Archive for Horror News
Wolfish words: How the wolf has influenced common sayings
Humans and wolves have a long and storied past. These majestic, fearsome creatures have influenced our folklore as well as our common language.
In celebrating the release of The Wolf at War, the final book in my werewolf trilogy, I look at a few sayings derived from our relationship with wolves.
Keep the Wolves at Bay
The phrase “to keep the wolves at bay” refers to a time when baying wolves were a sign that wolves were still in the distance. The idea is that when wolves are still in pursuit, they are not yet ready to attack. Sometimes shorted to keeping something “at bay,” this also refers to hunting dogs that bay while in pursuit of quarry. Keeping something “at bay” is a temporary measure of safety.
Lone wolf is an American expression that began in the early 1900s. A “lone wolf” is a person who acts alone or enjoys his or her own company—and not being part of the pack. The phrase persists in popular culture today. Lone Wolf is the title of a 1988 horror film, and Lone Wolf McQuade is the title of a Chuck Norris action flick from 1983. The phrase is used in the title of numerous books, many quite recent.
NOTE: While not the original meaning, it’s important to note that “lone wolf’ has political meaning as well. A “lone wolf” can be a member of a terrorist group that acts alone, such as a member of the KKK.
The phrase, which means to cause undue alarm, is derived from the Aesop fable, The boy who cried wolf, in which a young herded cries ‘wolf’ repeatedly because he is lonely. When the real wolf shows, no one believes him, and he’s …in trouble.
Cry wolf is a common phrase today and has inspired the names of at least three films: the 1947-murder-mystery Cry Wolf, the 1983 film Never Cry Wolf (based on an autobiography of the same name), and Cry Wolf, a slasher from 2005.
Wolf in Sheep’s Clothing
The idiom “a wolf in sheep’s clothing” has Biblical origins. Ancient Greek fables offer warnings similar to those offered in the Bible. Today, the phrase serves as a warning against anyone with a friendly face and malicious intent.
Human fear of wolves has driven this relative of the much-beloved dog from large swaths of its former range. In fact, the wolf was completely driven from the UK during the 19th Century. However, much of the danger of wolves is mythology, akin to the werewolf. Wolf fact can be found here.
Ilene Rune has lived with a secret for 21 years that threatens to destroy her marriage, her life, and all of humanity. But how can she tell her son, Alec, that his new boyfriend, Jared, may be part of that secret?
Investigating a brutal murder, Detective Lance Herald enters a dark world of fairy tales and fantasy—that shakes his belief in what is possible and imagined.
Lucy Rune cannot fathom what happened the night one brother was slaughtered and the other critically wounded—but she does know, her boyfriend, Rene, who was also attacked is changing.
Geraldine Bloom, Alec’s grandmother, has the gift of foresight, and has waited for years for the evil that wants her grandson to come for him.
Alec Rune wakes from a coma to learn his twin brother has been murdered—and that he is the only witness. But he remembers nothing of the night.
Werewolves, genetics, and a thrilling murder mystery intertwine in this “multi-layered and unpredictable” (Christine Coretti) horror novel that builds to “an absolutely epic ending” (thegayUK.com).
“Sam, did you hear something,” Celeste’s urgent voice echoed to him through his valley of sleep.
He shook his head, his eyes still closed and voice groggy. “Nope.” Outside, something grunted. At least, it seemed like a grunt. Sam leaned up on an elbow. Celeste’s urgency now washing over into him. “Shhh.”He whispered. He lay still in the bed, listening. The lake clawed at the shore, desperate to pull the rocks under the surface. The wind picked up, rattling across the cabin. March could be brutal.
“I think it’s just the wind,” he offered.
“No,” Celeste whispered to him. “Listen.” Again, they fell quiet. The grunting sound returned but with labored breathing. The sound intensified, as if the origin of the sound were much closer now—perhaps just outside the window by which they lay. The motion-sensor security light broke the night, and chalky light seeped under the closed curtains, dripping down the wall. Sam cast his eyes up, aching to see beyond the pulled curtains.
Sam clenched Celeste’s arm and mouthed Don’t Move.
Celeste held her position.
Slowly, through their disbelief, the sound became distinguishable. The heaves were the heavy breathing of a large animal—but there were no large predators in the area. No cougars. No bears. Certainly no lions. Not even alligators. Sam’s mind muddled with thoughts of what it could not be. Maybe it’s a stray dog. A fox? At best a coyote.
A shadow moved outside the window. Sam could not discern the shape of the animal; it appeared to stand on two feet. His first thought was of a mutant creature from the nuclear power plant, but decided that ridiculous. Mostly, anyway.
Celeste clamped her hand around Sam’s forearm. A mammoth shadow fell across the window. She felt fear growing inside her like a strangling vine, unyielding no matter how hard she tried to cut it back.
The shadow passed.
“Shit,” Sam muttered.
Celeste felt the vine wither, releasing her chest, and she breathed. “Fuck.”
Sam tossed the covers off and turned to face the window. If the thing was still around, he wanted to get a good look.
“Careful, Sam,” Celeste whispered.
Sam inched the curtains apart. The security light illuminated the yard. Beyond that the gray sky shed little ambient light. He could see nothing in the yard. At the edge of the yard, he heard the lake crash against the rocks. Sam turned to face Celeste. “I can’t see anything. It’s gone.”
“Good. Want a beer?”
“Sure. I can’t sleep anyway.” Sam watched Celeste as she crossed the bedroom to grab her shirt.
“Sam,” she said then bit off her sentence. Her jaw slacked and her eyes rounded. Sam sensed the presence of the beast behind him even before he felt the window glass pelt his bare back. He felt the claws shred the flesh and muscle of his shoulders as he was lifted off the bed and pulled through the shattered window into the cold night air.
“Sam!” Celeste screamed, looking through the vortex of broken glass, broken wood, and blood. The curtain was torn from the wall, the rod dangling like a broken limb. The darkness swirled as cold air met the damp warm air from the house and steam formed a momentary, translucent window.
“Jesus Christ,” Sam pleaded from outside. Heinous growls followed his shrill screams. “Oh, fuck! Help me.”
Celeste backed toward the kitchen then spun and bolted across the floor. She grabbed the telephone. She tapped out 9-1-
“Oh, no, no, no,” she cried as the beast appeared in front of the large bay window, dangling Sam from one large paw. Fear and pain bled his face of life, making him mannequin-like, though he still moaned and slapped at the beast holding him.
Celeste tapped the final one. She heard a reply, “9-1-1 what is your—”
The voice was drowned out by the sound of crashing glass as the beast hurtled Sam through the large bay window and retreated into the darkness.
“Sam,” Celeste screeched. His body landed in a contorted heap on the kitchen floor. Celeste stepped toward him. She heard a small voice beside her.
“Hello? Do you need help?”
Celeste placed the phone on the counter and stepped toward Sam. “Help me,” he muttered. “God, it hurts.”
“Oh no,” Celeste moaned as her eyes fell on Sam’s torn body. Both of his arms were nearly severed from his torso. Deep claw marks formed chasms across his chest and stomach. Half of his face dangled from the bone. How can I stop the bleeding? She stumbled to him and knelt by his side. A thunderous howl pierced the night. Celeste turned her eyes to the broken bay window. She stood slowly. Celeste backed away from Sam, casting her eyes down to him, pleading forgiveness, as she left him bleeding and tortured on the floor. From a knife rack on the counter, she grabbed a butcher knife.
With her other hand, Celeste grabbed the phone. “Send help…”
“Miss, I have dispatched police. What is the nature of your emergency?”
“Fuckmotherfuck.” Celeste replied and dropped the phone.
For the first time, the beast came into full view as it leaped through the bay window. Amid the spraying glass, Celeste caught glimpses of fur and fang. The creature ducked behind the counter, out of sight.
“Sam?” Celeste choked.
The beast raised into view, dragging Sam by his neck. Blood flowed down the length of his body. His jeans had turned dirty red with blood. He neared unconsciousness. “Drop him, you fuck.” Celeste ordered, pointing the knife toward the beast.
In defiance, the beast lifted Sam, bringing his neck closer to its jaws. Its long snout gaped open, revealing spiked teeth. The teeth clamped around Sam’s neck. A geyser of blood erupted from his neck, spraying the beast’s face. Sam gurgled once, before the skin on his neck split, and his head fell backward, dangling by one sinew.
Celeste whipped the knife across the room and bolted for the bedroom. Slamming the door, Celeste hopped onto the bed and out the broken window. Her first thought was to dart toward the car. After one step she froze. The idea was flawed on two counts: she had no keys and she would have to run past the bay window.
She was left with one option: the lake.
The frosty grass chilled her feet as she bolted across the wet lawn, her eyes and mind focused on the lake. Celeste spun to face the cabin. The silhouette of the beast was illuminated in the bay window. It held Sam’s torn torso between its two great paws. Its head cocked, eyes locking on Celeste. Burning like twin green comets, its eyes glimmered and blurred as it tore toward her, its enormous, muscular body springing through the window. As Celeste turned, she saw the faint outline of a car—a large black sedan—that did not belong. It was parked in the edge of the trees by the lake, nearly hidden. The image just whirred past her eyes as she spun and refocused her attention on the lake.
Falling over the rocks, Celeste flung herself into the cold lake waters. The shock pulled the breath from her lungs and her skin felt—for an instant—as though it burned. She choked in a breath and forced her limbs to move, swimming from shore. The beast lunged into sight, alighting on the rocky shore; it crouched, watching her paddle just beyond its reach. Celeste took shallow, quick breaths in the cold water. She felt the cold seeping into her.
She prayed for the police to arrive. How long could it take? A cramp contorted her feet. Celeste continued her labored paddling. She knew she couldn’t stay in the water for long. Hysteria swirled in her mind like a fog: Sam is dead. I’m facing a monster. She lost the sensation in her fingers. How long had it been?
Splitting the night with a howl, the beast bounded from the rocks, disappearing over the edge of the rocky shore. Waves splashed over her face, and Celeste realized she was slowly sinking. Her lethargic arms beat against the icy waters. The cramp in her foot crawled up her calf; she wouldn’t be able to swim for long. The cold was winning. Celeste wasn’t sure how long she waited, but in the burning cold water, it felt like an eternity.
Like mist settling over the water, Celeste heard the distant cry of sirens. She forced her burning arms to pull her toward the shore. She treaded water for a moment, forcing her mind to forget the terrible cold and focus. Were the sirens really coming?
Certain she heard sirens in the distance, Celeste stroked toward the shore. She could not feel the sharp edges as she clasped her rigid fingers to the rocks. She laid her head against one of the large, gray rocks. Arms stiff, she hoisted herself onto the slippery rocks. Her chest heaved, coloring the night gray. She would wait for the police, she told herself, safely near the water.
In a brown blur, the beast leaped from beyond the rocks, lashing its massive paw at her. Celeste felt its claws snag her arm. Fighting, she pulled away. She heard the ripping, not totally aware what was happening as she fell backward into the icy waters.
Searing pain shot through her shoulder and across her chest. She felt her warm blood flow into the water. It was too dark, but she knew the water was painted red with her blood. The beast looked at her a moment, its lips snarled in what she perceived as a smile. It vanished again, dropping her twitching arm on the rocky shore.
As the police lights came into view, Celeste’s eyes sank beneath the lake surface. She bobbed up, whispering weakly, “Over here,” before her face slide beneath the water a final time.
Barnes& Noble: http://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/the-wolf-at-his-door-adrian-lilly/1116068410
Amazon UK: http://www.amazon.co.uk/The-Wolf-Door-Runes-Trilogy-ebook/dp/B00DR4H7QG
Adrian W. Lilly is the author of the novels The Devil You Know, Red Haze, and The Runes Trilogy: The Wolf at His Door, The Wolf in His Arms, and The Wolf at War. His short fiction and poetry have been published in Hello Horror, 69 Flavors of Paranoia, Nervehouse and The Weekly among other publications. He can be found online at www.adrianlilly.com.
He is a fan of Gothic suspense movies and novels, which greatly influence his writing. Adrian’s writing focuses on strong character development and the nuances of fear that build toward horror. The mansion in his first novel, The Devil You Know, was inspired by the grand mansions in the Victorian neighborhood where he lives.
Adrian writes novels, short stories, and poetry and has spent many years as a copywriter in the advertising industry. In addition, Adrian has directed two short films and co-directed a feature-length sci-fi comedy.
My website: www.adrianlilly.com
Google Plus: https://plus.google.com/u/0/+AdrianLilly
Hello all. I hope that those of you who are reading this in the eastern two thirds of the United States and Canada haven’t gone stir crazy from all of the snow you received in February. At least there is one bright spot to being stuck in the house as the snow piled up outside. You were able to download and read all of the wonderfully scary books on offer from JournalStone and Bizarro Pulp Press. At least I hope that’s how you spent your winter of discontent. Hopefully March will finally bring you some long awaited relief. If it makes you feel any better, we’ve had a wonderful winter here in California.
As usual, we’ve got some great books for you this month, and I hope you give them a try. From JournalStone, we have two books from authors that just keep getting better and better. Patrick Frievald’s Black Tide continues the saga of augmented super agent Matt Rowley, while Benjamin Kane Ethridge’s Divine Scream will keep you on the edge of your seat. We also have Songs of the Satyrs, a collection of short stories dedicated entirely to the robust creatures of earthly pleasures edited by Dark Discoveries‘ very own Aaron J. French. Our Bizarro Pulp Press imprint will be releasing Beyond the Great, Bloody, Bruised, and Silent Veil of this World by Jason Krall.
It was brought to my attention that in my last newsletter, I incorrectly stated that several JournalStone books and stories had been nominated for Bram Stoker Awards by the Horror Writers Association. These works were indeed on the preliminary ballot. Now, however, I have the distinct honor of letting you know that the following works are indeed on the final ballot list:
Superior Achievement in a Novel
Patrick Freivald – Jade Sky
Superior Achievement in Long Fiction
Joe R. Lansdale – Fishing for Dinosaurs, Limbus, Inc., Book II)
Jonathan Maberry – Three Guys Walk Into a Bar, Limbus, Inc., Book II
Joe McKinney – Lost and Found, Limbus, Inc., Book II
Superior Achievement in an Anthology
Brett J. Talley – Limbus, Inc., Book II
Congratulations to the nominees who have allowed JournalStone to publish their works.
I hope that spring finally comes to those of you who have had such a brutal winter. While you wait for the warmer temperatures that will melt the snow that has imprisoned you for so long, light a fire, grab a warm drink, and read your favorite JournalStone book.
Until next month…
NEW JOURNALSTONE RELEASES FOR MARCH
Get the following titles, as well as many other exciting offerings, at JournalStone BookStore.
Conceived in the black water swamps of Louisiana, her life was ripped from the womb of death and destruction. Her appearance was mostly human, a ruse planned far in advance. The swamp, her home, was a bubbling cesspool of superstition, suspicion, and accusation. She was a foul, sour presence, more creature than human, a thing so vile and loathsome that her name alone sent cold fear down the spine.
She had a name and everyone knew it, but to mention it was to invite her in. She preferred being alone, but wasn’t above capturing some poor soul too stupid to know any better.
As evil as she was, she knew love, but a man by the name of Hubert Lusaw killed what she loved.
He probably shouldn’t have done that.
Smokey Hollow is a quiet town, but all that changes when Brian Keays moves in and discovers a locked steamer trunk in the attic of his home.
A suspicious fire destroys a mental asylum, but there is no sign of any of its inhabitants. Victims are found dead with a pillowcase over their heads, the same method used in an unsolved series of murders, committed over fifty years ago.
Brian tries to piece together the connection to the trunk and its grisly contents, his investigation aided by anonymous notes. He follows the trail from a ventriloquist firefighter whose dummy knows more than its puppeteer, to a Somnambulist whose pockets contain clues, and to a Knackerman who disposes of animal carcasses but keeps a container with its own mysterious contents.
Death is everywhere, but answers are hard to come by.
COMING NEXT MONTH FROM JOURNALSTONE
Get the following titles, as well as many other exciting offerings, at JournalStone BookStore.
Matt Rowley – super human strength, unnaturally fast reflexes, enhanced senses – augmentation is something that he will have to learn to live with, for the rest of his life.
As cults spring up in worship of the demonic beings freed by the last of the nephilim, the United States calls on Matt Rowley to meet the threat. His unnatural powers returning with every passing day, Matt becomes the only weapon able to withstand eldritch forces older than time and darker than the blackest sea.
When his wife and infant son are taken in a violent attack on his hometown, Matt falls into a vast conspiracy that could destroy his family and his very soul.
They want Matt Rowley’s powers and will kill everyone to get them.
For Jared Kare, every part of life is terrifying. He relies heavily on his friends and family for everything in his day to day existence. So when he is confronted by a banshee who would soon herald his death, Jared finds a new type of terror.
There are things much worse than dying though.
Jared has been given as a gift to the Assembly, a demonic group who hunger to possess and torture him forever. Will the banshee save him from the assembly, watch him die, or both?
Love can be found in the most unlikely places, but nothing can be accomplished without a great deal of luck, and sacrifice.
THE BURNING DEAD (formerly VOLCANO ZOMBIES), the new zombie/disaster feature co-starring Danny Trejo, arrives March 3rd on digital and VOD from Uncork’d Entertainment with the DVD hitting the street on April 7th. Written and produced by Jeff Miller and Jason Ancona (co-writers and producers of AXE GIANT: THE WRATH OF PAUL BUNYAN), the director is Rene Perez (THE DEAD AND THE DAMNED 1 & 2).
THE BURNING DEAD is about a sheriff who must rescue an estranged family from a volcano eruption and fight off a horde of lava-filled zombies that have shot out of the mountain, brought to life by a curse.
Other cast includes Tom Downey (AXE GIANT, SORORITY PARTY MASSACRE), Moniqua Plante (“Nashville”), Robert F. Lyons (DARK NIGHT OF THE SCARECROW, 10 TO MIDNIGHT), Nicole Cummins (LOGAN), Kevin Norman (“Melissa & Joey”), Kyle T. Heffner (RUNAWAY TRAIN, “Bizarro George” from “Seinfeld”), Julia Lehman (CHEERLEADER MASSACRE 2), Tom Nagel (HILLSIDE CANNIBALS), Jenny Lin (PIRANHACONDA), Robert Amstler (ALIEN SHOWDOWN), and Morgan Lester (JOHN CARTER).
Trejo plays a Native American warrior who knows perhaps too much about the cursed mountain range.
THE BURNING DEAD filmed in several locations over three states, including around active volcanoes in Lassen Volcanic National Park, California.
Miller’s and Ancona’s companies produced, along with casting director and co-producer Mark Sikes. Mel Lewis (THE BEAST OF BRAY ROAD) composed the score.
Toy Zoo is now selling limited-edition, hand-painted Grey Skull Frankenstein Hikari Sofubi figures from Funko, which are available for a discounted price of $39.99 as long as supplies last. Since December 2014, Toy Zoo has been the exclusive retailer of these collectible vinyl figures. The figures feature hand-painted details, ensuring that each one is completely unique. Funko produced just 750 of the Grey Skull Frankenstein figures and does not plan to make additional production runs. These unique figures will no longer be available once Toy Zoo’s inventory sells out. To view the figures visit: http://www.toyzoo.com/grey-skull-frankenstein-hikari-sofubi-figure-toyzoo-com-exclusive.html.
The Grey Skull Frankenstein figures stand 7 inches tall and are sold with a numbered placard, making a classic yet timely gift for any horror or movie fans. Since Frankenstein: Or, the Modern Prometheus was published in 1818, the book has inspired various productions and tributes, including eight Universal Studios movies produced between 1931 and 1948. The story will soon be brought to life again with the new movie Victor Frankenstein, starring Daniel Radcliffe and James McAvoy. The movie is scheduled to hit theaters in late 2015.
The Grey Skull Frankenstein figures and Funko’s other Hikari Sofubi figures draw inspiration from the classic style of Japanese toys known as Sofubi, or “soft vinyl.” Funko’s Hikari Sofubi figures are always crafted and painted by hand, so each figure offers its own unique appearance. Funko also produces some of Toy Zoo’s top-selling collectibles with its POP! line of figures, one of the most popular collectible lines in the world. This collection’s stylized vinyl figures offer a fresh, fun take on famous cartoon, movie, television, and video game characters. Funko currently holds licenses to more than 150 diverse brands, including Marvel, Disney, Sanrio, Game of Thrones, and NBA; vinyl figures featuring characters from many of these brands can be seen and purchased at Toy Zoo’s website.
Are you interested in some holiday reading? JournalStone is having a HUGE holiday sale on some select e-books. The sale is this week, and only on Amazon – ending December 21, 2014.
Take a look at the list and get ready to rock some great books at rock bottom prices with authors like Jonathan Maberry, Joe McKinney, Weston Ochse, Lisa Morton, and many many more!!!
DarkNet – John R. Little – $0.99 cents – http://www.amazon.com/DarkNet-John-R-Little-ebook/dp/B00P37KP2S/ref=sr_1_8_twi_1?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1418614535&sr=1-8&keywords=journalstone
Dead World Resurrection – Joe McKinney – $0.99 – http://www.amazon.com/Dead-World-Resurrection-Collected-McKinney-ebook/dp/B00O9ND3G2/ref=sr_1_14_twi_1?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1418614609&sr=1-14&keywords=journalstone
The Burning Time – J.G. Fahertiy – $0.99 – http://www.amazon.com/Burning-Time-J-G-Faherty-ebook/dp/B00B2C6MRA/ref=sr_1_3_twi_1?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1418614712&sr=1-3&keywords=the+burning+time
Jade Sky – Patrick Freivald – $0.99 – http://www.amazon.com/Jade-Sky-Matt-Rowley-Novel-ebook/dp/B00KCYRVIS/ref=sr_1_1_twi_1?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1418614869&sr=1-1&keywords=jade+sky
Halfway House – Weston Ochse – $0.99 – http://www.amazon.com/Halfway-House-Weston-Ochse-ebook/dp/B00NGSSABY/ref=sr_1_1_twi_1?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1418614974&sr=1-1&keywords=halfway+house
Arkadium Rising – Glen Krisch – $0.99 – http://www.amazon.com/Arkadium-Rising-Brothers-Keeper-Book-ebook/dp/B00QJNJ1RA/ref=sr_1_9_twi_1?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1418615131&sr=1-9&keywords=journalstone
Nightmare Ballad – Benjamin Kane Ethridge – $0.99 – http://www.amazon.com/Nightmare-Ballad-Benjamin-Kane-Ethridge-ebook/dp/B00CQGHQL2/ref=sr_1_1_twi_1?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1418615286&sr=1-1&keywords=nightmare+ballad
Steel Breeze – Douglas Wynne – $0.99 – http://www.amazon.com/Steel-Breeze-Douglas-Wynne-ebook/dp/B00DY691NE/ref=sr_1_2_twi_1?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1418615467&sr=1-2&keywords=steel+breeze
The Void – Brett J. Talley – $0.99 – http://www.amazon.com/Void-Brett-J-Talley-ebook/dp/B008IUV4UY/ref=sr_1_4_twi_1?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1418615625&sr=1-4&keywords=the+void
The Demon’s Wife – Rick Hautala – $0.99 – http://www.amazon.com/Demons-Wife-Rick-Hautala-ebook/dp/B00F1OVHXO/ref=sr_1_1_twi_1?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1418615867&sr=1-1&keywords=the+demon%27s+wife
Joe Ledger: Special Ops – Jonathan Maberry – $2.99 – http://www.amazon.com/Joe-Ledger-Special-Jonathan-Maberry-ebook/dp/B00JUFTHPU/ref=sr_1_2_twi_1?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1418615977&sr=1-2&keywords=journalstone
Happy holidays from JournalStone and have fun reading.