From the press release:
NORTH KINGSTOWN, R.I. –
Dark Hall Press is proud to present its newest release, The Darkest Touch
by Joseph Sale. (Horror/Urban Fantasy)
In the aftermath of a world-wide nuclear conflict, dark forces have taken control in New York City. Gifted with powers beyond reckoning, the Touched have inherited the after world, instating their own notion of order, and killing all who oppose their rule. But rebels are gathering, along with strange voices that sound in the deep, and the dark city is about to go even darker.
As of today, April 11th 2014, The Darkest Touchwill be availalble for purchase via Amazon, Barnes & Noble, and other such sites in both Kindle and print editions.
Paperback: $14.95 / eBook: $2.99
About the Author:
Joseph Sale is novelist, poet, musician and performer, originally from Bournemouth. He studied English with Creative Writing at the University of Birmingham. His short stories have appeared in magazines such as Silver Blade and Fiction Vortex.
Find the book here: http://darkhallpress.com/the_darkest_touch
About Dark Hall Press:
Dark Hall seeks to promote a diverse body of quality works, advancing the tradition of Horror storytelling as well as providing exposure for up-and-coming writers.
Our list includes works of supernatural and non-supernatural horror, as well as cross-genre pollinations (sci-fi/horror, fantasy/horror, noir/horror, etc.) and experimental works.
All Dark Hall titles are published in simultaneous eBook and paper editions, with distribution of the latter via Ingram.
I was cruising around the web and came across this. I thought you writers out there might be interested. Below is from the website, but you can click on the link to find out more.
A dark ritual anthology edited by LINCOLN CRISLER
Rituals have always been a powerful part of human life, from the ancient Aztec nation’s human sacrifice to the supposed transubstantiation of the Communion elements during Catholic Mass. They impart a sense of history, comfort, community, common ground—but also power, mystery and horror. Since this isn’t Clam Chowder for the Coddled Child, I’m interested in the latter attributes. I want to see dark ritual in all the various forms you can imagine—from the ancient and ceremonial to the simple and home-grown. The rituals in your stories can be grounded in painstaking research or your own twisted creations. They can have real power or simply exist in the minds of your characters. They can produce the desired effect or something else entirely.
Stories predicated upon the standard voodoo doll or zombie need to be particularly mind-blowing, as such topics are expected given the theme—the same goes for Cthulhu Mythos. If you’ve read CORRUPTS ABSOLUTELY? you’ll know that I’m especially interested in the kind of stories that play with people’s preconceived notions and turn tropes on their ears. I’m anticipating a modern setting for most pieces, though I’m open to historical stories told with today’s sensibilities. Cross-genre stories will likely be a hard sell. No Science Fiction. Urban Fantasy might work. Gore and sex need to support an actual story, rather than be the end in and of themselves. Payment will be split royalties, paid quarterly*. Word count is 3-5,000. Reading period is from 1 January 2014 to 1 June 2014. Publication is tentatively scheduled for October 2014, by Angelic Knight Press. Send your stories in standard manuscript format to email@example.com.
Editor’s Note: For published pieces we ask for (whatever rights you take). Bear in mind that most publications will not publish pieces that have been published in print, eBook, or on the web, so for all intents and purposes after your work is published by us it can only be marketed as a reprint, which severely limits the number of markets that will accept it, and drastically reduces the pay rate it can receive. It is up to you, the author, to decide if publishing your work in print and/or eBook formats and/or on the web, giving up your First Publishing Right for no and/or a token payment, is really what you want to do.
The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug
Director: Peter Jackson
Cast: Ian McKellen, Martin Freeman, Richard Armitage
By Brian M. Sammons
Yes, this isn’t horror, but it’s Tolkien, and that will always get a free pass from me. It also has murderous maniacs in the form of orcs that are every bit as terrifying as any slasher, not to mention a genocidal dragon and even the undead tossed in for good measure. So yeah, I think this movie can find a home here, but the question is; is it any good?
You see, while I loved all three of the Lord of the Rings movies, I didn’t like the first Hobbit movie all that much. I didn’t hate it, but with its overlong runtime and way too overstuffed feeling, combined with the silly bits (dwarves dancing, singing, and plate-throwing) that really didn’t sit right with me, I just sort of tolerated it. The fact that Peter Jackson and co. took a rather simple story and stretched it to the breaking point to make three films out of what really should have been one, all in the name of the only quest they seem interested in, raiding your wallet, really put a foul taste in my mouth for that first movie.
That icky feeling returned when it came time for me to watch this sequel. But then I watch it, and while I still think it is a bit too padded, I enjoyed Smaug a whole hell of a lot more. Gone were the out and out stupid bits, increased was the emphasis on the action, and that’s how I prefer my fantasy. Give me swords and fighting over singing and dancing any time.
Oh, and spiders. I do love me some evil spiders, and that’s where this movie starts off. Bilbo and his dwarf friends are beset by a horde of evil arachnids. Naturally they make it through that (there’s still a lot of movie to get through) but there is a lot fantasy goodness to be had in that scene. Then the weary travelers meet the elves, but they’re not the nice, helpful elves you might expect from the previous movies. No, these guys are all full of attitude. Even the return of a future hero (as the LotR’s movies come after this one) seems different as the dainty death machine, Legolas, seems a bit emo as he is locked in a love triangle between himself, Evangeline (Lost) Lilly’s equally badass lady elf, and one of the dwarves. While this bit also seemed like padding, and it is, it was at least done well.
There is a sidetrack quest by Gandalf to a haunted castle that’s sadly nothing but a tease for the third movie, and a trip to the floating human city of Laketown to show that mankind is no better than all of the other squabbling races in Middle Earth. Then, at long last, it’s dragon time, and as an old nerd that has tossed more than his share of d20s in his time, this is where this movie excelled. Not only did Smaug look resplendent and intimidating in all its CGI glory, but having Benedict (Sherlock) Cumberbatch voice him was a stroke of genius. And no, not just because Bilbo is played by Sherlock’s Watson, Martin Freeman, and the whole thing sort of had a surreal aspect to it if you’re a fan of that British TV show, as I am. Sadly, this epic confrontation, like the aforementioned haunted castle bit, is left off as a cliffhanger and not satisfyingly resolved here. Boy, am I so glad they broke up this short novel (my 50th anniversary edition is less than 300 pages, and that’s with plenty of illustrations and big print) into three movies.
The new Blu-ray, DVD, digital combo pack from Warner Bros not only looks and sounds amazing, as you would expect from such a big budget, effects heavy movie as this one, but it comes with a collection of extras. On the Blu-ray you will find “New Zealand: Home of Middle Earth” which is pretty much nothing more than a seven minute tourism video. On a second DVD are all the rest of the extras. “Peter Jackson Invites You to the Set” is exactly what it sounds like, a bunch of behind the scenes bits and interviews cobbled together that runs a meaty 40 minutes long. There are an additional 36 minutes of production videos presented in a vlog format. Lastly there is a collection of 6 trailers. While these special features aren’t bad, there is a tangible feeling that most of the best goodies are being held back for the inevitable special extended edition that you know is right around the corner.
The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug is a much better outing than the previous movie. It’s more action packed, has more grand moments, and even if it was still overstuffed, it was an enjoyable, fantastical ride. My biggest gripe with it is that as a standalone movie, it is sadly incomplete. As a middle part of a meticulously planned trilogy, it delivers the goods and does whet the appetite for what’s to come. If you’re a fan of Tolkien, and especially of Peter Jackson’s take on Tolkien, then you’re going to want to watch this movie. Hell, you probably already have your copy preordered. So to all the fans of Middle Earth, consider it well recommended.
Check out the new trailer for Indigenous. If you’re planning on attending the Tribeca Film Festival, you may want to check this one out.
In the ultimate vacation-gone-wrong scenario, the pic focuses on five friends who travel to Panama to rest and reconnect. Things take a turn when they befriend a local woman in their hotel bar—and despite some ominous whispers—she goes against the specific instructions of her brother and brings the Americans on a day trip into the pristine falls at the nearby jungle. What begins as an innocent outing quickly turns terrifying after she suddenly goes missing and they become prey for the legendary, blood-sucking Chupacabra. Cast includes Zachary Soetenga, Lindsey McKeon, Pierson Fode, Sofia Pernas, Laura Penuela, Juanxo Villaverde.
by William Morgan
He opened his eyes
Darkness filled him with dread
He scratched on the lid
Screaming “I am not dead!”
He kicked and he punched
And wept with despair
He shuddered and gulped
As he ran out of air
He thought of his Wife,
Kids, and lover Irene
Remembered the photos
the chaotic scene
Recalled drinking the scotch
Then nothing else formed
Hell hath no fury
Like a woman scorned
Paranormal Activity: The Marked Ones
Director: Christopher Landon
Cast: Andrew Jacobs, Jorge Diaz, Gabrielle Walsh
By Brian M. Sammons
Another Paranormal Activity movie? And what’s more, this is but one of two that will be released this year. Really? Really, really? Not even the Saw movies beat the dead horse that bad. Well it’s my job to watch this stuff, even if I don’t want to, if just to spare you people some pain. Okay, let’s do this!
84 minutes later…
Well, that’s wasn’t as horrible as I thought it was going to be. No, it’s not great or anything, but neither was it completely without merit. It’s a far sight better than those later Saw movies, so there’s that. So hey, do you want to know more about the first Paranormal Activity movie of 2014? Well okay, I can do that.
This movie is a bit of a departure from the Paranormal norm, as it’s not about well-off white people living in impressive houses. No, this one is about a Latino family living in an apartment so small that the widowed father and the just-graduated-from-high-school son have to share a bedroom. The graduate in question, Jesse, has a weird downstairs neighbor lady who keeps to herself so much so that she covers all of her windows in newspaper. After spying on the strange “witchy woman”, and seeing her doing witchy-like things, she is killed by a one of Jesse’s former classmates for no apparent reason. Being curious, and I guess bored, Jesse and some friends look into the matter, and therein lies the hook needed to draw them all into some paranormal activity.
Don’t get me wrong, this is not a love fest, not everything is wonderful in this film. In fact I think it’s the weakest of the lot yet. There are more than a few plot holes here, and if you’ve seen any of the previous PA movies, you will notice a lot of the same tricks done here. But then, this is the fifth movie in a series, and that’s to be expected. Also, Jesse and Co. have to keep making bad decisions in order for parts of the plot to play out, something I don’t think was done all that much in any of the previous movies. In those earlier films, the characters didn’t actively go sticking their noses into trouble all that much. There were several times during The Marked Ones where I thought, “well, you idiots get what you deserve after that.” Lastly, and most damming of all, never once did this horror movie scare me. Maybe the Paranormal Activity bag of tricks is finally empty? Whatever the case may be, while the previous movies in the franchise had their ups and downs in overall quality, they all had moments of effective fright. I can’t say the same thing about The Marked Ones.
That said, there are some good things to this movie too. I love the use of an old Simon electronic game as an Ouija board. Sure, that’s a minor thing, but it was pulled off well. Also, the evolving Paranormal Activity mythology is further explored and explained, and I was surprised to find out that I liked parts of that explanation a lot. It conjured up shades of Rosemary’s Baby for me, and that’s never a bad thing. Lastly, there are some direct links to the previous movies in what otherwise feels like a side story, including an ending I thought was leaps and bounds better than the last movie’s.
So Paranormal Activity: The Marked Ones was a little bit better than I thought it to be. Sadly, the new Blu-ray from Paramount is worse than what I’ve come to expect from a modern release. There are two versions of the movie here, one rated and one unrated, but since I didn’t watch this movie twice, I can’t tell you what the difference between them is. I can say that I watched the unrated one, and if you are expecting gore galore from that version because it’s unrated, you’ll be disappointed. Honestly, there’s nothing in that cut that would warrant anything more severe than a PG-13 rating. Wait, the movie originally got an R-rating? No way. What the hell for? Whatever, other than the two versions of this movie, there is a short collection of six deleted scenes that all together run about ten minutes and adds nothing to the film. And that’s it, that’s all the not-so-special features in this release.
Paranormal Activity: The Marked Ones is not a horrible movie, but it’s not all that great, either, and never once is it really scary. It does expand on the backstory of the previous films, so diehard PA fans should check it out if just for that. For everyone else, consider it mildly recommended at best, or a pass if you’re sick of the found footage thing by now.
by William Morgan
“911,what’s your emergency?”
“My wife!Oh,God,my wife!”
“Your wife is hurt?”
“Not your w-”
“Kidnapped? Has your -”
“Sir, I don’t underst-”
“Wife stolen!…replaced,…by Notwife.Fairyfolk…all their doing.For pity’s sake…”
“Sir-abuse of the emergenc-”
“…Usually babies…,don’t understand.Why her? Notwife kept denying.Saw through her lies!”
“Sir! Have you been drinking? Are you under the-”
“Sober! Notwife’s been taken care of-”
“What do you mean “taken care of?”
He looked down on the living room floor at the bits and pieces of Notwife.
He started to laugh,but, to his ears,it sounded like a wail.