New Release: ‘Echoes of Darkness’ is Here


Today, Books & Boos Press is proud to release Echoes of Darkness, a short story collection by Rob Smales.

Echoes of Darkness features thirteen tales that span Smales’s writing career thus far, including the first short story he ever sold for publication (“Playmate Wanted,” originally appearing in Dark Moon Digest #5 in 2011) as well as new pieces he wrote specifically for the collection.2016-01-10 16.12.33

Smales is a native of Salem, MA, a town best known for its dark history and witchcraft trials. He is the author of a previous collection, Dead of Winter (no longer available in print) and has had over two dozen short stories published in various anthologies and magazines. His works have earned him industry recognition since he began his writing career in 2010: he is a Pushcart Prize nominee for “Photo Finish,” a story that also won the 2012 Preditors & Editors’ Readers’ Choice Award for Best Horror Short Story. His story “A Night at the Show” received an honorable mention on Ellen Datlow’s list of Best Horror of 2014, and was also nominated as best short story by the eFestival of Words. Both of these stories are featured in the new collection.

Echoes of Darkness is already earning advance praise. “Rob Smales’s prose is seamless and effective, engaging the reader and enticing them in,” stated Bram Stoker Award nominee and author Hal Bodner.

Click here to check out the trailer for Echoes of Darkness.

You can meet Smales at the Books & Boos Press table at Queen City Kamikaze on March 12 and at the Author’s Night by the Sea event on March 18.

Echoes of Darkness is available on Amazon, Barnes & Noble, and through book distributors Ingram and Baker & Taylor. Click here to purchase Echoes of Darkness.

‘Insanity Tales II’ Cover Revealed by Books and Boos Press


Books & Boos Press has debuted the cover for Insanity Tales II: The Sense of Fear. The cover plays off of the eye theme from the original Insanity Tales anthology cover. Both covers were created by artist Melinda Phillips.

Insanity Tales II: The Sense of Fear will debut in early October. According to Stacey Harris, co-owner of Books & Boos Press, she hopes to have copies of the new anthology to join the first one at their table at Rock & Shock. Two of the authors, Stacey Longo and Rob Smales, will be on hand during the convention to sign copies.

The collection features eleven stories from six of New England’s finest storytellers. David Daniel, Stacey Longo, Dale T. Phillips, Rob Smales, and Ursula Wong each have two short stories in the book; Vlad V. contributed a novella. Multiple Bram Stoker winner Joe McKinney (Crooked HousePlague of the Undead) wrote the foreword.

The book is a themed anthology: each author based their stories on different senses, going beyond the traditional (sight, smell, hearing, touch, and taste) to elements such as a sense of doom, of powerlessness to control the future, and a sense of false hope.

The anthology is the second installment from Books & Boos Press. Insanity Tales debuted in October 2014.

‘Where Spiders Fear To Spin’ is Now Available from Books & Boos Press


Books & Boos Press is proud to announce the release of Where Spiders Fear to Spin, the terrifying new novella from Bram Stoker Award® Finalist Peter N. Dudar. Acclaimed artist Morbideus Wolfgang Goodell illustrated the book.

Where Spiders Fear to Spin tells the tale of former soap opera star Sadie Mills, a woman literally haunted by her past whose final days are filled with horror. Her daughter resents taking care of her, her former lovers are dying off one by one, and her dead husband’s vengeful ghost has returned from the dead to drag her to hell.

We’ll be celebrating the release of the book at Anthocon in Portsmouth, New Hampshire (, June 5–7, 2015. Both Dudar and Goodell will be available on Saturday, June 6, at the Books & Boos’ tables to sign copies of the novella.

The book is available in paperback or e-book wherever books are sold. Visit one of these links to buy your copy today!



Barnes & Noble:

Review copies are available upon request. Contact Stacey Harris at

Award-winning Photographer turned Horror Writer

By Jason Harris

F.M. Kearney1

F.M. Kearney, an award-winning photographer, has written his first horror novel, They Only Come out at Night. Today, he’s talking  about his career, New York Subways, and writing his first horror novel.

JH: How long have you been a fine art nature photographer?

FK: I’ve been a fine art nature photographer for about 20 years.

JH: What awards have you won for your photography?

FK: I’ve won numerous awards from various magazine and online photography competitions, ranging from First Place to Honorable Mentions.

JH: In the 80’s, you worked as a photojournalist for various New York City newspapers. What newspapers did you work for? What were you covering for them?

FK: I’ve worked for a number of local papers such as Town & Village, City Limits, The Phoenix, The City Sun and The New York Tribune. I mainly covered news pertaining to the particular neighborhood or borough that the paper serviced, but I also did hard news as well. I’ve done ride-alongs with FDNY and NYPD undercover units. I covered the first bombing of the World Trade Center in 1993. I’ve also photographed many famous people, such as Bill Cosby, Mayor David Dinkins, Fred Lebow (founder of the NYC Marathon) and several sports celebrities in one-on-one sit-down interviews.

F. KearneyJH: What inspired you to write your first book and what was the idea behind it?

FK: I suppose my inspiration was two-fold. The first, and most obvious inspiration, came from my own personal experiences in the subway. As a photojournalist, I rode the subway all over town traveling to and from my assignments. I lived (and still do) in Manhattan, and up to that point, I had never really been to a lot of the stations in the outer boroughs, i.e., The Bronx, Brooklyn and Queens. I was really amazed at the total contrast in environments. You see, when most out-of-towners think of the NYC subway, images of Times Square and Grand Central Station will undoubtedly come to mind. These are huge, bustling hubs filled noisy activity and throngs of commuters almost 24/7. They have come to define what the NYC subway is all about. However, stations like these only account for a tiny percentage of the 463 stations of which the entire system is comprised. The vast majority of stations are nothing like that. In fact, I would even say that they are the polar opposites. Many of the stations in the outer boroughs (and even some in Manhattan) are very quiet, dimly lit and sparsely populated…and that’s in the middle of the day!  I can remember being in certain areas of some stations that were sore mote and so creepy that I felt very uncomfortable and couldn’t wait to get out. Many of these areas have since been sealed off to the public…presumably because of the safety risks they posed. I couldn’t help but think that this would be a perfect location for a horror story. To be honest, I’m actually surprised that Hollywood doesn’t use the NYC subway as a regular setting for horror movies.

My second inspiration came from one of the most unlikely of sources…a disco song. In the 80’s, Peter Brown released a single called, “They Only Come Out at Night.” It’s an upbeat tune about people (referred to as “creatures of the night”)  who like to go out clubbing. The song features the haunting sound of a saxophone — the kind of sound one might hear while walking along a deserted city street at night. Between that, and my experiences in the subway, They Only Come Out at Night (the book) was born.
JH: What drew you to writing in the horror genre?

FK: I’ve always been a fan of everything horror related…books, movies, TV shows, you name it. But, I always found one flaw in almost every story. It seemed as though a lot of time and effort went into producing the chills and thrills throughout the story, but the ending was usually somewhat of a letdown. Of course, most horror stories are fiction, but it seemed as though no attempt at all was made to make the story even halfway believable. I wanted to write a story that made sense — a story that, albeit fictional, contained enough factual details one might wonder if it could actually happen.

JH: Why did you use the New York City subway as the main setting?

FK: Aside from the reasons already mentioned, I used the subway because of its familiarity to so many people — even if they don’t happen to live in a major city that has a subway. Most tourists will make riding the subway one of their “must-dos” while visiting. Very few people will ever find themselves in an actual haunted house or a foggy cemetery at midnight. The same can’t be said for a subway. I think the chills are far more intense when you read about scary things happening in a more familiar and commonplace environment. After having read the book, a lot of people have told me that they will never again ride the subway alone at night.

JH: What type of research did you do for the book?

FK: I visited every major location I wrote about with a digital tape recorder. I recorded everything I saw, heard, smelled and felt…things that I (and probably most people) would never even give a second thought. This greatly helped to create atmosphere. I also researched news articles about local crimes committed in the area, and spoke with the NYPD about specific rescue procedures in the subway. As far as the supernatural aspects of the book are concerned, I went online and researched actual case studies and terminology. Lastly, the dates in the book are very important. I went to the library to insure that the days of the week and the newspaper articles I mentioned were correct.

JH: How long did it take you to write the book?

FK: Since I had no deadlines and was basically just writing for fun, I’d say it took about 10 years from start to finish.

JH: What’s been the reaction of some of the people who have read the book?

FK: Chapter One, by far, has received the biggest reaction! Many of my friends have told me that it was the most intense thing that they’ve ever read. Although they thoroughly enjoyed it, I realized that it might be a little too intense for the average reader. Before releasing the book to the public, I considerably watered-down this chapter from its original version. Even so, a number of reviewers have commented on just how violent this chapter is, and a few were even unable to get past it. Make no mistake, Chapter One is not for the faint of heart, but it is necessary to the story as a whole.

JH: Are there any other genres, you want to write in?

FK: As a nature photographer, I’ve considered putting out a non-fiction book about nature photography at some point in the future.

JH: Who is your favorite author/authors and what is it that really strikes you about their work?

FK: I like many of the works from Dean Koontz and Stephen King. I think King’s books are much better than his movies — many of which leave me scratching my head. These writers have a way of painting a picture with words that tends to put the reader right in the scene. I tried to do that with my book as well.

JH: What books have most influenced your life the most?

FK: I don’t know if I can point to any one book of fiction. However, I’ve read many photography books that greatly influence the way I shoot.

JH: Are you working on a second novel?

FK: Not at this time. Many have suggested a sequel to They Only Come Out at Night.  Although it definitely lends itself to a sequel, I can’t see myself writing one. Unless you’re talking about an action series, most sequels rarely live up to the original.

JH: What are your current projects?

FK: I’m currently focusing more on my photography and photography articles.

An Interview with Writer Rod Labbe

by Jason Harris

Rod Labbe has been a freelance writer since 1977. His work has appeared in such publications as Fangoria, Gorezone, Starlog, Famous Monsters of FilmlandMuscle & Fitness, and Autograph Collector magazine. He has written his first novel, The Blue Classroom, which is a ghost story and will be published by Samhain Publishing this coming May. He is currently working on his second novel, which will be published by Samhain in 2015.

Rod Labbe he set of Stephen King's Graveyard Shift.

Rod Labbe on the set of Stephen King’s Graveyard Shift.

JH: When you started freelancing in 1984, what publications did you write for?

RL: My writing/freelance career actually began in the fall of 1977, not 1984. That’s when I landed a work-study job as a reporter with The University Free Press weekly newspaper (University of Southern Maine). I was a sophomore, totally green, and had never written anything outside of short stories that were strictly for my own enjoyment. What I lacked in cred, however, I more than made up for with dedication, discipline and determination (the “three Ds,” as I call them). From 1977 to 1981, I contributed articles every week to the UFP, ranging from theatre reviews to editorials to sports pieces and pretty much everything in-between. No limits! I also found time to edit the campus literary magazine, The Presumpscot Review, published annually. All of that was great, a wonderful hands-on training ground–even more significant, since I’ve never taken a Journalism course, not one.

I continued this kind of writing (including editing The Maine Review, a literary magazine at the University of Maine) as a graduate student at the University of Maine in Orono. During the summer of 1984, I stepped away from the collegiate environment and submitted work to an outside publication. That was for a magazine called Mainely Local, published out of Central Maine, where I lived. I’d seen an article about it in my hometown newspaper, was intrigued, and gave the editor a call. We met the next day at a local eatery/bar. She told me about her publishing plans–really quite ambitious–and welcomed me aboard as a writer. The one glitch? No pay, just comp copies. That was ok; I realized the exposure and experience would be invaluable. I stayed with them for a year and a half (while in school and also following graduation), sometimes generating articles on my own, but mostly doing ‘filler’ and ‘fluff’ assignments–which I hated.

From tiny acorns mighty Oaks grow, I’ve found. That stint with Mainely Local gave me the gumption to seek out other venues–which I did in March of 1985, two months prior to leaving the University of Maine. That’s when I sent out an interview to MuscleMag International (a bodybuilding monthly) and a short story, entitled “Pumpkin Head,” to Footsteps magazine (small press, non-paying). Lo and behold, both were accepted! And MuscleMag paid me $100! I was on my way!

JH: Do you have a specific writing style?

RL: Hmm. If I had to pinpoint a “style” for my freelancing–which has been and still is 95% non-fiction–I’d say ‘conversational.’ Interviews can be tricky things. A sense of comfortable ease should underscore the dialogue. Almost from the get-go, I settled on a laid-back, conversational style. It serves to present the individual profiled in a ‘down to earth’ manner; the reader will know this is a flesh and blood human and not merely an unreachable celebrity. I must also mention that I do all of my interviews over the phone so what’s transcribed is definitely ‘conversational.’

As for fiction, I’m not sure if I have a “style,” per se. I just write, edit, polish and tweak! Constantly! I was educated in a time when there was great emphasis on sentence structure, good grammar, spelling skills, etc.; therefore, I utilize all of that when I write. I never emulate nor “copy” any other writer; find your own voice–not necessarily a “style,” but it should be something you, as the writer, enjoys wearing like a comfortable sweater.

JH: You have written for genre publications such as Fangoria, Gorezone, and Starlog in the past. What were some of the topics you wrote about or what was the subject of your articles?

RL: Writing for Fangoria was my dream. I can still remember the first issue I ever bought–#9, featuring that great Motel Hell cover, on Friday, October 31, 1980. Yep, Halloween! I sat in my sun-washed dorm room, read the book from cover to cover, and drifted off into reverie. Ah! Someday, I told myself, I’m going to write for Fangoria. But how? I had no cred and no contacts, outside of living in Maine, the same place of [Fangoria’s] patron saint, Stephen King. At that point, I’d only been published by my campus newspaper!

I’m a believer in never letting go of your dreams, and if you pursue them doggedly enough, eventually they’ll become realities. That happened for me in 1986, when I sold my first article–an interview with novelist John (The Legacy) Coyne–to Fango. The next year, 1987, I sold another small piece about Maine author Rick Hautala, who sadly passed away last year. I finally ‘hit it big’ when I landed a star-making assignment: visiting the set of Stephen King’s Pet Sematary (1989), in Maine. That generated four articles and led to more film set visits (all King- related: Graveyard Shift, The Langoliers, and Thinner). Gorezone surprised me, since I thought my interview with Pet Sematary’s director, Mary Lambert, was going into Fangoria. Instead, it ran in Gorezone and scored me my first cover!

The Starlog piece, on Steve Reeves–famous as the cinematic Hercules–was submitted cold, via an e-mail to the editor. After Stephen King’s Thinner was filmed in Maine the fall of 1995, I took a break from Fangoria. Little did I know that break would stretch fourteen years!

My path led back to Fango in 2010. Editor Tony Timpone had stepped down, and a new editor–Chris Alexander, formerly of Rue Morgue–took the reins. I sent Chris an e-mail and introduced myself, which opened the door to my second stint. Chris is great. He’s supportive, energetic, enthusiastic and smart. I have his ear, and that has created a strong bond between us. He’s given me some choice assignments, too, like covering Tim Burton’s Dark Shadows movie and a two-part retrospective on Pet Sematary (currently running). Alas, prior to Chris’ arrival, Fangoria had fallen on hard time, but now, it’s reclaimed the crown as America’s premiere publication dealing with ‘horror in entertainment.’ I’m glad!

JH: Were you always a freelancer or did you work as a staff writer for any of the the magazines that you wrote for?

RL: I’ve always freelanced. In the beginning, I gladly accepted work that was assigned to me and bit the proverbial bullet. That’s all part of the game of moving up on the ladder. Don’t get me wrong, it’s great having the financial security of being ‘on staff.’ Creatively, though, I’d find it incredibly stunting … unless I was editor.

JH: What were some of the articles you wrote for Muscle & Fitness, MuscleMag International and Iron Man magazines and Men’s Workout about?

RL: I got into the fitness/bodybuilding books quite by happenstance. When I edited The Maine Review, I interviewed two people who’d gone to Maine and ‘made it big’ in the outside world. One was novelist Stephen King. The other was a bodybuilder, Skip Robinson, who’d won his weight/height class at the Mr. World competition. The interviews saw print, and amazingly, I received more comment on Skip’s. Bingo, an idea was born–I decided to mail this off to a bodybuilding magazine. This was in March of 1985. The editor complimented my style and suggested I find someone “new and today” to profile. I took his advice, found a ‘new and today bodybuilder,’ Jeff King, and interviewed him. MuscleMag bought it, and voila! I had my first big freelance writing credit!

My most rewarding project as a bodybuilding/fitness writer was creating a Legends of Bodybuilding series for Iron Man magazine. This ran from 1998 into 2012, approximately four installments per year and all extensively researched and executed. I interviewed classic bodybuilders and provided workouts and photo support. The series was immensely popular and archived all over the web. Just Google ‘Rod Labbe,’ and you’ll find a Legends interview

The fitness magazine marketplace has taken a severe hit, and several publications I freelanced with have been cancelled. Diminished ad revenue forced others to drastically reduce page count. Considering this, I’m now concentrating my freelancing efforts on the horror genre. Fans there are a more loyal and a less fickle bunch, it seems. And new mags are popping up

JH: What were some of your favorite freelance pieces?

RL: I was born in that far away year of 1952, so what I did, played with, watched and observed growing-up now has “nostalgia appeal.” and nostalgia is BIG. Without exception, every article I’ve written and [every] interview I’ve done is tinged with the burnished glow of nostalgia.

I wrote four huge pieces for the late/lamented Autograph Collector magazine because I’d been an ‘autograph collector’ as a teen. All of my articles for Scary Monsters magazine stem from personal experience as a ‘monster kid.’ Writing about Dark Shadows, Vincent Price, Famous Monsters of Filmland, The Munsters and Aurora Monster models is a blast. There’s something to be said for living a relatively long life. I don’t have to research such things as Marilyn Monroe’s death, the first moon landing, the ’60s counterculture or JFK’s assassination–I lived through them.

JH: How did you come to write for these different magazines?

RL: Easy. I just decided to ‘go for it’ and submit my work. In the case of Fangoria, I had an interview already done and merely sent the editor a ‘snail mail’ (this was in 1986) asking if he’d be interested. He was! That’s all it took for me to get my foot into the Fangoria door. But how to keep it open? There’s the rub! You must use ingenuity and a bit of craftiness. Study the magazines you want to write for and establishing good connections with editors is key. Always produce professional work! No misspellings, use accurate quotes (if an interview), edit to a fault and make sure your articles shine.

JH: What would be your advice for writers who want to be freelancers?

RL: My first piece of advice: don’t expect riches or fame. Start this journey as a fun (emphasis on that word) hobby, and you’ll be much happier. The second tidbit: write what you like and THEN market it. If I’m intrigued by the subject matter, I’ll gladly do an article simply to put it ‘out there.’ The goal is to be published, first and foremost. Forget about money–you can think about that later. Working gratis will give you incredible exposure and fodder for your portfolio. If you’re in love with writing, like I am, it’s never a chore!

My third recommendation? Educate yourself. Learn HOW to write. It’s not merely the desire or the urge, you must have a modicum of talent and be willing to learn. That means listening to criticism, even if it angers you. And it also means seeking out legitimate critiques, not just reassuring pats on the head from parents, siblings, and loved ones. Parents will rarely give you the straight scoop–they don’t want to hurt your feelings. An editor has nothing emotionally invested in you, so it doesn’t matter to them if feelings are hurt when they reject your work. Rejection does hurt … but it also helps you grow as a writer.

When doing fiction, it’s a good idea to read beforehand. Go to the classics. Read DraculaFrankenstein, Jane Eyre, Lord of the Flies, Of Mice and Men, Wuthering Heights, A Separate Peace. Watch films, too … but not junk. Watch films like Rebecca, Dead of Night, The Maltese Falcon, A Streetcar Named Desire, The Uninvited, Rosemary’s Baby, What Ever Happened to Baby Jane, The Birds, The Exorcist, All About Eve, The Haunting, Sunset Boulevard, The OmenNightmare on Elm Street and Carrie (originals only, please). Don’t limit yourself! Embrace the full experience.

If you’re truly considering a freelance career, invest in a copy of the latest Writer’s Market (published annually). The book compiles the best markets and lists everything you need to know. Peruse the magazine racks at your favorite bookstore. Is there a magazine you read and have always yearned to write for? Go ahead and just do it! I’ve found that the proof is in the doing, not necessarily the planning and/or dreaming. You must make that extra effort to get your work to an editor. Sure, rejection might happen; it’s part of the game. But the genuine warriors push forward, despite the occasional speed bump.

JH: Your first novel, The Blue Classroom, will be published in May by Samhain Publishing. What’s it about?

RL: The Blue Classroom is a Maine-based ghost story involving a haunted Catholic school and the spirit of a cruel, vindictive nun. There’s an extensive flashback to 1957 near the beginning, but most of the action takes place in 1998. I hesitate to call The Blue Classroom an epic, but it’s very close to 400 pages. The cover art just blew me away … and I’m extremely fortunate to have been picked up by Samhain. Their horror editor, the great Don D’Auria, has been a guiding light. Like Chris Alexander, he’s simply a great guy.

Keep in mind, Jason, I’m not a young Turk, and I have absolutely no use for splatter punk or flash fiction or ‘fan fiction’ or whatever it’s called. At 61, I’m old school all the way and go for quiet chills rather than gore, sexual nonsense, violence and/or rape. Frankly, I don’t understand most young writers. I’ve picked up books that are recommended to me, and what I find is gratuitous violence, profanity, and themes that are distasteful and unpleasant. And I’m sick of hearing about the ‘zombie apocalypse.’ Just what is this strange fascination with zombies. I can’t figure it out.

JH: How did you come up with the title?

RL: When my first draft was completed, I pulled out a trusty yellow legal pad and wrote down a dozen evocative titles. I chose The Blue Classroom because, hey, that’s where the horrifying memory takes place. What memory, you ask? Buy the book and find out.

JH: What inspired you to write your first book?

RL: In the fall of 1984, I’d just begun my last year as a Graduate student–a hectic period, as you might imagine. Not only would I be graduating with a Masters, but I was ending a monumental chapter of my life and entering into uncharted territory. Two things were on my immediate agenda: (1) becoming a freelancer, and (2) writing a novel. But how? I examined the situation from every angle and just dove in, navigating the rocky freelancing waters like a drowning man. I’d no guide and did everything by myself. In the meanwhile, I also set about tackling a novel. Can you say, failure? Nothing gelled. Idea after idea imploded or just sat there, lifeless. Frustrated, I gave myself breathing room and concentrated all my efforts on freelancing.

In 1989, with my freelancing journey going smoothly, I went back to brainstorming about the novel. I was reading through my graduate project, a collection of short stories entitled Seven Dark Images, and found the perfect inspiration. Can’t go into too much detail about that … but The Blue Classroom did grow from a short story originally published in 1985.

JH: How long were you writing it?

RL: The going was very slow, at first. I started in August of 1989 and worked on it when I could–and that turned out to be not very often. Between 1989 and January of ‘91, I’d written only three chapters! With the new year (1991), I decided to test the publishing waters and sent out my three measly chapters to publishers. Most of them came back so fast, the packages were smoking! Rejections across the board. I also let Rick Hautala read what I had, and he didn’t like it. Man, talk about disillusioning! Did I have what it took to be a novelist, I wondered? Maybe not. I was having much more luck as a freelancer and instinctively grasped what editors wanted. But when it came to fiction, I just didn’t seem to have that spark. I put the novel–or my, ahem, three chapters–in a desk drawer and let it germinate. By that summer, I’d decided to give the project another try. I barreled forward and finished a first draft sometime in early 1992. I had all of 200 pages and thought, wow, this is great! But the journey was just beginning. 200 pages would translate to a very thin book! I needed to flesh out the story, really put myself into it, which I did. By the end of 1999, the manuscript was just kissing 500 pages in draft form.

Then came the hard part: editing. I am a perfectionist, and that’s not always a good thing. I slept, ate, and existed with my book, tweaking, rewriting, throwing out chapters then putting them back in again. Aaargh! A decade trundled by. In 2012–yes, fantastic as it sounds, 13 years later–I had a good thing and sent it off to Samhain Horror (I told you I was determined!). Six agonizing months passed, and the e-mail I’d been waiting for arrived from Don D’Auria, Samhain’s horror editor. The Blue Classroom was on their schedule for May 2014.

Now, I’m waiting. Have I succeeded? Or will readers hate what I’ve put together? We’ll see …The Blue Classroom cover

JH. Who is your favorite author/authors and what is it that really strikes you about their work?

RL: Naughty, naughty, I know, but I do very little reading, nowadays–outside of articles and an occasional short story. Oh, I’ve tried reading more, but I usually end up losing interest or just shaking my head at all the gratuitous gore and sex … and ZOMBIES! I love the masters, people like Steve King, Poe, [and] Lovecraft, of course. But if I had to single-out a writer as my favorite, it would be Robert McCammon. In my humble opinion, this artist has never gotten his due. They Thirst, which I read in the summer of 1981, is a remarkable book. And I also loved Mystery Walk, Usher’s Passing, Swan Song and especially A Boy’s Life.

JH: What books have most influenced your life most?

RL: There are two, both intertwined. One is Bram Stoker’s Dracula, which I read way back in 1967, when I was 14. The other is King’s Salem’s Lot. I just could not put that one down. Even today, I’ll find myself going back to ‘the Lot’ and rereading certain passages. The section where Ben Mears encounters the vampiric Marjorie Glick in an examining room is high-octane horror. King wrote it beautifully, with so much unbridled energy. That’s when he was a hungry artist, and I plugged into his raw-edged enthusiasm. I should also mention how much I love The Shining. That one book kept me up all night, the only time such a thing happened. I started at about 10 p.m. and was still reading at 4:30 a.m. The true definition of a ‘page turner.’ It’s his masterpiece, as far as I’m concerned.

JH: What are your current projects?

RL: I’m always working on something. My second novel for Samhain is in the pipeline, scheduled for publication next year. It’ll be finished and polished up by June 2014. There’s a third novel percolating, as well as a collection of short stories, two of which were finalists in Fangoria’s ‘Weird Words’ competition. Freelancing continues, and my goal is to win a Rondo Award. I’ve been nominated three times, so far. Hopefully, 4th is the charm! It’s a busy, rewarding life, as clichéd as that sounds. I find new challenges in every project.

Editor’s Note:

The Blue Classroom e-book is currently available for pre-order at Amazon by clicking here.

M.J. Rose Captivates with Newest Novel, ‘The Collector of Dying Breaths’


By Stacey Longo

MJRose cover

The Collector of Dying Breaths is the latest offering from M.J. Rose, and marks the return of Jac L’Etoile, the heroine we first met in The Book of Lost Fragrances. If you haven’t read Fragrances, don’t worry: Dying Breaths is set up as a stand-alone novel, and you’ll quickly become enchanted with Jac, her brother Robbie, and her former lover, Griffin. Jac is quickly engulfed in a quest to create an elixir that will bring souls back to life using a person’s last, dying breath. Her patrons are the mysterious Greek heiress, Melinoe and Melinoe’s stepbrother, Serge, whose sibling relationship raises many questions for Jac. As Griffin assists Jac in her pursuit to recreate the elixir following notes left behind by Rene le Florentine, the two are drawn into the past life of Rene, his lover Isabeau, and the dynamic, manipulative Catherine de Medici.

The novel intertwines flashbacks to the life of Rene with the present-day difficulties that Jac must deal with, and mysteries surround both. Will the malicious Cosimo Ruggieri, advisor to Queen Catherine and dabbler in the dark arts, bring an end to Rene’s favored position with the queen? To what lengths will the eccentric Melinoe go to find the rare, ancient ingredients needed to recreate Rene’s elusive potion? And how many lives will be lost as both of these plans are carried out?

The Collector of Dying Breaths creates suspense and intrigue with every page, making it difficult to put down. Rose captivates us with a story about relationships past and present, and the basest of human emotions: love, greed, and betrayal.

The Collector of Dying Breaths will be published on April 8.

The Final Front and Back Covers for ‘Wicked Seasons’ Unveiled

The final front and back covers for the second New England Horror Writers anthology, Wicked Seasons, edited by Stacey Longo and debuting Nov. 9 at Anthocon have been released.

The cover was done by Mikio Murakami.

This is the second NEHW anthology and the first from NEHW Press.

Longo congratulates all of the contributors, and gives many thanks (and her unending gratitude) to Jeff Strand and Holly Newstein Hautala for providing the foreword and cover blurb, respectively.

You can read the TOC here.


Cover Revealed for ‘Secret Things’

Books & Boos Press is pleased to announce the cover artwork for Secret Things, a collection of scary tales by Stacey Longo. The cover was created by artist Stephanie Johnson, the cover is reminiscent of Saul Bass’s work, but with a style and flair all its own.


“I’d seen some of the covers Stephanie did for Kate Laity—most notably Noir Carnival and Weird Noir—and knew she’d be the perfect choice to design the cover for this collection,” Books & Boos Press co-owner Jason Harris said. “She was wonderful to work with, and we’re so happy with the result!”

The short story collection will be released in October 2013 as both a paperback and e-book.

Front and Back Covers Announced for New NEHW Anthology

The front and back cover of Wicked Seasons, the new New England Horror Writers anthology have been announced. They are by Mikio Murakami, who has done covers for Shock Totem magazine.

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Front cover of Wicked Seasons by Mikio Murakami.

The back cover by Murakami.

The back cover.

The table of content for the second New England Horror Writers’ anthology, which is being edited by Stacey Longo, is listed below.

Introduction: Jeff Strand

“Furious Demon” by Addison Clift
“The Basement Legs” by Robert DuPerre
“Hungry For More” by Michael Evans
“The Secret Backs of Things” by Christopher Golden
“Blood Prophet” by Scott Goudsward
“Three Fat Guys Soap” by Catherine Grant
“Chuffers” by Paul McMahon
“Spirits” by James A. Moore
“Bleedthrough” by Gregory Norris
“Lycanthrobastards” by Errick Nunnally
“To Chance Tomorrow” by Kristi Petersen Schoonover
“A Night at the Show” by Robert Smales
“The Girl Who Wouldn’t Break” by Lucien Spelman
“The Widow Mills” by Trisha Wooldridge

Wicked Seasons will be released at Anthocon 2013 in November.

The first anthology, Epitaphs, was published in October of 2011.

Author Publishes Rock ‘N’ Roll Vampire novel

Damnation Books recently published author Rose Mambert’s debut rock ‘n’ roll vampire novel, The Muses.9781615728220

According to Amazon, the book entails, “sex, blood, and rock n’ roll. When indie rock journalist, Nick Landry pursues the elusive singer of The Muses, a mysterious woman known only as Blue, he eventually uncovers the band’s dark secret: they are vampires. Recent fame, however, leads to other complications for the band. Dimitri, an ancient vampire from guitarist Christian’s past, returns to “play the game” again. If that wasn’t enough, there’s a new vampire hunter in town-hell bent on revenge. In the final showdown, who will emerge from the battle undead?”

The book is available for $14.99 at Amazon by clicking here or as an e-book for $5.95 by clicking here.

For more information about the author, check out her website by clicking here.