Official website for Bram Stoker Award® Nominated Author John Palisano


Urgent! Please check out the My Peculiar Family Kickstarter!

With a week left to go, the “My Peculiar Family” Kickstarter campaign has a lot of ground to cover. I’m thrilled to have a new piece, “The Space Between” included. This story takes place in the semi-fictional Connecticut town of Whistleville, loosely based on Norwalk, my hometown. Whistleville has featured in many of my stories, and especially in my first novel “Nerves”.

“The Space Between” tells the story of a young composer who struggles at work at a hat factory by day, and who finally has one of his compositions performed, only there are some rather horrendous results to its listeners. It was fantastic researching the details from a few hundred years back, and the project what Whistleville may have been like.

I was first asked to appear in “My Peculiar Family” quite a while ago, and its setup was irresistible, and the story immediately came to mind. I sure hope that “My Peculiar Family” receives the funding it deserves, and that readers will be able to read “The Space Between” and the other stories in this volume. Below is more about the book, the contributors, and where you can go to learn even more. Please do consider being a patron for this project, and sharing helps more than we can say.


This anthology features original never before seen stories by:

Christopher Golden and James A. Moore, Stacey Longo, Jason J. Mooers, Robert Mayette,William Meikle, F. Allen Farnham, Samantha Boyette, David Schechter, Rob Watts, Kristi McDowell, Karen Gosselin, George O’Conner, Derrick Belanger, Bracken MacLeod, John Pallisano and Tracy Hickman.

Original artwork by Peter  Vinton, Jr. and Sara Richard

The individual stories are based entirely on a package each author was given containing a tintype, a name and an occupation/fact about that person.  And yes, some of those tintypes are the ones we found in the attic that fateful day.The stories run the gamut of genres from fantasy to science fiction to horror and beyond, simply based on the  the authors inspiration from the picture.This book represents the combined efforts of 18 talented writers, 2 amazing artists and a dedicated editorial staff. The funds raised will go directly to them and cover production costs. After fulfillment the book will be available for purchase on the Sci Fi Saturday night website.

Join us as we discover the stories of My Peculiar Family.

A guest post from Catherine Cavendish

Over the past year I’ve gotten to know some excellent new authors. One whose book I truly enjoyed was Catherine Cavendish. I’m thrilled that she is a guest here as she sheds some insight into her newest novella, ‘Dark Avenging Angel’. Please consider trying one of her books if you haven’t already. Also: Amazon reviews are more helpful than people realize. Please-please-please review the works you’ve read. It truly does make a difference to the authors. Thank you. –john–

Revenge of the Churel

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My latest novella – Dark Avenging Angel – is, as its title suggests, concerned with revenge. In this case, revenge of the most demonic kind. We’ve all heard the old adage, “Be careful what you wish for…” Jane learns the truth of this in graphic ways.

Avenging angels and demons abound in the traditions and folklore of people all over the world. One such character is a churel – a female ghost of South Asian folkore, well known in the Indian sub-continent.

There are variations on her origins. She may have died in childbirth, during menstruation, or as a result of poor care while pregnant. It is said that if a woman (especially one from the lower social classes) dies in pregnancy during the five-day Hindu Festival of Light (Diwali), she is even more likely to turn into a churel. Whichever is the cause, the churel is an angry and vengeful spirit who returns from the dead to suck the blood (and other bodily fluids) of her male relatives.

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Churels are most often found in and around graveyards, abandoned battlefields, crossroads, thresholds of houses, toilets and a host of squalid locations.

They can take the form of a hideous woman with sagging breasts, backwards facing feet (toes at the back, heel at the front), long sharp teeth, a black tongue and unkempt hair. The churel frequently roams naked, and has a pot belly and claw-like hands. Some churels have unusually thick lips, or even no mouth at all. Some have pig-like features with long fangs or tusks.

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A churel can also be a shapeshifter – able to transform into a beautiful young woman, in order to lure any young male relation she wants. When she has got him where she wants him, she then drains him of his virility, turning him into a prematurely aged, grey-haired old man. Once she has finished with him, she moves onto the next male relative until her vengeance is satisfied. This thirst for revenge may be so great that it involves more than her own family. She may go in search of other young men on highways, or at crossroads, where she lures them in her enchantress guise. In some stories, she will imprison her victim in a graveyard and use him – little by little – sexually and by draining his blood until he withers and dies. There is even a story of a young man who was seduced by a churel, ate the food she gave him and returned to his village the next day as an old man.

In some traditions, the churel may transform and become a servant of the goddess Kali, joining with her to feast on human flesh and blood.

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So how do you prevent yourself becoming a victim of a churel? The solution is quite simple, men should treat their wives well. Look after them in pregnancy and childbirth. If that fails though – and the wife falls sick and dies, the best methods are to bury rather than cremate her body and perform certain rituals. The body may be bound. Nails and other bindings may be used to imprison the would-be churel in her grave, and the woman should be remembered – with love and honour – in songs and prayers, so that her spirit doesn’t feel forgotten or neglected.

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Now, to give you a taste of Dark Avenging Angel, here’s the blurb:

Don’t hurt Jane. You may live to regret it.

Bullied by her abusive father, Jane always felt different. Then the lonely child found a friend in a mysterious dark lady who offers her protection—a lady she calls her “angel”. But that protection carries a terrible price, one to be paid with the souls of those Jane chooses to suffer a hideous and eternal fate.

When Jane refuses to name another victim, the angel reveals her most terrifying side. Payment must be made in full—one way or the other.

And here’s a brief extract:

Something had woken me from a deep sleep troubled by my recurring nightmare in which I was in a wood, being chased by some unimaginable horror. I never saw its face, assuming it even had one. But I knew if I didn’t find sanctuary, it would kill me. I had just made it into the strange little house that always appeared in the clearing, when my eyes opened and I gasped at the white, smiling face looking down at me.

That night, my angel seemed different somehow.

Oh, she looked the same. Same black cloak, but this time it shimmered and I wanted to touch it. I was sure it would feel soft as velvet under my fingers.

She put her finger to her lips and stroked my hair. Her touch was like a gentle breeze in summertime. My eyes wanted to close, but I forced them to stay open.

I knew I mustn’t speak out loud, but I could still whisper. “I wish I knew your name. Who are you? Please will you tell me?”

She continued to smile. Her lips moved, but the answering voice I heard was again in my head.

Do not be afraid, child. It is not yet time, but soon you will have the power to avenge yourself on those who have done you harm. Look for me in the shadows and I will be there, taking account.

I understood nothing of what she said. But, from somewhere, a calm I had never felt before emerged and wrapped itself around me.

I blinked in the darkness as she faded from sight.

Then I closed my eyes and slept. I never had that nightmare again after that night. But what if I’d known what was ahead for me?

Some things are better off left in the dark.

You can find Dark Avenging Angel here:

Samhain Publishing

Barnes and Noble 



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About the author:

Following a varied career in sales, advertising and career guidance, Cat is now the full time author of a number of paranormal, ghostly and Gothic horror novels, novellas and short stories. She was the 2013 joint winner of the Samhain Gothic Horror Anthology Competition, with Linden Manor, which features in the anthology What Waits in the Shadows.  Her novels, The Pendle Curse and Saving Grace Devine are also published by Samhain. Her latest novella – Dark Avenging Angel – will be followed by her next novel – The Devil’s Serenade – in April 2016

You can connect with Cat here:

Catherine Cavendish






An interview with author Brian Kirk

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 A few years back, I had the pleasure of meeting Brian Kirk during pitches at World Horror. I was helping out a small press at the time. I was immediately impressed with his presentation, personality, and sincerity. When I looked over his manuscript, I was even more impressed. I’m thrilled it landed at Samhain and is gaining much well deserved accolades and publicity. Here’s a short interview with Brian. 

JP: Can you tell us a little bit about We Are Monsters?   

BK: Certainly. We Are Monsters is my debut novel, literally making it a dream come true. Although all books are basically dreams that have come true when you really think about it. I mean, isn’t a book basically the end result of someone extracting the contents of some subconscious dream-state into the material realm. But that’s off topic, and perhaps too esoteric for this early on in the interview. My apologies.

We Are Monsters is a story about a brilliant, yet troubled psychiatrist named Alex Drexler who is working to create a cure for schizophrenia. At first, the drug he creates shows great promise in alleviating his patient’s symptoms. It appears to return schizophrenics to their former selves. But (as you may imagine) something goes wrong. Unforeseen side effects begin to emerge, forcing prior traumas to the surface, setting inner demons free. His medicine may help heal the schizophrenic mind, but it also expands it, and the monsters it releases could be more dangerous than the disease.

JP: What inspired this story?     

BK: I’ve always been fascinated by mental illness. The idea that our own brains can turn against us is terrifying. It’s the ultimate enemy; it knows our deepest secrets and it’s something we can’t escape.

I also have a great deal of sympathy for people who suffer mental heath disorders. I’ve dealt with OCD all of my life, which produces chronic anxiety, negative thought loops, and periods of depression. No fun, I’ll tell you. And I feel that mental disease is misunderstood by our society at large. In fact, many people who are mentally ill are often labeled as evil or deranged, which I feel is unfair, and precludes us from exploring proper treatment options.

I suppose I found the subject both fascinating and deeply personal, and I wanted to explore it further, so I wrote about it.

JP: How did you get started writing?    

BK: Reading and writing have been the two things I’ve enjoyed above all else for as long as I can remember. And I realized I had somewhat of a talent for telling stories early on, as students started looking forward to hearing my stories read aloud in class. My English teachers all encouraged my writing, and I won a poetry contest in 5th grade from a homework assignment that my teacher submitted on my behalf.

But I always considered it frivolous fun and knew that one day I’d have to get serious and find a line of work that I could turn into a career. So I studied marketing and took a job at an ad agency. But the urge to write stories never left. In fact, it grew stronger the farther away from it that I strayed. I returned to it a few years after starting my “big career,” writing short stories in the evenings and on the weekends, and then I began submitting them for publication. After accruing a massive stack of rejections for a couple of years, I finally sold one. Then another.  After a while I decided to quit my full time job at the ad agency to work freelance and write a book. That’s how We Are Monsters came about.

JP: What was the path to publication like for you?    

BK: Publishing my first short story and first novel were two entirely different experiences. For one, my writing was understandably amateurish when I first started out. With each story, my work got a bit more refined. The only way to learn how to write is by writing, which unfortunately results in the decimation of story ideas that could have been good if written with more skill.

And rejection stings, no matter what. Two straight years of generic rejections slips is humbling and will make you question your ability. But that just makes that first acceptance that much sweeter, I think.

Short stories helped me to refine my craft, but I didn’t really find my voice until I started writing We Are Monsters, which took about a year to write. And then I spent another five months or so rewriting, sharing with readers, and rewriting more. I considered pursuing agents, but didn’t feel like it was the right book for a large, traditional publisher. It’s a bit too unconventional. So I decided to seek out the proper fit on my own.

I knew about Don D’Auria, the head editor for the horror line at Samhain Publishing, from his work at Leisure Books, and was intent on pitching him. I flew from Atlanta to Portland for a ten minute pitch session with him at the 2014 World Horror Convention. The pitch went well and he asked to read the manuscript. I sent it to him and two weeks later he offered a contract. I was so excited I almost threw up in my lap.

JP: What’s in the future for you?    

BK: I’m excited to have We Are Monsters out in the world. Early reviews have been encouraging and very kind. It has the potential to be a polarizing book, but the people who get it really seem to enjoy it. So I know it fundamentally works, which pleases me.

I’m currently writing the second book in a planned trilogy of dark thrillers. The first book is complete and currently being considered by various agents. I hope to be able to share exciting news on that soon. We’ll see.

JP: What would people be surprised to find out about you?    

BK: Aside from writing fiction, I’m a father of five-year-old identical twin boys: the rarest form of human offspring (a very technical term for kids). Only fraternal twins are hereditary; identical twins are a random anomaly. So it came as quite a surprise. In fact, the first thing I did when I found out was Google search the phrase, “The best thing about having twins.” I needed a pep talk.

Fortunately, it turns out I didn’t. We were blessed with wonderful boys. Raising them has been a special privilege.

JP: Where can readers find and follow you?

BK: Thanks for asking. Anyone interesting in learning more about my work or striking up a virtual friendship can find me through any of the following channels. Thank you very much for having me.







Spotlight On: John Palisano #SummerofZombie

Originally posted on Dying Days:

Summer of Zombie 2015 SPOTLIGHT ON: John Palisano


What is your latest zombie release?


Quick description of it (no spoilers)

Reboot the apocalypse!

For a while, it looked like the living had won.

The war against the walking dead lasted almost a decade, but it’s mostly over.

There are only a few straggling zombies left to take care of.

Los Angeles has returned to its lattes and long commutes.

It’s up to a small Reclamation Crew to clean up the Zoms left behind.

But when the undead dry up, their skin turns to dust.

Now the hot Santa Ana winds deliver a new threat…

because the Zoms were only the beginning of something far worse.

Something unique about it.

It’s after the first zombie apocalypse has mostly ended, and a small group works to cleanse the few remaining reanimates. The story is not centered…

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Alessia Giacomi – Summer of Zombie 2015

Originally posted on Dying Days:

Meet one of the many zombie authors on the #SummerofZombie blog tour (coming June 1st and running all month!)


A. Giacomi is the author of the wildly entertaining Zombie Girl Saga, a four part series from Permuted Press. Eve Brenner: Zombie Girl is A. Giacomi’s debut novel. You can catch the latest updates about her writing on her blog:

A. Giacomi is a wife, and mother to one small human child. She is a Canadian born writer, educator, and artist. She proudly waves her York University Alumni flag and continues to thirst for knowledge and devour books. She is a zombie enthusiast, lover of all things Tim Burton, Shakespeare, Jane Austen, Marvel, Star Wars and just generally just loves film, essentially she’s a fangirl.

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Jack Wallen – Summer of Zombie 2015

Originally posted on Dying Days:

Meet one of the many zombie authors on the #SummerofZombie blog tour (coming June 1st and running all month!)


Jack Wallen is a seeker of truth and a writer of words. Although he resides in the unlikely city of Louisville, Kentucky, he likes to think of himself more as an interplanetary soul … or so he tells the reflection in the mirror. Jack is the author of numerous tales of dark, twisty fiction including the I Zombie series, the Fringe Killer series, Shero, The Nameless Saga, and much more.

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Claire C Riley – Summer of Zombie 2015

Originally posted on Dying Days:

Meet one of the many zombie authors on the #SummerofZombie blog tour (coming June 1st and running all month!)

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Claire C Riley is a #1 Best Selling British Horror Author, whose work includes: Odium The Dead Saga, Limerence (The Obsession Series) and several other full length novels including Thicker Than Blood co-authored with USA Today Best Selling author Madeline Sheehan.

She writes dark twisty words, is a lover of epic romances, and an eater of cake!
She writes characters that are realistic and kills them without mercy.

She lives in the UK with her three young daughters, husband, and scruffy dog.

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Jessica Robinson – Summer of Zombie 2015

Originally posted on Dying Days:

Meet one of the many zombie authors on the #SummerofZombie blog tour (coming June 1st and running all month!)

Jessica Robinson 2 BW

I am an editor by day and a zombie-killer by night (at least in my books). Since the first time I watched Night of the Living Dead, I have been obsessed with zombies and often think of ways to survive the uprising. In addition to my nonfiction book, under the pen name Pembroke Sinclair, I have written YA novels about zombies and the tough teens who survive the apocalyptic world. I have also written nonfiction stories for Serial Killer Magazine and published a book about slasher films called Life Lessons from Slasher Films.

You can learn more about me by visiting

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Jay Wilburn – Summer of Zombie 2015

Originally posted on Dying Days:

Meet one of the many zombie authors on the #SummerofZombie blog tour (coming June 1st and running all month!)

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Jay Wilburn is an author of horror and speculative fiction that lives in coastal South Carolina near Myrtle Beach. He taught public school for sixteen years before becoming a full-time writer.

He is currently working on a series of zombie novels based on the world of Dead Song. Each book will be accompanied by a soundtrack of songs recorded as if by the characters within the world of the novels.

Follow his many dark thoughts @AmongTheZombies on Twitter, the Jay Wilburn author page on Facebook, and at Jay Wilburn does video readings on his Patreon page at

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Samantha Gregory – Summer of Zombie 2015

Originally posted on Dying Days:

Meet one of the many zombie authors on the #SummerofZombie blog tour (coming June 1st and running all month!)


Samantha Gregory was born in Northern Ireland in 1985. She is the author of several series of books including Daemon Persuasion, which was published by Mockingbird Lane Press.

She loves horror movies, reading and archery. All of her works are available to purchase through Amazon.

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