wolves. The FBI and NYPD form an elite task force to prevent a city wide panic, and Mace is appointed the leader. Multiple factions engage in a secret war that threatens to ignite genocide, and Mace’s reporter wife is hot on the story.
“… creative and explosive …” William H McDonald, the lead reviewer and founder of the Military Writers Society of America about Jeffrey Wilson, the cross genre genius and its likely future high priest — storyteller, mystic and healer. Wilson has released his latest THE DONORS on the heels of his successful first novel, THE TRAITEUR’S RING. THE DONORS combines a supernatural horror story with a medical thriller backdrop.
Little Nathan and his doctor heroically fight the power of the evil force that stalks the hospital corridors. Their eyes glowing, pale faced and demonic looking men harvest skin and organs from the awake and unwilling patients. In his dreams, Nathan can see the true form of these demons feeding on the fear and hatred they create in their victims. Hospitalised for injuries at the hands of his mother’s boyfriend, Nathan and the young doctor who cares for him share a legacy of abuse, and the ability to see these creatures for what they are. They must find a way to destroy the demons before they become too powerful and it is too late for their loved ones.
By Don Helin
In DIABLO III – THE ORDER, Deckard Cain is the last of the Horadrim, the sole surviving member of a mysterious and legendary order. Assembled by the archangel Tyrael, the Horadrim were charged with the sacred duty of vanquishing the three Prime Evils: Diablo (the Lord of Terror), Mephisto (the Lord of Hatred), and Baal (the Lord of Destruction). As the decades passed, the Horadrim’s strength diminished. Now all of their collected history, tactics, and wisdom lie within the aged hands of one man, a man who is growing concerned.
Dark whisperings fill the air, tales of ancient evil stirring. Amid the mounting dread, Deckard Cain uncovers startling new information that could bring about the salvation—or ruin—of the mortal world: other remnants of the Horadrim still exist. He must know why they are hiding from their own.
By Gary Kriss
Hey—come here for a minute. This is gonna be a little personal, but don’t be embarrassed: we’ve all been there. You’re sitting next to a stranger and desperately searching for a smidgen of small talk, a few right words to break the ice. Well search no more, Pilgrim—the cavalry has arrived! The next time you find yourself in this awkward situation, lean over slightly, establish eye contact, smile and—man, is this great!—casually say, “do you know it takes the same amount of force to rip off a human ear as it does to tear through 12 sheets of regular bond paper?”
Is the ice broken? Hell, it’s shattered! Obliterated! And you’ve got author William Todd Rose to thank for being generous enough to share this insight about what he’s learned from writing. Oh, he’s learned a couple of other things as well, including that there’s an enthusiastic readership for his distinctive—all right, offbeat—approach to thrillers. That group, which includes devotees of Zombie Lit who claim Rose as one of their own, will undoubtedly grow with this month’s release of THE SEVEN HABITS OF HIGHLY INFECTIVE PEOPLE (Permuted Press).
After Camilla is murdered, an ancient spirit possesses her, to use her body as its tool of vengeance. Tortured by visions of murdered women, she is thrust into a world of terror as she seeks a way to rid herself of the nightmare she has become.
Her dead flesh hungers however for a substance that only exists on the breaths of criminals. Their tortured souls fill her, complete her, injecting her with more energy than she ever possessed while living.
By J. N. Duncan
I’d like to welcome multi-published David Salkin, author of FOREVER HUNGER, his latest release, filled with thrills, chills, and romance. A graduate of RutgersUniversity, David is involved in the politics of his NJ town, and an avid scuba diver. A lifelong writer, David has written in many genres, and as you will see, believes no story should be confined within such rigid boundaries. So, without further ado, let’s get to those questions!
By Dana Granger
Fans of dark, thrilling horror tales are in for a treat this December. That’s the release date of Brett Talley’s THAT WHICH SHOULD NOT BE. Set in the universe created by H.P. Lovecraft, THAT WHICH SHOULD NOT Be is the story of Carter Weston, a student of history and folklore at Miskatonic University. Carter is chosen by his professor and mentor, Dr. Atley Thayerson, to recover an important artifact—a once lost book of arcane lore, the Incendium Maleficarum. As Carter departs for the village of Anchorhead, a nor’easter descends upon the Massachusetts countryside, and he is forced to seek shelter in a seaside tavern. Inside, he meets four curious men. Each one has his own story to tell, and each is stalked by the same dark forces, forces that lurk in dreams and the black void just beyond man’s imagining. As these tales unfold, it becomes clear that the tie that binds them all is the very tome which he seeks, and that Carter, the student who started the night as a skeptic, may be the only hope for mankind.
If your taste in fiction runs toward the dark side, Anne Petty’s SHAMAN’S BLOOD delivers. It begins when a hungry demon steps into an Australian conjure-man’s ritual circle deep in a Queensland cave in 1880, and the results are far-reaching. Stuck like a wasp to flypaper, the shape-shifting terror of Dreamtime legend clings to the sorcerer’s unlucky descendants down the centuries. Now, in a modern southern town, Alice Waterston and her daughter Margaret, the last of the bloodline, confront the demon from the Outback shadows. Can Alice figure out how to send the dimension-hopping Quinkan back where it belongs before it makes its final desperate move? Her long-dead father may have left her the means, if she has the nerve to use it!
“This is the way the world ends. Not with a bang…but a bite.”
In NY Times bestseller Jonathan Maberry’s latest thriller, DEAD OF NIGHT, a prison doctor injects a condemned serial killer with a formula designed to keep his consciousness awake while his body rots in the grave. But all drugs have unforeseen side-effects. Before he can be buried, the killer wakes up. Hungry. Infected. Contagious. Small town cop Dez Fox and her partner JT are caught in a wave of murder as everyone they know and love die…only to rise again as the ravenous living dead. If Dez and JT can’t contain the plague inside the town limits, the infection will spread beyond all control.
Jonathan Maberry is a NEW YORK TIMES best-selling and multiple Bram Stoker Award-winning author, magazine feature writer, playwright, content creator and writing teacher/lecturer. His books have been sold to more than twenty countries. He’s also the most prolific author I’ve ever met:
On October 4, 2011, Samhain Publishing will release my novel Wolf’s Edge. It’s the fourth book to feature Milwaukee homicide detective Dominic “Nick” Lupo, after the previous novels, Wolf’s Trap, Wolf’s Gambit, and Wolf’s Bluff. The paperback release of Wolf’s Edge is slated for January, 2011.
Since I have a foot in both the thriller and horror camps, it’s understandable that my fourth novel in the series begun with Wolf’s Trap (a Bram Stoker Award nominee in 2004), would continue to tell parallel past and present stories about Detective Lupo. Now, it’s not a leap for you to know that Nick Lupo is also a werewolf, often trying like mad to make his lycanthropy pay off in his police work – and often failing miserably. Wolf’s Trap told the stories, alternately, of Nick’s infection and, in the present, of Nick’s epic struggle against a revenge-driven serial killer who knew his dark, unbelievable secret. I tried very hard to keep the werewolf parts credible and logical, and to be true to the sort of noir-thriller aesthetic I longed to practice. The novel was well-received enough that the publisher asked for more. How often does that happen? (Samhain will re-release Wolf’s Trap in March 2011.)
by Virna DePaul
Someone is trying to open a portal to Hell, and some others will do anything to stop it.
Or so they say.
Jake Hatcher, lying low in Southern California, isn’t all that surprised when he’s asked to jump back into the battle between salvation and damnation and stop those bent on raising the forces of darkness—it’s just why and by whom that’s unnerving. Especially when it’s put to him as an offer he can’t refuse.
A former nun named Vivian Fall believes that a Hellion has escaped the infernal regions and returned to earth on an unholy mission—to unleash the forces of damnation on an unsuspecting world. Only Hatcher has the experience to track such a being. Only Hatcher has dealt with those who likely to know what what’s really going on. And only Hatcher can get close enough to it—because the Hellion happens to be his own brother.
After the death of his wife, Bruce Holden moves to the quaint coastal fishing village of Mulberry with his son, Jack. He is hoping for a fresh start, but the locals greet their arrival with mixed reactions, from friendliness to open hostility. Bruce puts it down to them being outsiders, but when a tourist is killed while swimming, the real horror is unleashed. There’s something ravenous in the sea. Something that’s coming ashore in search of prey. Now Bruce and Jack find themselves embroiled in a nightmare where humankind is no longer at the top of the food chain.