Archive for the Halloween Category

I Have Lived to Tell About Psycho Path

Posted in Alexander S. Brown, entertaining, entertainment, fandom, ghosts, Halloween, Halloween Events, holidays, Horror, Horror Fans, Horror Lovers, Horror Punks, Mississippi, Mississippi Events, october, paranormal, Psycho Path Haunted Attraction, Read, readers, reading, Readings, scary, south, Splatterpunk on October 23, 2016 by Alexander S. Brown

 

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As Halloween approaches, I have decorated my house, gathered new horror movies, and downloaded the audiobook of The Legend of Sleepy Hollow to enjoy on my back porch on Halloween Eve. Now, all I have to do is carve a few Jack O’ Lanterns, and I’ll be ready for the night when all things run amuck.  Although, I will spend my Halloween at home, I would like to share with my readers an opportunity that they will not want to miss.

Last night, I went to the haunted attraction known as Psycho Path in Ellisville, MS.  Their complete info, for those who want to visit is as follows:

Psycho Path

28 Buffalo Hill Road

Ellisville, MS 39437

Phone: 601-641-1757

Payment is cash only, no refunds.

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Myself and partner arrived early to avoid any lines, and we had the opportunity to speak with the ticket booth operator, a sweet woman by the name of Mamma Psycho.  In the time we were waiting, we learned fun facts about the path, such as how long it takes to set up and how frequently the owner changes the path, so it continues to surprise returning guests.

Before purchasing our tickets, we were warned that we could get blood, or dirt, on us.  Furthermore, Mamma Psycho stated, real weapons were used inside the path, and the actors/actresses were allowed to touch their guests, which could result in being pulled off the path.  By the way, if you visit in a large group, expect to be divided if your group is over 10 people.  The path can only take 10 people at a time, due to safety and small spaces, please respect this rule for your own safety and don’t hassle anyone about it.

When the time came to enter the path, we were led by a tour guide, who wore a bloody jumpsuit and a sack over his head.  Clutched in his right hand was a real meat hook.  His voice, guttural and menacing.  Behind us was his assistant, who was dressed as an erotic court jester from Hell.  While we followed our guide, and he spoke of the horrors that filled the woods, she took great care of us, as she informed when a dip down was coming, where roots were, holes, etc.  Because of them knowing the land that we walked upon, no one had any problems in exploration.

I won’t give away many spoliers, but I can’t describe the overall experience by keeping everything to myself.  The first scene we approached was interactive.  Our guide explained we had 30 seconds to make a choice, and the results could be to our favor, or not.  All I can say is, do it.  Open the door.

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As we ascended the path, we went through a maze that became disorienting.  This is when the actors/actresses took advantage of the darkness and came after those who are walking through.  Once past the darkest section of the path, we were brought to a grim scene dedicated to Mississippi witches.  At this stop, our guide provided a story of murder and mayhem.  Besides the typical witch burnings, or hangings, one might expect to hear about, the story he told was unique and chilling.

From this attraction to the next, we had more actors/actresses attack, until we came to a location that harbored a bedframe with a sinister history.  The story that our guide provided for this relic is sure to make one feel like they are staring the devil in the eye.

Next, we were presented with a school bus, which we were told to load upon and sit.  Here, we received a story that is perhaps one of the most unsettling tales I have ever heard in a tour, which also provides, names, location, ages, and accuracy on the horrors that had happened on this bus.  As I listened to the tragedy that befell one poor girl, I couldn’t help but feel myself growing anxious with vibes that urged I was partaking in something forbidden.

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After leaving the bus, if you haven’t already run for the hills, be sure your shoelaces are tied, because running will be important for the final scene.  After surviving the path, I was so excited about what I had experienced, I inquired with one of the actresses if the stories they told were true, or if they were just part of the show.  The actress confirmed, “Both, the stories are part of the show, but they are also true.”  Furthermore, she spoke about experiencing paranormal activity on the path, and how she lacked a rational explanation to debunk what had happened.

For the first time in a decade, I have experienced a truly frightening attraction, and I have no one else but the crew of Psycho Path to thank.  Prior to attending this haunt, I had no idea that not only would I receive scares, but I would explore a property that had collected haunted objects.  The overall experience made me feel like I had just walked through the Mississippi version of the infamous Warren’s Occult Museum.

Despite how intense this attraction is, it is family friendly.  However, if you have children who are inexperienced to horror, scares, or ghastly tales, I would suggest finding a babysitter.  Since this is a family friendly event, NO alcohol, bullying, or fighting is allowed on the premises.  Respect these rules and you will be able to experience the path in its full, adrenaline rushing glory.

Here are the links one can follow regarding Psycho Path:

Facebook

Youtube

 

Controversial Movies 2

Posted in Alexander S. Brown, Controversial Films, cult classic, cult classics, cult favorites, Cult horror, discussion, entertaining, entertainment, foreign films, foreign horror films, foreign movies, frightening, Halloween, Horror, Horror Fans, Horror Lovers, Horror Movies, Horror Punks, Independent Horror, movie discussion, movie review, movies, october, scary, scary movies, Splatterpunk, Uncategorized on October 11, 2016 by Alexander S. Brown

As Halloween approaches, I have been asked again for a list of controversial horror movies.  If you have not seen the first list, click HERE to be redirected.  Below is another Top 10, that I consider to be movies that will repulse you and test the friendship of anyone who you dare share them with.

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Nekromantik 1 & 2 are German art house films, directed by the infamous Jorg Buttgereit.  For those who are wondering where these movies stand in underground cinema, John Waters quoted part 1 as, “Ground breakingly gruesome!  The first erotic film for necrophiles.” Although neither are as shocking as what their reputation proceeds, they are still worth the watch for gorehounds.

Nekromantik opens with a cleanup crew bagging the corpses from a car crash. The attention zooms in on a street sweeper named Rob, who seems smitten by the mangled bodies.  Shortly thereafter, we gain insight into his life, and learn that he and his girlfriend, Betty, have an unhealthy obsession with death.  Living in a world where only their thoughts have subdued their taboo urges, Rob takes the next step to make their dream a reality.

Presented as causal as a person bringing home a third party for a ménage a trois, Rob smuggles into his apartment a full bodied decomposing corpse, which is used sexually by himself and Betty. When Betty falls in love with the corpse, she runs off and takes it with her.  By Betty leaving, Rob spirals out into a descent of madness, until the epic conclusion, which is one of the most bizarre masturbation scenes I have ever witnessed. Perhaps the director is trying to say that open relationships can kill an already established relationship?

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Nekromantik 2 picks up where its predecessor left off. However, as the first movie focused on a male necrophile, its sequel focuses on Monika, a female necrophile. The opening scene shows our lead female digging up Rob’s grave. Such as in the first movie, she brings Rob’s decomposing corpse back to her home, where she attempts to make love to it.

Not long after, Monika meets Mark, and a love interest sparks.  While pursuing a relationship with a living person, she keeps her necrophilic lifestyle a secret. After Rob’s corpse deteriorates further, she saws off his head and genitals, and keeps them preserved in her refrigerator.  Next, Monika lures Mark into her apartment for sex, and the result will make you lose your head. Perhaps the director is commenting on how some people move from one stagnate relationship to the next?

Regardless of how puke worthy these movies are, they both have a beautifully instrumental soundtrack. Also, the art house fashion they are filmed in leaves room for interpretation.

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Megan is Missing is an awareness film about Internet predators.  Although it doesn’t play on a gore factor, the subject matter hits hard.  The movie focuses on two fourteen-year-old girls, Megan and Amy. Although these two have polar opposite personalities, they carry a best friend status.  Megan plays the party hard, smoking, drinking, drug using character, who has already lost her virginity.  Amy is the shy, unpopular virgin who has good grades and refuses to indulge in substances.  Despite their personalities clashing, they find a deep understanding of one another that is documented through web cams, cell phones, and other found footage devices.

One day, Megan stumbles upon a seventeen-year-old boy in a chat room by the name of Josh.  When she suggests that they webcam together, he insists that his cam is broken and will only provide his voice.  As Megan develops a quick relationship with Josh, even though she has no clue what he looks like, the viewer gets a sense in the pit of their stomach that she is being manipulated.

While their online relationship grows, Megan introduces Amy to Josh via webcam.  Although Amy seems apprehensive, Megan continues to revel in her blossoming online relationship.  Days later, Megan decides to meet Josh, and upon their meeting, she is never heard from again.

From here, Amy dedicates herself to finding Megan. In the end, she does find Megan, and the grown man who identified himself as the teenage Josh.  However, the outcome will literally make your flesh crawl.

Despite how this movie does nothing more than indicate the abuse that the girls suffered, it is presented in a way that we might as well have bared witness to the horrors.  Even though I am not a parent, this movie haunted me for days to come.  It opened up my eyes to the possibilities of how well predators can manipulate children, even more so if the parents of these children are neglectful.

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Cannibal is a German art house film based on the true case of Armin Meiwes. For those unfamiliar with this case, Meiwes had spent his time in online chatrooms regarding taboos and fetishes. One night, he comes across Bernd Brandes who expresses his desire to submit to a cannibal. From there, the rest is history.

In the movie adaptation of this bizarre cannibal relationship, Meiwes’s character is known as The Man, and Brandes’s character is known as The Flesh.  Much like an actual online relationship, The Man and The Flesh, chat for some time.  When their fantasy can no longer be tamed, they meet and build a deeper relationship, with the understanding that this is building up to the moment where The Man consumes The Flesh.

Once they establish a trustworthy partnership, they begin discussing when and how their fantasy will unfold.  However, a small hiccup occurs and The Flesh leaves.  Determined not to let this moment pass him by, The Man confronts The Flesh at a train station and convinces The Flesh to return home with him.  Next, The Flesh guzzles down dangerous amounts of alcohol and pills, then he instructs The Man to castrate him, which he does.  Together, they eat the severed penis.  Afterwards, The Man takes The Flesh to the bathroom and bathes him before mutilating him further.

 
The conclusion of this movie is full of vomit, scat, and uncut scenes of gore.  The “in your face” fashion this is filmed in makes no apologies for the subject matter, and it finished on a note that is just as crude as the prior scenes.  Another noteworthy movie that tackles the Meiwes case is a movie called, Grimm Love staring Keri Russell. If you have a weak stomach, you might want to settle for the Grimm Love version.

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The Poughkeepsie Tapes is a movie that haunted me long after viewing it, and it is perhaps my favorite movie on this list. Since it never received a DVD/Blu Ray release, it can occasionally be seen floating around the Internet, like a snuff film that has accidentally leaked.

Shot in a found footage style, from the point of view of the serial killer, we receive insight into his home movies, which detail his methods of stalking, torturing, and killing.  Throughout his mayhem, one scene depicting a severed head sewn up in a dead woman’s stomach, the tapes focus on a victim, Cheryl Dempsey, who he kidnapped during her teenage years.  In the time that he has her as his prisoner, he dehumanizes her sexually and emotionally over what could easily be a decade.  The end result of what she has undergone, shows in her personality, as she becomes completely submissive.

The final segments of this movie focus on Cheryl’s rescue and her mentality.  Without gore, the movie ends on such a disturbing note, that her psychological state shook me more than the torture scenes.  If you do get a chance to view this movie, watch past the credits, there is a hidden scene at the end.  For me, since the only way this can be viewed is by finding it online, the experience creeped me out more than similar movies that one might have easy access to.

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Guinea Pig: Flower of Flesh and Blood is the infamous torture porn movie that caused Charlie Sheen to call the FBI and report it as a snuff film.  Obviously, this wasn’t the first complaint the FBI had received, as they were already investigating the filmmakers.  To everyone’s relief, the footage was deemed to be fake.

For those unfamiliar with the Guinea Pig movies, they are a series that gained notoriety during the 1980s -1990s. The original concept was to have the movies reflect Hideshi Hino’s manga.  Most of these movies are filmed in one location and lack any real plot. Their main purpose is to repulse and show off special effect skills.

Guinea Pig: Flower of Flesh and Blood is the most famous of the series.  For America, this is possibly because of Charlie Sheen calling the FBI, yet, it could be because this installment provides nerve cringing scenes that look so realistic, the viewer starts doubting if they are fake or not.

Since this movie lacks plot and provides gore for no other reason but to repulse, it doesn’t build a fear factor until the end, as we learn the maniac remains at large, looking for his next victim. Although some would say the idea isn’t frightening, I have always been compelled to make sure my doors are locked, and blinds are pulled, when a movie ends with the killer running amuck.

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The Girl Next Door is based off of the book by the same title and is inspired by the true story of Sylvia Likens and Gertrude Baniszewski. If you are looking for a movie that not only will repulse, but make your blood boil with rage, this one is for you.

The movie follows two sisters, Meg and Susan, who have lost their parents in a car crash.  With nowhere to go, they are sent to live with Aunt Ruth and her three sons.  Although this caregiver comes off as a loving parent, she encourages smoking and alcoholism among her sons and their friends.   As Aunt Ruth teeters on the edge of sanity from her own alcoholism and jealousy, she utilizes Meg as a scapegoat.

Once seeing what she can get away with, Ruth begins encouraging her children to also bully Meg.  Soon, the bullying and verbal abuse becomes physical with beatings and cigarette burns.  Shortly thereafter, Ruth ties Meg up in the basement where she is starved, deprived of sleep, gang raped, cut, beaten, and circumcised with a blow torch.

When seeing this movie, I had no clue what I had bargained for until after I watched it. If you are looking for that one film that will make you want to bathe in Clorox, this is it. However, if you are interested in the story vs. the torture porn aspects of it, the movie starring Ellen Page, Evan Peters, Catherine Kenner, and James Franco called An American Crime, could be more your speed.  Also, An American Crime is more of an accurate telling.

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Begotten is a movie that just can’t be categorized. Instead of it being a flat out horror movie, I could easily see it falling into the fantasy genre. Begotten is truly a one of a kind experience, as there is no dialogue, or music, for its entire length. Instead of conversing persons, sound effects, or theme songs, we have 72 minutes worth of chirping crickets.

Filmed in harsh black and white, without utilizing any of the gray scale, we watch as God disembowels himself. After he dies, a female known as Mother Earth emerges from him and impregnates herself with his seed. As she wanders off into a barren wasteland, she gives birth to a full grown man, who she leaves to the elements. In the credits, this character is known as Son of Earth.

Just when I didn’t think the movie could become any more bizarre, a group of nomads encounter Son of Earth and drag him away by what appears to be an umbilical cord.  After these nomads torture and burn Son of Earth, Mother Earth returns to him, attempting to bring him comfort.

During her coddling, the nomads rape and dismember her, as Son of Earth is forced to watch.  Next, they dismember Son of Earth, then they bury him with Mother Earth.  Once both have been buried, flowers bloom across the once barren land.

Although Begotten’s graphic scenes are few and in between. It is an intense movie that sucks the viewer into its hypnotic imagery and story.  For those who are curious to what this movie represents, it is supposed to be the writer/director’s take on Genesis.

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Martyrs is a movie that left me feeling stunned. The movie opens with a young girl named Lucie escaping what appears to be an abandoned warehouse.  By her appearance, we assume she has undergone a tremendous degree of torture.  After Lucie is rescued, she is taken in by an orphanage where she befriends Anna, a girl who is near her own age.  The childhood sequence wraps itself up with Lucie catching a glimpse of something unworldly.

A decade later, Lucie and Anna hunt down the family responsible for her child abuse.  Once her vengeance has been exacted, the movie takes a hard turn for the worse.  Although filled with scenes of intense gore, violence, and torture, this movie is packed with twists and turns, and still delivers a psychological plot.

The first time I saw Martyrs, I went into it blindly, and I’m glad I did. First, I thought it was a revenge movie.  Then I thought it was a creature movie.  Finally, I saw it was a speculative film commenting on those who witness the afterlife.  Out of all of the movies listed here, this is the most unique, creative, and thought provoking of the bunch.

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I Spit on Your Grave (original). By now, everyone has either seen, or heard of I Spit on Your Grave. In case you are one of the few left in the dark, here’s the concept. A young author, Jennifer Hills, takes refuge in the wilderness and is gang raped by a group of locals. After being left for dead, she recuperates and exacts her revenge.

My first experience watching this was when I was a teenager, and it was like having a bucket of ice water dumped on me.  Never before, or since, have I seen a rape sequence this descriptive, as the brutality spans for the better part of 30 minutes. Although some of the acting could be considered B rated, the effects and rape sequence is realistic enough to make one question if the scenes are acted or not.

In my opinion, the one scene that could prevent someone from continuing forward in this movie, if they aren’t already used to extreme cinema, is the boulder rape scene. If you make it past that, the bottle rape and castration scenes will be a walk in the park.  For anyone looking for the ultimate revenge flick, it doesn’t get any better than the original I Spit on Your Grave.

I hope you enjoyed this list.  I look forward to everyone’s comments.  And if you do decide to venture into any of these movies, proceed with caution.

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Happy Halloween!

Dancing Devil Shot Recipe

Posted in Alexander S. Brown, Amazon, authors, cult books, cult classic, cult classics, cult favorites, Cult horror, drink recipes, drinks, entertaining, entertainment, fandom, Fiction, Halloween, Halloween Books, halloween recipes, holidays, Horror, Horror Authors, Horror Book, Horror Books, Horror Fans, Horror Fiction, horror literature, Horror Lovers, Horror Punks, Horror Readers, Independent Horror, literature, Mississippi, mississippi authors, Mississippi Horror Author, Read, readers, reading, Readings, south, southern authors, The Night The Jack O Lantern Went Out, Uncategorized on October 8, 2016 by Alexander S. Brown

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I created another shot recipe for my new bestselling book, The Night the Jack O’ Lantern Went Out. Because of the online shares I have received, here’s something devilish to make you dance.

Dancing Devil Shot:

1/2 tsp Fireball

Half Praline Liquor

Half Cherry Bourbon

Sprinkle lightly with nutmeg.

Enjoy!

This shot was inspired by my short story, The Fire Watcher, which is featured in TNTJWO.

For those who are unfamiliar with TNTJWO, this book is a collection of 13 vintage Halloween stories that are themed around folklore, customs, and superstitions. On its release date, it was ranked in the top 100 under the 3 bestseller lists on http://www.Amazon.com.

Lists include:

Ebooks

#19 Horror Short Stories

#88 Genre Fiction/ Holidays

Books

#93 Holidays

TNTJWO is already on its way to becoming a holiday cult classic with young adults and adults.  Order your paperback or ebook by clicking HERE.

View a teaser trailer HERE.

Jack O’ Lantern Shot Recipe

Posted in Alexander S. Brown, Amazon, authors, books, cult books, cult classic, cult classics, cult favorites, Cult horror, discussion, drink recipes, drinks, entertaining, entertainment, fandom, Fiction, frightening, Gay Horror Authors, Halloween, Halloween Books, halloween recipes, holidays, Horror, horror art, horror artist, Horror Authors, Horror Book, Horror Books, Horror Fans, Horror Fiction, horror literature, Horror Lovers, Horror Movies, Horror Punks, Horror Readers, Independent Horror, interviews, investigation, literature, Literatures, Mississippi, mississippi art, mississippi authors, mississippi horror artists, Mississippi Horror Author, october, paranormal, Pro Se Press, Read, readers, reading, Readings, scarticia, scary, south, southern authors, spirits, The Night The Jack O Lantern Went Out, Uncategorized with tags on September 27, 2016 by Alexander S. Brown

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Last night, I shared online that I concocted a secret shot recipe for my new book, The Night the Jack O’ Lantern Went Out.

I offered to reveal that recipe, if TNTJWO was shared over 13+ times. Due to everyone’s support and love, here is my secret recipe.

Jack O’ Lantern Shot

Rim shot glass with:

Maple Syrup & Brown Sugar

Fill shot glass with:

Half Pumpkin Vodka

Half Amaretto Liquor

Enjoy!

For those who are unfamiliar with TNTJWO, this book is a collection of 13 vintage Halloween stories that are themed around folklore, customs, and superstitions. On its release date, it was ranked in the top 100 under 3 bestseller lists on www.Amazon.com.

Lists include:

Ebooks

#19 Horror Short Stories

#88 Genre Fiction/ Holidays

Books

#93 Holidays

TNTJWO is already on its way to becoming a holiday cult classic with young adults and adults. Order your paperback or ebook by clicking HERE.

View a teaser trailer HERE.

 

 

Ever Wondered How Those Stories Get Started?

Posted in Alexander S. Brown, Amazon, authors, books, cult books, cult classic, Cult horror, Dark Oak Press, discussion, entertaining, entertainment, fandom, Fiction, Gay Horror Authors, Halloween, Horror, horror art, horror artist, Horror Authors, Horror Book, Horror Books, Horror Fans, Horror Fiction, horror literature, Horror Lovers, Horror Punks, Horror Readers, Independent Horror, literature, Literatures, Mississippi, mississippi authors, mississippi horror artists, Mississippi Horror Author, Read, readers, reading, Readings, scary, south, southern authors, Splatterpunk, Uncategorized, werewolf, werewolves on September 14, 2016 by Alexander S. Brown

Happy Werewolf Wednesday!  Instead of Instagraming/Facebooking/Twittering werewolf jokes today, as usual, I decided to address some reoccurring questions that readers had about my novel Syrenthia Falls.  For those who haven’t read my novel, don’t worry, my answers shouldn’t give away any major spoilers, and if you like what you see, Amazon links will be provided at the conclusion of my blog.  If you have never read Syrenthia Falls, this is what you can expect:

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Syrenthia is a teenage misfit who has never tasted friendship or romance. She has always been typecast as a wallflower, black sheep, and bookworm. Near the beginning of her senior year, she is befriended by Sarah who introduces her to a group of classmates that accept her as is.

Syrenthia quickly learns that this group of free spirited teenagers shares her strongest interest, urban legends. Each day, she learns more and more about a place called “The Falls” where someone or something has terrorized the land for years and only those with a death wish dare to venture out.

Upon arrival, the friends see that “The Falls” is nothing more than a swimming hole, a sandbar, and a waterfall. All is fun and games, until night falls. Once the full moon shines overhead, they are faced with a monstrous beast that is savage and extremely hungry. Only two people survive, one escapes unharmed, the other, Syrenthia, is not so lucky. However, over the passing weeks, Syrenthia grows to be a powerful and dangerous force. One by one her enemies are subjected to her wrath.

Now, the questions:

 “What makes your werewolf novel stand out among the rest?” 

I hear this question frequently.  Even when I pitched Syrenthia Falls to Dark Oak Press, I had to quickly explain why this book should be published, and how it differed from other novels.  I started my pitch with a mistake.  Nervous, I took a deep breath and blurted, “This book is the first in a series and the main character is the town itself.”

My publisher replied, “Yeah, that hasn’t been done before.”

Still, I had the floor. I agreed with him, and admitted that having a town as the main character was a common theme among the genre.  Since the ice was now broken, I felt like I had nothing left to lose.  I continued, “Syrenthia Falls is a werewolf novel set in suburbia.  In a sense, it’s like Stephen King’s Carrie meets An American Werewolf in London.  The werewolf is a metaphor.  It regards the beast that dwells within each of us and how that beast can become provoked.  That’s why with my novel, I have manipulated the werewolf subgenre so that it is presented as a retelling of Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde.”

With my publisher’s interest piqued, I now felt more confident.  I continued, “To avoid the werewolf cliché, I researched Voodoo, Satanism, and European superstitions.  In my research, I have found unique folklore and philosophies that I have used to construct my modern day beast.”

Although he wasn’t entirely sold, he did say, “Send it over and I’ll look at it.”

Months later, after emailing Dark Oak Press my manuscript, I received my acceptance letter.

“What fun facts can you tell me about your book?”

Some people who have read Syrenthia Falls, might wonder why I have described some characters who don’t show back up in this volume.  Trust, there is a reason for this, they have their own story.  In time, they will have their own book.  Again, the town is the main character and this town (Havensburg) has many residents and many dark secrets.  In the following Havensburg books, I plan to introduce new characters, lifestyles, scenarios, and classic creatures while breathing new life into them.

As I earlier noted, my werewolf was inspired by Voodoo, Satanism, and European superstitions and philosophies.  Prior to writing Syrenthia Falls, I had read a book called Voodoo Secrets by Heike Owusu.  This book had a segment in it, where it spoke of how werewolves detested bitter blood, and the two elements that made the blood bitter were coffee or tea.  It noted that by purging oneself with coffee or tea, one’s blood would gain a bitter smell that would act as a repellent against the werewolf.  When utilizing this information, I decided to go a step further and make the tea a weapon, such as silver.

I researched Levayan Satanism when I decided to dive into Syrenthia’s thoughts.  When I was surfing the web one day, I stumbled upon an interview that Bob Larson provided to Zeena Levay and Nikolas Schreck.  In this interview, I learned what their fundaments were and I found it interesting on how human based they had made their commandments. These are the fundamentals that I loosely elaborated upon in her thought process.

For the final touch, I returned to the root of werewolf folklore – Europe.  In my research, I learned of a formula that occult practitioners would concoct when wanting to transform into a werewolf.  So that I could birth my physical monster, I read of how these practitioners utilized herbs, wolf skins, salves, and chanting to create something bloodthirsty.  What I found most interesting is that opium had been used in their transformation spell.

“I thought the book was young adult, but it ended up being adult.”

This was a complaint that I received in a review.  Things like this happen.  However, just because a novel features teenagers, doesn’t mean it is young adult related.  But, truth be it, this was a concern I had when writing the novel.  When creating the characters, I couldn’t see them being anyone other than a group of teenagers, as I wanted to focus on peer pressure, child abuse, bullying, and coming of age.  Yet, although I focused on these subjects, the book is intended for adults only.

Who are your favorite characters?”

Each of my lead characters are based off of people I know, so I favor all of them.

Sarah is one of my favorites, as she grows from being an abused child, to being a fighter.  Writing Sarah was a touchy subject.  I based her off of a high school friend who suffered sexual abuse while we were in school.  During our school years, I watched her go from being a victim, to becoming a heroine.

My favorite character, of course, is Syrenthia.  The reason being is because I could identify with her as a person who was once a shy outcast.  The emotions and feelings she experiences make her a grey character and someone that people can either sympathize or empathize with.  The fact that she is the embodiment of good and evil, makes her more interesting.

“Why did you name your book Syrenthia Falls when the character is named Syrenthia and there is a location called Owen Falls?  The two don’t go together.”

I have been asked this on occasion and actually, the two go very well together.  The title regards Syrenthia descending a downward spiral.  As the reader progresses in the book, they see how she slowly unravels more and more until there is very little of the real Syrenthia left.  The waterfall also plays a great factor in this novel, as this is where Syrenthia begins her downward spiral, and in many cultures, water is seen as a symbol of transformation and rebirth.

“Why should I buy your book?”

Syrenthia Falls is a novel that I feel won’t disappoint you and I feel it is something that will renew the age old legend of the werewolf.  It is a piece of literature that has currently inspired artwork by Courtney Vice and tea by Kimberly Richardson.  Links are listed below so you may purchase my book and the inspired art and tea.

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Click each name to be redirected to the page of your liking.

Courtney Vice’s Facebook Page

Viridian Tea Company

Dark Oak Press (Free chapter of Syrenthia Falls Here).

Syrenthia Falls purchase link.  Available in paperback, hardback, and ebook.

Alexander S. Brown Facebook

Alexander S. Brown Instagram

Alexander S. Brown Twitter

Book Review for Under the Devil’s Wing: The Beast of Birmingham by T. S. Barnett

Posted in Alabama Authors, Amazon, author reviews, authors, Book Reviews, books, cult books, Cult horror, discussion, entertaining, entertainment, Fiction, Halloween, holidays, Horror, horror artist, Horror Authors, Horror Book, Horror Books, Horror Fans, Horror Fiction, horror literature, Horror Lovers, Horror Punks, Horror Readers, Independent Horror, literature, Literatures, Mississippi, Read, readers, reading, Readings, scary, south, southern authors, T. S. Barnett, Uncategorized, werewolf, werewolves on September 8, 2016 by Alexander S. Brown

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This is my first time reading T.S. Barnett and the experience left me looking forward to the rest of her books.  With “Under the Devil’s Wing: The Beast of Birmingham” each chapter is dedicated to its own character.  As the book progresses, the point of views change, exploring the mind of each antagonist and protagonist.  To me, this method of storytelling was most intriguing as it introduces everyone individually, then skillfully brings them together for a tense conclusion.

“The Beast of Birmingham” starts with an opening that is both sexual and violent.  A bartender by the name of Lilah is seduced by Sam, then murdered once he changes into a werewolf.  Shortly after, we discover that Sam, AKA Scratch, has become infamous in online forums and hearsay regarding his brutality.  With exhausting his options of refuge, Sam visits David, his son by wolf bloodline.

David is the kind of werewolf who has learned how to control his urges, and by doing so, lives in harmony.  Even though he doesn’t want to welcome Sam into his home, as he knows Sam is a troublemaker, David feels obligated to provide this father figure with shelter.  During Sam’s visit, he entices David to transform with him and have a night out.  Against David’s better judgement, he gives into Sam’s instigation.

What begins as a fun, late night run, soon turns deadly.  As the two become separated, Sam gives into his animal instinct and attacks a woman named Marcy.  During the attack, David hears the dispute and runs to the rescue before Sam kills her.  David, being the peacemaker, takes Marcy to a private doctor who helps nurse her.

As the plot thickens, we learn about Alicia, who has survived a prior attack from Sam.  Alicia is an ex-marine, who is scorned and looking for vengeance.  After attending group therapy for her assault, she is abducted by a man named Reiniger, who takes her to a warehouse style prison.  Here, he assures Alicia that he means her no harm.  Furthermore, he explains that he can help her exact revenge upon Sam, if she joins their group of werewolf hunters known as Wolfjäger.  Of course, she accepts his proposal.

With the stage set, we redirect our focus to Marcy, who wakes up safe and healed in the private doctor’s office.  Upon her awakening, David explains the circumstance and offers her guidance.  Due to his caring heart, and feeling like she has nowhere else to turn now that she’s a werewolf, she feels that he is her best option.  After she joins them, David explains they should take refuge in a more secluded area with an experienced acquaintance named Nat.   By doing this, Marcy will be able to undergo her first transformation and adapt to her new lifestyle in peace while receiving female guidance.

Upon meeting Nat, we learn that Sam changed her into a werewolf decades ago, and she is a mother figure to David.  Such as David, she isn’t fond of Sam, yet she feels obligated to help the trio because of the bond she shares with David and the empathy she feels for Marcy.  After everyone settles in together, the subject of werewolf hunters come into play and how they, as werewolves, must tread carefully.  Although Sam dismisses their worries, as he claims werewolf hunters are only urban myth, he soon learns that werewolf hunters do indeed exist.  At this point forward, “Under the Devil’s Wing” becomes a game of cat and mouse.

By the book’s conclusion, very little is resolved between the werewolves and the werewolf hunters.  If anything, the ending opens up a whole new keg of nails, which is sure to keep the series strong for many volumes to come.

Overall, the style in which this book is written is peculiar.  Although it is packed with information and backstory, it is crafted in such a way that it is a fast read with little to no boring information.  Also, I applaud Barnett for being able to create such a diverse cast of characters while keeping them gray.  The way she brought me into their thought process and life, made me fear for each of them when they were in danger, this even included Sam.   I think that since none of the characters are completely good, or completely bad, it makes them feel more human, adding a deeper level of realism.

From a scale of 1 to 10.  1 being the worst and 10 being the best, I would rate this book an 8 ½.   It had likable characters, kept me in suspense, and kept me wanting more.

Visit T.S. Barnett’s Amazon page HERE!

Artist Jason Hardy Speaks of Halloween and Suggests Some Great Horror Classics

Posted in Alexander S. Brown, artist interview, bayou con, entertainment, Halloween, holidays, Horror, interviews, Jason Hardy, Lousiana Arts, scary with tags , , , , , , , , , , , on October 31, 2014 by Alexander S. Brown

Two years ago in Lake Charles, LA I met an artist known as Jason Hardy.  It was during our time at Bayou Con that we began sharing our fandom of Halloween.  With his many works of art that contribute to the genres of horror, fantasy, and sci-fi, he also features pieces that are Halloween themed.  On the side, he writes and I have been lucky enough to enjoy his book of Halloween poetry.  As we approach the witching hour the night before Halloween, I present to you Jason Hardy.

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Mr. Hardy describes his life as, “I was born one Halloween night which is why my mom still screams a lot. While it would be awesome if the preceding was true I may burn in the hockey stick store if I don’t admit it’s not. I was born on JFK’s birthday. Or maybe it’s on the day he was shot which may account for my occasional paranoia. Flash forward to today and I still live about three blocks from where JFK, I mean the doctor, yanked me out. I’m a high school teacher living in my hometown of Kaplan in the heart of Cajun country in Louisiana. I am at present 54 years of age which is a lot of mileage but my dip stick still gets the job done. I drive a pickup truck which fits rather well in my Mayberry sort of town. I graduated from LSU a horrifying number of years ago. In my free time outside the classroom I am an artist and poet (though an inordinate amount of people don’t know it…that was a gratis rhyme to show I can do it). I always wanted to be a professional writer or artist but I ended up teaching kids instead which is fine. As long as they can draw a dandy stick figure and correctly spell my name below it I’m good. I have published one poem in my lifetime in Ellery Queen Mystery magazine many years ago. It paid $30 so it’s really no mystery why I did not immediately head for Vegas. As is obviously evident my writing and art is generally humorous. I don’t do landscapes unless they are on Venus or a convenient graveyard. I have done an occasional bird. Which sounds dirty but isn’t. Despite not being a Halloween baby (see above) it remains my favorite holiday. Pumpkins oddly enough don’t frighten me, although a pumpkin boy named Linus might. When I retire from going to school nearly my entire life in a few years I plan to write young adult fiction. Since I’ve been around them so much and survived. Maybe with an evil nun tossed in to commemorate my Catholic school days. I have a black cat named Raven after Mr. Poe who threatened me with an injunction if I did not mention him. He is deweinered but not declawed so I tend to listen. I live in a house built in 1945 but only dated Rosie the Rivetor briefly. In closing, it still pisses me off that we have to pay the Russians to get off the planet earth. I love to collect books and statues which makes me feel better about the Russians.”

What does Halloween mean to you?

Halloween means nostalgia to me. Takes my frequently addled adult mind back to a more innocent, fun time. Lots of good memories. Back to a time when the only terrorists were the kids brave enough to throw eggs at someone’s house or light the infamous poo-bag.

What is your most memorable Halloween?

Most memorable moment was ironically the last. The dreaded night when because of advanced age I was banned from trick or treating. Oh, the horror! So what’s a kid to do? Sneak out, that’s what. Pathetic costume: knit NFL team hat and football. Desperate strategy: Quick end runs to the closest houses for that final, forbidden candy fix. Approximate age: fifteen give or take a tootsie roll. It was bittersweet, clandestine fun. Although I couldn’t spell “clandestine” back then.

What was your best Halloween costume?

Given the time period, probably a hobo of some sort. Down and dirty. Back then we mostly wore the classic plastic store bought masks with the elastic string that would sting your ears.

What was your worst Halloween costume?

It wasn’t on me. A kid I knew and probably subtly bullied in the neighborhood dressed as a blue UPS mailbox one year. With the slit to see through. Actually very creative at the time. But we pushed him over mercilessly since his visibility was marginal. We thought about but did not actually pee through the slit. Nobody likes wet mail.

Some believe Halloween is negative.  Why do you believe this is so?

Obviously because it began as a Catholic holiday and soon became much darker. To me it’s just fun. No religious motif involved for this boy. Oh, and the legend of the razor blades didn’t help.

What do you do on Halloween to keep the ghosts and ghouls away on Halloween?

I leave my porch light on. Which in the old days would have made me the mean-ass old man of the neighborhood who would rather pay his light bill than spend a dime on candy. Of course with today’s wussy Halloween, even if I leave the porch light off only a few kids would bother to show up. And even then it’s still daylight!

What scares you?

I find myself occasionally scared by spiders, lack of toilet paper, Opera, Little Debbie going out of business or continuing to shrink and the disappearance of thongs from the world. Mostly spiders.

What are your favorite scary movies?

Monster Squad, Alien, Something Wicked, Trick R Treat, The Thing, The Innocents, Scared Stiff.

What are some of your favorite horror books?

Something Wicked by a wicked mile (again nostalgic for me), Nightmare Factory, Our Lady of Darkness, At the Mountains of Madness, The Shining.

Do you prefer fast paced or slow burners?

I prefer moderately paced books that threaten to burn my butt. Which thrills me.

Who are your inspirations?

I’ve been inspired over the years by HPL, REH, Fritz Leiber, various movies and memories.

Do you plan to contribute to the horror genre in the future?

I may have another horror story in me. If I not drained dry by a horny vampires first. Which in the long run may not be too bloody terrible. I plan to write more when I retire. At the moment I continue to write generally humorous horror poems for fun. I would love to be published in Weird Tales before I die so that when I run into HPL and his black cat someday I can say, “Me too, beee-acch!”

Where can we find your work?

My art can be found lurking on my Facebook page at the moment. Also all over the floor of my “art studio” where my black cat can lounge his lazy ass all over it as a feline critique. My humorous poetry books can be found in a rather lonely corner of Lulu online. When I sell one I feel closer to retirement, but only marginally so. Which is spooky.