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THE STONE SERPENT Coming November 29th!

Coming November 29th, 2022, from Crossroad Press!

“Nicholas Kaufmann offers up an unputdownable blend of gruesome body horror and fast-paced suspense.” – Ray Garton, author of Live Girls and Ravenous

Medical Examiner Dr. Laura Powell didn’t think anything could be more frightening than what she uncovered in an autopsy a year ago. Yet, in this chilling sequel to Nicholas Kaufmann’s bestselling The Hungry Earth, the cause of death is literally petrifying.

When a completely petrified corpse ends up on her autopsy table, Laura is convinced it must be a fossil, but the evidence says otherwise. Impossibly, the man on her table died in a car crash earlier that day. But what could cause a human body to transform so quickly from flesh to a hard stonelike substance?

Laura’s investigation takes her out of her hometown of Sakima, New York, and into dangerous new territory. From the streets of Valley Grove, home to a fundamentalist religious sect under the thumb of a brutal, vindictive leader, to the bowels of Thurmond Biotech, a secretive pharmaceutical company hellbent on developing the first anti-aging miracle drug, what she unearths is far more terrifying than she could have imagined.

Vicious, deadly creatures are preying on the people of Valley Grove, killing them with a highly toxic venom that ravages and transforms their bodies in horrifying ways. As the creatures claim more victims, striking from out of the darkness with lightning-fast speed, Laura must find a way to stop them before they spread to the rest of the Hudson Valley. But will her search for answers put her in even more danger by sending her into the heart of the creatures’ den?

With The Stone Serpent, multiple award-nominated author Nicholas Kaufmann delivers another gripping thriller in the Dr. Laura Powell series.

Preorder links for the e-book and paperback are below. Preorder links for the audio are coming soon!

Amazon

Barnes & Noble

IndieBound

Books-A-Million

Kobo

Google Play

Apple Books

Smashwords

I’m excited for this one and can’t wait for you all to read it!

 

 

The Pallbearers Club

The Pallbearers ClubThe Pallbearers Club by Paul Tremblay
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

Paul Tremblay’s THE PALLBEARERS CLUB is a sublime achievement, a novel in the form of a memoir (drawing partially from the author’s own life) by the pseudonymous Art Barbara, but which also offers us the viewpoint of a second narrator, his friend since high school Mercy Brown, in the form of notes in the margins as well as what those of us in the business would call “editorial letters.” Mercy has a few things to say about the way Art is representing (or misrepresenting) his life to the reader.

Like much of Tremblay’s recent work, this is a character-driven literary novel that dips its toe into the horror genre. You won’t find fast-paced thrills between these pages, but you will find expertly drawn characters and, yes, moments of absolute horror. Tremblay’s authorial voice — sometimes humorous, always earnest — rings authentic throughout, whether it’s Art talking about all the terrible bands he’s been in or Art relaying a night of grueling terror that will stay with him for the rest of his life. Mercy’s frequent use of sarcasm endears the reader to her, even though it’s clear she’s hiding secret wounds.

THE PALLBEARERS CLUB is a vampire story of sorts, although not of the cape and fangs variety. Art becomes more and more convinced that Mercy is secretly feeding off his vitality, and in a way she is, but so is he, because these two are not good for each other (despite Mercy introducing Art to better music than he was listening to previously). It’s refreshing that Art and Mercy’s relationship isn’t romantic but rather one of lifelong friendship. They’re best friends, but they’re also the worst friends. It’s very relatable. We’ve all had people like that in our lives at some point.

Beautifully written and exquisitely, gracefully told, THE PALLBEARERS CLUB is a novel like no other I’ve read. I’ve always been a fan of Tremblay’s work, but this is a next-level achievement. I can’t recommend it highly enough.

(Note: Longtime Tremblay fans will enjoy spotting a few clues that THE PALLBEARERS CLUB takes place in the same world as one of his previous horror novels.)

View all my reviews

Two Public Appearances In One Week!

I’ve got a busy week ahead of me with two public appearances!

First, on Wednesday, September 14th, I’m reading at New York City’s famed KGB Bar, accompanied by Naseem Jamnia, author of The Bruising of Qilwa. The reading starts at 7 PM Eastern. Doors open at 6:30. Click here for more information.

Then, on Saturday, September 17th, I’ll be in Milford, PA, at the Milford Readers and Writers Festival, as part of the “Choose Your Reality” science-fiction panel, along with Randee Dawn, Alex Shvartsman, and C.S.E. Cooney, moderated by Karen Heuler. The panel starts at 11 AM. Click here for more information. I will also be doing readings and signings at the Festival throughout the day on Saturday.

I hope to see you at either of these sure to be fun events!

The Scariest Part: Faith Pierce Talks About THE FACE YOU WEAR

This week on The Scariest Part, my guest is author Faith Pierce, whose debut novel is The Face You WearHere is the publisher’s description:

An unknown threat is creeping its way into Jana’s residence.

Jana overcame a bleak, poverty-stricken childhood to achieve her version of the American dream. She has her own home, a successful career, and a new husband who offers everything she hoped for in a normal life.

Her tight grasp on stability however begins to slip with disturbing dreams about her husband Michael. A figure in the bedroom doorway watching her sleep, night-time conversations Michael claims never happened, someone lying beside her at night when Michael later says he wasn’t there.

Old anxieties and paranoia begin to surface as Jana becomes increasingly desperate to discover if the true threat is her mind, her husband…or something darker.

And now, let’s hear what the scariest part was for Faith Pierce:

“God, that scene in the office.”

So far, that’s been a recurring comment from readers of The Face You Wear. In the scene, the main character wakes up from a nap and goes to her husband’s office. She finds him at his usual place, sitting at his desk, working on the computer. She leans against him and he wraps his arm around her. Then when he looks up at her and their eyes meet, she realizes she absolutely does not believe it’s him.

It’s a climactic scene in the book, a confrontation, a reveal of the monster’s face — though the question of what or who the monster is remains unanswered. But what makes the scene frightening are the same things that make the rest of the book so unsettling.

Throughout the book, the main character Jana has interactions with her husband Michael that may or may not be real. They primarily happen at night after she’s been sleeping, so when he tells her they didn’t happen, she’s forced to conclude that she never actually woke up. That means nearly every night, she’s having vivid dreams about her husband that include everything from cuddling and idle chatter about their days to serious conversations about the future and eventually, more threatening behavior.

As the encounters get more intense, Jana isn’t convinced they’re dreams, but she cannot fully trust that they’re real either. That slip, that loosening of our grasp on reality, that stumble on what we thought was solid ground — that’s a sensation most of us can relate to on a smaller scale. We’ve all had dreams we thought were real until told otherwise, we’ve seen things that turned out not to be there, we’ve encountered spaces that seemed to shift before our eyes as we struggled to get our bearings. That’s become Jana’s life on a daily basis, and it’s a nightmare. For a lot of people, the constant sensation Jana faces of not being able to trust her own mind is the scariest part.

The scariest part for me is different. It’s the intrusion of something frightening into Jana’s safest spaces and her safest person that made the premise so disturbing to me. Her home is the symbol of everything that is stable and secure in her life, and Michael is her closest loved one. Now, neither are safe. If the encounters are real, then either Michael is lying to her, actively tormenting her — or there is someone or something that looks and feels like her husband talking to her, touching her, holding her at night. Either possibility is terrifying.

The scene in the office blends the scariest parts of the entire book, and I think that’s what makes it resonate with people. Jana thinks she’s woken up from her nap. She enters a room in her home that’s always held comfort for her. It’s small, warm, and familiar. She finds her husband there exactly as expected. He greets her with affection. For a moment, everything is solid and safe and right.

And then it’s absolutely not.

The Face You Wear: Amazon / Barnes & Noble / Bookshop

Faith Pierce: Website / Facebook

Faith Pierce writes horror, dark fantasy, and other forms of speculative fiction. Her short stories have been published with The NoSleep Podcast, Cemetery Gates, Kandisha Press, and Scare Street. Her debut novel The Face You Wear is out with Crystal Lake Publishing. Faith Pierce grew up in a small town in Texas, but now lives in Missouri with her teenage son and their dogs. Outside of writing, Faith works in marketing. Her other interests include Brazilian jiu jitsu, yoga, cooking, gardening, exploring nature, and taking road trips with her son.

 

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