On Ormsby Island They Do Kill People

Book Review: “Island of the Forbidden” by Hunter Shea

Step by frosty step, Hunter Shea welcomes you to Ormsby Island. I hope he told you to bring a warm coat, for you see, despite this being summer in South Carolina, you’re going to need it here on the island. Oh, it has nothing to do with the weather. No. This type of cold radiates from the very soil of the place where three generations of unspeakable acts ended in the mass murder of hundreds of innocent children. The residents of nearby Charleston have tried to forget, but the children who suffered haven’t and they are not about to let anyone else forget who dares step foot on their personal, little island Hell.

Seasoned paranormal investigators, Jessica Backman and Eddie Home, are lured in by the island’s new owners, Tobe and Daphne Harper. They just want the place to be made safe for their own children, Alice and Jason. The bait works and by the time Jess and Eddie realize they are being used, it’s too late. The hook is too deeply embedded to be removed without causing everyone involved a great deal of pain and suffering.

There’s no way to escape Ormsby Island now. The ghost children have seen to that. They mean to have revenge on those that put them here and to bring to light what really happened all those years ago, so don’t even try to get away. It’s up to Jessica and Eddie to figure out the secret and put this place to rest. But it looks like even they, with all their experience and psychic abilities, may have met their match on the “Island of the Forbidden”.

Hunter Shea does a superb job of reeling in his readers, one child-sized step at a time. Each secret is revealed with perfect timing. As with any good haunted attraction, you think you’re looking in the right direction when suddenly it lurches out at you from a completely different angle. This was my first Shea book and I’m quite certain I’ll be seeking out more of his work in the very near future.


Enter to win one of five Hunter Shea books being given away! Two signed copies of Montauk Monster, one signed copy of Sinister Entity, and two e-books of choice of his titles are up for grabs! One book to each winner, given in order of random drawing. Enter to win at the Rafflecopter link. Must use valid email that winners can be contacted by. Print books are U.S. residents only. Contest ends Feb. 28, 2015. Any questions, contact Erin Al-Mehairi, Publicist, at hookofabook@hotmail.com.

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Raves for Hunter Shea:

Forest of Shadows
“A frightening, gripping story that left me too frightened to sleep with the lights off. This novel scared the hell out of me and it is definitely a creepy ghost story I won’t soon forget.” –Night Owl Reviews

Sinister Entity
“This is the real deal. The fear is palpable. Horror novels don’t get much better than this.” –Literal Remains

“. . .Culminates in a climactic showdown between human and spirit that keeps you glued to the pages!” –Horror Novel Reviews

Evil Eternal
“Hunter Shea has crafted another knockout. At turns epic and intimate, both savage and
elegant. . .a harrowing, blood-soaked nightmare.” –Jonathan Janz, author of The Sorrows
Swamp Monster Massacre

“If you’re craving an old-school creature-feature that has excessive gore. . .B-horror movie fans rejoice, Hunter Shea is here to bring you the ultimate tale of terror!” –Horror Novel Reviews

Hunter Shea, Biography

Hunter Shea is the author of paranormal and horror novels Forest of Shadows, Swamp Monster Massacre, Evil Eternal, Sinister Entity, HellHole and Island of the Forbidden, which are all published by Samhain Horror.

The June 3, 2014 release of his horrifying thriller Montauk Monster was published by Kensington/Pinnacle. His second Kensington novel, Tortures of the Damned, will be published later this year.

He has also written a short story to be read prior to Sinister Entity, called The Graveyard Speaks (it’s free, go download!), and a book of stories called Asylum Scrawls. His work has appeared in numerous magazines, including Dark Moon Digest, Morpheus Tales, and the upcoming anthology, Shocklines: Fresh Voices in Terror. His obsession with all things horrific has led him to real life exploration of the paranormal, interviews with exorcists, and other things that would keep most people awake with the lights on.

He is also half of the two men show, Monster Men, which is a video podcast that takes a fun look at the world of horror. You can read about his latest travails and communicate with him at www.huntershea.com, on Twitter @HunterShea1, Facebook fan page at Hunter Shea or the Monster Men 13 channel on YouTube.

Review: Scott Westerfeld’s “Afterworlds”

I must first confess that YA Fiction is not my genre of choice, but the promise of a novel about getting a novel published intrigued me, especially when the novel getting published within the novel about the publishing world is basically a ghost story, which *IS* a genre I have a lot of experience with.

I first came to know Scott’s work by way of one of his more adult science fiction novels, “Evolution’s Darling”. From there I went on to read “The Risen Empire” and “The Killing of Worlds”. Having enjoyed all three of those, while at the same time proclaiming I wasn’t really into Sci-Fi, I figured I’d give “Afterworlds” a shot and step back into my youthful days when I did read YA Fiction in the form of Nancy Drew murder mysteries.

With “Afterworlds” you will be getting a two for the price of one storyline. Scott’s clear and descriptive style quickly pulled me into both worlds.

We first meet Darcy Patel who has just had her first novel accepted for publication. She’s put college aside and strikes out to live in NYC, much to the dismay of her parents. With $150,000 to live on until the novel is released and the royalties start coming in, Darcy quickly finds herself noodling her way through the city with fellow YA novelist, Imogen Gray. Imogen and fellow writer friends, encourage the 18-year-old Darcy by sharing tips and research methods, both to Darcy’s amusement and horror.

But Darcy is not the only one facing a strange new world. Second we have Lizzie, the lead character in Darcy’s version of “Afterworlds” whose life changes drastically after she finds herself the only surviving victim at an airport terrorist attack by playing dead. Lizzie plays dead just a little too well and enters a very unique rendering of the afterlife. Here she meets Yamaraj who offers up some ‘YA Hotness’ in the form of a Hindu Death God. Yamaraj does his best to teach Lizzie the ins and outs of what she’s become, but it quickly becomes clear he’s not telling her everything she needs to know. These withheld lessons lead Lizzie down a much darker path than she or Yamaraj would like her to take.

Both stories were very enjoyable. I loved learning from Darcy and company. I could easily see myself in her shoes, struggling with doubts about herself as a writer and the novel she’s written almost too easily. The lengths she and Imogen go to in the name of research made me laugh out loud and are so, so relatable. Scott’s recreation of the world beyond death that Lizzie experiences is like nothing I’ve read about before. It’s about as new and refreshing as one can get when it comes to life beyond the grave.

Have I been converted to being a big fan of YA Fiction? Probably not, but “Afterworlds” will certainly appeal to Westerfeld’s longtime fans and will likely bring in new ones. He’s done an amazing job. My one and only ‘complaint’ about this novel is that I think it would have been easier for me to read and enjoy had the two parts been presented separately. I would have liked knowing about the trials and tribulations of Darcy first, leading me towards the reward of finally getting to read the novel she struggled with for so long.

Four out of Five Stars, because nothing is ever perfect.