"Welcome to Count Gore De Vol's Tomb of Dark Delights. I'm J. L. Comeau, horror writer and resident Tomb Keeper. I have been charged with the daunting task of sorting and cataloging the Count's vast library of horror, science fiction and fantasy. Take a torch from the wall and follow me down the stone stairway into the darkness deep beneath the Dungeon. It's cold and damp down here--perfect for the kind of reading we're going to do. Never mind the shambling figures in the shadows, they're probably just some friends of ours looking for a good book. If you click on the cover, you'll be taken to a wonderful place where you can buy the book.
Now, let's reach into the musty stacks and see what we can find..."
(Clicking on the covers gives you more information and prices from Amazon.com and other outlets.)
Secret societies have been with us since recorded history, powerful
people who run the world by pulling invisible (to us) strings. What a great
set-up for disquieting dark fantasy! Let’s get some!
BLOOD INFERNAL by James Rollins and Rebecca Cantrell
Bestselling thriller authors James Rollins and Rebecca Cantrell join forces to create a world of thrilling dark fantasy and horror in this, the third installment of The Order of the Sanguines series that began with BLOOD GOSPEL and continued with INNOCENT BLOOD. Reminiscent of 1970s blockbuster horror thrillers, this series follows events that begin with the discovery of a book written in by Christ in his own blood, The Blood Gospel. The search for this book uncovers the existence of an immortal secret society, The Order of the Sanguines, who are charged with keeping the demons of hell at bay. The Sanguines are on a quest to find a child that might be an earthbound angel who is their last hope in fighting the newly crowned king of Hell named Legion, a demon who strides the earth wearing many guises. An all-out battle between good and evil is about to begin. Readers who enjoy religion-based horror such as THE EXORCIST will enjoy this action packed angel vs. devil throwdown. Get yourself a giant bag of Cheetos and kick back with this fast-paced and fun series.
BROTHERHOOD OF THE WHEEL by R. S. Belcher
Breaker, breaker, you got your ears on? That’s a big 10-20, good buddy! The author of the gritty Old West dark fantasy Golgotha series considers truckers and for-hire drivers as a secret society unto itself. Knights (or rogues) of the asphalt whose loose affiliation is something supernatural in nature, a society that has thriving invisibly for millennia. Jimmie Aussapile is a long-haul trucker who plies his 18-wheeler across the dark byways of the United States, loading up and loading out, living his life on the road. His contacts are distant voices in the night heard via CB radio, and his life is that of a vagabond. And the connecting roads are connecting worlds well-traveled by the Brotherhood, of which Jimmie is a high-ranking member by family lineage, and there are nightmare highway predators that the Brotherhood is sworn to exterminate. The road is kicking up a storm of death, with children gone missing and truck stop prostitutes found mutilated. Jimmy hauls into Louisiana, a major trucking hub, where he meets State Police investigator Lovina Hewett, who doesn’t understand yet that supernatural forces killed her sister, but she is doggedly on the trail of the missing children that will lead her to the realization. There is a nexus of horror in a small town called Four Houses, and she, Jimmie, the brewing evil, and the Brotherhood are all on a collision course that will sort things out, once and for all. Gritty dark urban fantasy doesn’t get much better than this. Enjoy!
Humans have been writing tales of terror since writing was
invented, and this week, TombRats, we’re going to take a chilling look at
historical horror, past to present.
DISAPPEARANCE AT DEVIL’S ROCK by Paul Tremblay
Coming off the huge triumph of his novel A HEADFUL OF GHOSTS (a book Stephen King himself said scared the hell out him) Mr. Tremblay’s newest novel, DISAPPEARANCE AT DEVIL’S ROCK is a most worthy successor. This is a masterfully crafted combination of psychological and supernatural horror in which the mother of a teenage boy receives the ultimate parents’ nightmare news that her son has disappeared. Thirteen-year-old Tommy Sanderson just vanished without a clue from a local woodland park, and it seems that the boys who were with Tommy that night might not be telling the truth about what happened that night. Tommy’s mother Elizabeth and her young daughter Kate struggle to live through the nightmare but things just keep getting worse, with Kate seeing ghostly images of her son materializing in her bedroom, and finding pages torn from Tommy’s journal that appear randomly, journal pages that reveal Tommy’s hidden obsession with his late father’s death in a drunk-driving accident and, even more concerning, Tommy’s interest in the occult, in particular a local folktale concerning a monster lurking in the park from which he disappeared. With insidious escalating tension, the novel builds to ever greater realizations about what really happened to Tommy, and the truth is absolutely horrific.
MONSTER VERSE: POEMS HUMAN AND INHUMAN edited by Tony Barnstone and Michelle Mitchell-Foust
It seems that we homo sapiens have forever been preoccupied with things that go bump in the night, and this collection of poems about the things that scare us is a definitive look at horror in poetry written throughout recorded history. This beautifully crafted little hardback book (4 ˝” by 6 ˝”) is a perfect take-along volume, fitting into pocket, backpack, or purse. A lush ribbon bookmark keeps the reader’s place and the creamy pages are a joy to read. Modern horror and dark fantasy authors Neil Gaiman and Stephen King open the volume with chilling little poems about the end of the world and the boogeyman, followed by poets new and old. Separated into sections entitled Aliens and Human Monsters/Witches, Wizards, Magicians, and Faerie Creatures/Bestiary, each of these poems is dark and entrancing. Some poets you are sure to recognize, such as J.R.R. Tolkien, William Shakespeare, Robert Lowell, Edgar Allan Poe Jorge Louis Borges, and Ted Hughes to name a few, who are joined by lesser known (to me, anyway) poets all writing about the scary things that lurk in the darkness just beyond our virtual campfires. Even the anonymous poet who penned Beowulf’s battle with the monstrous Grendel is included, as is the beloved Dr. Seuss. This is an unnerving journey though the history of odd and scary monsters, from Ovid to Homer to Lewis Carroll to Robert Frost and onward, all captured between the covers of this delightful little volume of poems about strange and dreadful creatures.
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About the Tomb Keeper (Or, who is this person of mystery)
J. L. (Judy) Comeau is an award winning short story writer whose work has appeared internationally in major horror and dark fantasy anthologies such as the Borderlands series, Best New Horror, The Years' Best Horror, the Hot Blood series, and the Dark Voices series in the UK. She is an active member of the Horror Writer's Association, and she lives in the Washington, DC area where she also teaches short story writing. Click on FIREBIRD to read one of her most anthologized stories.
To learn more about the Horror Writer's Association, just click on their logo!