‘From Beyond the Grave’ is a Solid Collection of Ghost Stories

by Stacey Longo

from-beyond-the-graveFrom Beyond the Grave is the debut anthology from Grinning Skull Press, a solid collection of ghost stories from a variety of authors. In the introduction, editor Michael J. Evans states “When I first set out to compile this anthology, I challenged the authors to scare the crap out of me, but they did more than that. Yes, they sent chills down my spine, but they also moved me in ways I wasn’t expecting.” Evans is correct—this collection of 19 ghostly tales is eclectic and intriguing. Personally, I couldn’t put it down.

Standout stories for me included “Cold Calling” by LisaMarie Lamb, the story of an artist who travels door-to-door selling paintings and fails to obey an all- important “no solicitors” sign. The description of the interior of the house and the odd little twist in the tale were vivid and satisfying.

“Spiritus Ex Machina” by Nelson Pyles is the story of a haunted car, and reminds the reader that you can exorcise a demon, but make sure you know where the demon’s headed once you evict it. It conjured up images of James Dean’s cursed silver Spyder and The Exorcist all in one package.

The anthology ends with “It All Comes Around in the End” by Jennifer Word, a modern-day ghost story set in Ireland with roots dating back 600 years. Most intriguing in this story is the farmer, Kell O’Donough, who tells his hapless tourists the history behind his plot of land. It’s a strong narrative with which to end the anthology, which I’m sure the editor was aware of when he was putting this together. Overall, I found this collection to be above par—no real clunkers found amid its pages—and a good, creepy read.

Editor’s Note:

Michael Evans will be at the New England Author Expo – Book Sale in Danvers, MA. next Wednesday (July 31) from 4 p.m. to 9 p.m. He will be at the Books & Boos table and will have copies of From Beyond the Grave available for purchase.

Author Talks about First Novel and Writing

 

By Jason Harris

Dawn of Broken GlassGordon Anthony Bean recently published his first novel, Dawn of Broken Glass. It was released in June.

He has written two other novels, but shelved them since they didn’t feel right to him. He plans to revisit them at a future date.

Dawn of Broken Glass felt like a great story with fully developed [and] believable characters that the reader could identify with, so I decided this was the book I wanted to publish first,” Bean said.

Dawn of Broken Glass tells the story of Michael Carson, who witnesses the brutal and senseless slaughter of his family during Kristallnacht in the early days of World War II. The loss of his family has left him with deep emotional scars, and feelings of anger and hatred which become all-consuming to the young man. Years later, he seeks his revenge. Along with the mysterious Jason Froemmer, Carson begins a mission to eradicate the bloodlines of each soldier who partook in his family’s slaughter so many years earlier.

Bean wrote it over eighteen months. He spent the better part of a year doing multiple revisions on plot, characters, and writing style.

Bean is working on Bloodlines, a sequel to his first published short story, “From a Whisper to a Dream.” This story was published in the anthology, Sinister Landscapes, published by Pixie Dust Press. He does have a second short story, “Out of the Corner of His Eye,” in the Grinning Skull Press anthology, From Beyond the Grave.

“One interesting tidbit about my writing is that the stories are all interconnected. In my second novel, there will be an appearance of a central character from Dawn of Broken Glass. Basically, I’m creating a wholly contained universe where all my stories take place on the same earth,” Bean said.

His primary career is in finance, but he wants it to be writing.

“I’m trying to get my writing career to take off and hopefully be able to one day devote myself to it full-time.”

He has been writing his entire life. “In elementary school, I had a short story published in our school’s spring journal. In high school, my creative writing teacher told me that of all the students she ever had, she felt that I was best suited to be a writer.”

He belongs to the New England Horror Writers organization. He hopes to get exposure for his writing through the NEHW. This is what he hopes would happen with belonging to any writer’s organization.

“What I hope the NEHW or any other group would be able to do is help give exposure to this novel and future novels,” Bean said.

Bean has received good writing advice in his life, he said.

“The best I remember getting was to write for myself. Like most writers, I love to write. I am a huge horror fan and if I can leave a lasting imprint on a reader through my work, it’s all worthwhile.”

Besides writing, he enjoys reading. Michael Moorcock and Robert Heinlein were two early favorites and Clive Barker, who he loved when he was a teenager. He reads Christopher Golden, Brian Lumley, F. Paul Wilson, Joe Lansdale, Edward Lee, Jonathan Maberry, Dan Simmons, Richard Matheson, Douglas Preston & Lee Child now. His tastes vary, he said.

Grinning Skull Press Debuts First Anthology

from-beyond-the-graveGrinnng Skull Press debuted its first anthology, From Beyond the Grave, this month. It contains 19 ghostly tales by authors Michael J. Evans, Carol Weekes, David North-Martino, Jeffrey Kosh, Robert W. Walker, Nelson W. Pyles, Marianne Halbert, Gordon Anthony Bean, Edward J. McFadden III, Jeffrey C. Pettengill, Cynthia Ward,  Michael Thomas-Knight, Tim J. Finn, Rose Blackthorn, Adam Millard, Brent Abell, Scott M. Goriscak,  Jay Wilburn, and Lisamarie Lamb.

From Beyond the Grave is available in print from Amazon and digitally for Kindle, Kobo, and Nook.

Grinning Skull Press isn’t stopping with its freshmen effort. Their second anthology, ATTACK! of the B-Movie Monsters: Night of the Gigantis, will be released this summer.

They are working on even more anthologies. They are currently accepting submissions for a Christmas-themed horror anthology that will benefit the Elizabeth Glaser Pediatric AIDS Foundation. Submissions can be sent to grinningskullpress@yahoo.com or submissions@grinningskullpress.com.

Evans, the publisher, will soon announce an unthemed horror anthology, Blood on the Moon and another ATTACK! of the B-Movie Monsters except this one will focus on Alien Encounters. The press has other anthologies planned: Gore Whores (ladies only) and Splatter Punks (for the guys), Only the Undead Know Brooklyn (open to NY writers only), and Hockomock: Tales of the Bridgewater Triangle (MA writers only).
For more information on Grinning Skull Press, check out its website here.