Insanity, horror and dark fiction are my catharsis. Brutally honest reviews are on the house.
Blood Sacrifices by Brian Moreland is the first book I’ve read by this author and as an anthology of his work, seemed like a good place to start. All four stories were previously published as single novellas, so it’s new to me but not new in general. This is so all of those people who buy this and then complain that it’s false advertising because they have already read all of the stories, that’s so I can tell you that “I told you so.”
The Girl from the Blood Coven: A short prequel to The Witching House. It is indeed very short but I thought it was a great introduction to the next story. When a hippie woman shows up at the local bar covered in blood claiming there has been a massacre at her commune, the sheriff finds there are worse things out there than a murderer on the loose…
The Witching House: Two couples go on an urban exploration trip into the middle of the sticks to explore the site of a massacre that happened 40 years ago and that was never solved. Casey and Meg (newlyweds) and Dean are old hats at urban exploring but Sarah, Dean’s girlfriend, is just along to impress him and wholly unprepared – before the house starts to take on a life of its own.
Darkness Rising: This was the only story that I wasn’t very fond of. Three people like to dress up in animal costumes and torture people to death. They also like to film it for fun and for their client who wants creativity in his killings. Marty Weaver is a (disturbed) janitor at a college that he someday hopes to attend and has an unrequited crush on one of the students. When the animal trio happens upon Marty, they are no match for the demons he has been storing up. This one reads more like a YA novel to me.
The Vagrants: My personal favorite. Daniel Finley, a journalist, decides to live amongst the homeless in order to write a piece spotlighting the plight of the city’s least fortunate. All is well, as well as being homeless can be, until a group of homeless who call themselves the “Seekers” materialize one day in their camp. Fast forward two years and Daniel has now written a book about his time underground but the experience still haunts him. When the Irish Mafia ends up shoving him back into the path of the now expanded and now violent group of Seekers, Daniel will have to choose between the lesser of the two evils.
This was overall a good collection from an author whom I will definitely be keeping an eye out for from now on. I enjoy Brian Moreland’s writing style and his intense imagination. If On the Lips of Children didn’t instill a fear of homeless people in me, The Vagrants has absolutely nailed that home. I can’t wait to read more by this author.
This e-ARC was provided to me by Samhain Publishing and Hook of a Book Media and Publicity in exchange for an honest review.
© 2016 by Andi Rawson of Andreya's Asylum
Blood Sacrifices houses four tales of terror by one of the masters of horror, Brian Moreland. Previously only available in digital format, these stories are compiled into one book and can now be ordered in print!
Follow along the tour with the hashtags: #BloodSacrifices #4TalesofTerror #BrianMoreland
Synopsis for Blood Sacrifices: Four Tales of Terror
Some evils require sacrifices.
From the author of Dead of Winter and The Devil’s Woods come four tales of blood-tingling horror:
The Girl from the Blood Coven
In this short prequel to The Witching House, when Abigail Blackwood claims her hippy commune family has been massacred, Sheriff Travis Keagan and his deputies investigate. They discover there’s more than weed smoking going on at Blevins House. Much more.
The Witching House
Sarah Donovan is scared of just about everything, but she helps her adventurous boyfriend investigate the old, abandoned Blevins House, scene of a forty-year-old unsolved massacre. Little do they know the house is hungry for fresh prey…
When Marty Weaver encounters three killers who like to play sadistic games with their victims, his own scarred past is unearthed. And when his pain is triggered, blood will flow…and hell will rise.
Beneath the city of Boston, evil is gathering. While living under a bridge with the homeless, journalist Daniel Finley witnessed something that nearly cost him his sanity. Now, with a book published about the experience, he’s caught between the Irish mafia and a deranged cult preparing to shed blood on the street.
This is a collection of books previously published in digital format.
Barnes & Noble
Brian Moreland, Biography
Brian Moreland is a best-selling and award-winning author of novels and short stories in the horror and supernatural suspense genre. In 2007, his novel Shadows in the Mist, a Nazi occult thriller set during World War II, won a gold medal for Best Horror Novel in an international contest. The novel went on to be published in Austria and Germany under the title Schattenkrieger.
Shadows in the Mist, Dead of Winter, and The Devil's Woods are his currently available novels, as well as his Kindle short-story The Girl from the Blood Coven and the novella it led into called The Witching House. Now, he has released the full-length The Devil’s Woods. His novella, The Vagrants, was released in 2014, and another, Darkness Rising, in 2015.
He loves hiking, kayaking, watching sports, dancing, and making guacamole. Brian lives in Dallas, Texas where he is diligently writing his next horror novel. When not working on his books or books for other writers, Brian edits documentaries and TV commercials around the globe. He produced a World War II documentary in Normandy, France, and worked at two military bases in Iraq with a film crew. Brian lives in Dallas, Texas. You can communicate with him online at www.brianmoreland.com, Twitter, or Facebook.
Praise for Brian Moreland
"For horror fans wanting a healthy dose of the small-town stuff a la Stephen King, be sure to pick up a copy of this (The Girl from the Blood Coven) memorable and frightening short story, a wonderful teaser that will whet your appetite for the main course, The Witching House, where the twisted story continues." -DarkEva/Hellnotes
" Very much in the tradition of HELL HOUSE, THE WITCHING HOUSE is a creepy, modern turn on the haunted house story." -Tim Potter
"Far and away the best new piece of fiction I've read this year. With Darkness Rising, Brian Moreland reminded me why he's one of my two favorite (not King, Laymon, Ketchum...etc.) authors out there (the other being Ronald Malfi). I'm a huge fan of his novel, Shadows in the Mist, but I think this novella rivals it." -Glenn Rolfe, author of Blood and Rain, on Darkness Rising
"Brian Moreland writes a blend of survival horror and occult mystery that I find impossible to resist. I know, when I've got one of his books in my hands, that I'm going to be lost to the world for hours on end. He's just that good." -Joe McKinney, author of Dead City and Flesh Eaters
"A thrilling, wholly-engrossing read that masterfully crosses multiple genres and leaves the reader breathless. Moreland weaves one hell of a history lesson, rich with brilliant characters and incredible plot twists. Highly recommended!" -Brian Keene, bestselling author of The Last Zombie and Ghoul, on Dead of Winter
“Dead of Winter is an exceptionally well crafted horror novel that tells a gripping story of dark religious doings, a horrific serial killer, and a sympathetic Inspector, in a dark and fascinating historical setting of 19th century Canada. The atmospherics are outstanding and the story offers plenty of surprises right up to its shocking and violent conclusion. Highly recommended.”
- Douglas Preston, New York Times bestselling co-author of The Monster of Florence and Cold Vengeance
“Brian Moreland’s fiction is taut and spellbinding, often blending varied themes to form a dark genre very much his own. From his WWII occult thriller Shadows in the Mist, to the haunting chiller The Devil’s Woods, Brian’s work is at once versatile, original, and deeply engaging.” - Greg F. Gifune, author of The Bleeding Season
"The Devil's Woods is an awesome horror novel, filled with nerve-wracking suspense and thrilling action!” - Jeff Strand, author of Wolf Hunt
Want to Feature Brian Moreland?
If you would like a copy of the book for review or to conduct an interview with Brian Moreland, please contact Erin Al-Mehairi, Publicist, at Hook of a Book Media: firstname.lastname@example.org.