THE SMALL TOWN OF HULIS, MISSOURI
HAS A KILLER CHRISTMAS SPIRIT…
… AND IT’S HIDING A KILLER SECRET.
In 1975 the small town of Hulis was ground zero in a frantic search for 10 year-old Merrie Frances Callahan, as well as an intense manhunt for her abductor.
35 years later, it seems the FBI would like to pretend it never happened.
Special Agent Constance Mandalay didn’t get that memo…
IN THE BLEAK MIDWINTER is based on the short teaser novella MERRIE AXEMAS: A Killer Holiday Tale, (see below) but it tells the whole story of ten-year-old Merrie Frances Callahan’s 1975 abduction, and the present day murders that are somehow intricately linked to that event.
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5/5 Holiday Stars
I’ve been a Rowan Gant fan since I picked up my first copy of HARM NONE (I got it autographed, too – teehee), and I am so happy that SA Constance Mandalay got her own story! (soon-to-be-series 🙂 I can’t wait for Book 2: INTO THE LAKE OF FIRE!!). ITBM is going to impact the rest of the RGI Series for me. Constance was already growing on me, but I like her character much more now. Getting to go along with her on this investigation, and see how she handles the (I’m quoting Ben here…) “Twilight Zone” stuff without Rowan being there is eye-opening. I definitely see her a little differently, and have more respect for her. She has earned her place in The Ghoul Squad, haha! I would LOVE to see both Constance and Ben shake off their traditional beliefs and… well… a girl can dream. ♥ Blessed Be!
SA Constance Mandalay is assigned what appears to be a 7-year-old cold case that echos the events of the 35-year-old child abduction. Unfortunately for all involved, the case heats up for a short time each year with a brutal murder that appears eerily staged, and occurs under impossible circumstances.
Undaunted, she faces the task with no backup, a mysteriously redacted case file, and the inevitable murder fast approaching.
Mandalay’s experience as the ‘handler’ for an FBI occult/paranormal expert (Rowan Gant) makes her the perfect choice for this investigation. However, even her brushes with the unexplained still cannot prepare her for the answer she was not supposed to discover…
You can find In The Bleak Midwinter: A Special Agent Constance Mandalay Novel @
You can find Merrie Axemas: A Killer Holiday Tale (#FREE) @
Where to find M. R. Sellars online:
M. R. Land, Amazon, Goodreads, Facebook, Twitter, Google+, Smashwords, YouTube, StoryFind, and if he ever decides to get back to pinning – Pintrest. I’m still trying to recruit all you horror lovers to switch to SlashBoard instead – it’s Pintrest for Horror Lovers! Maybe we can follow him there soon series 😉
Merrie Axemas – Book 0.5 of the Constance Mandalay Series
LITTLE MERRIE CALLAHAN MAY BE ALL GROWN UP, BUT SHE STILL HAS AN AXE TO GRIND WITH THE MAN IN THE RED SUIT…
INTO THE LAKE OF FIRE: Book 2 of the Constance Mandalay series
THE END IS NEAR, IT JUST NEEDS A LITTLE PUSH…
Check out the entire Rowan Gant Investigation [RGI] series – I highly recommend the books I’ve read so far, and I’ll bet I say the same as I finish the rest of them.
My autographed copy of HARM NONE can’t be replaced, so I was especially giddy when I saw that M. R. Sellars uses AuthorGraph! Now my ebooks are virtually signed 🙂 Stop by and get your new M. R. Sellars ebooks personalized, too!
Be sure to check out all of the M. R. Sellars and other WillowTree Press Author logo-ed swag available @ On The Edge Graphics: Purveyors Of Official Author Swag & Other Graphical Oddities http://www.cafepress.com/otegraphics
I’m making my way through my Ed Lee collection. The trouble is… for every one I finish, I want to read two more!
WITCH WATER follows Stew Fanshawe’s journey from Manhattan Paraphilic, to New Hampshire Student of the Occult, and where is journey ends is the best part of the story!
POSSIBLE SPOILER ALERT!
I get a wonderfully sick kind of pleasure when people choose do the wrong thing! This story, from any other author, would have the protagonist playing detective, finding the evil truth, and busting the whole thing wide open – with an ending full of praise for the bad boy turned good. ‘Atta Boy’s’ & keys to the city would be showered upon him, and, you know… happily ever after…
NOT ED LEE!!
Mr. Lee drags Stew through the dirt & blood, and, they embrace his black soul like a new lover.
Things are getting a bit uncomfortable for Stew Fanshawe, and he needs to get out of Dodge for a while, at least until things cool down. His extra-curricular activities have cost him dearly – see, Stew is a serial voyeur, and he’s no longer ‘in the closet’. His wife left him, he’s paid out a fortune in settlement money, and he can feel everyone staring at him while they silently scream “Peeper!” or “Pervert!”.
Stew’s therapist recommends a vacation. His ex-wife suggests he pitch a tent in Hell, but he decides to give Haver-Towne a try instead. It’s a sedate colonial resort in New Hampshire; rich with history, home to an eclectic array of locals, and lacking in all the temptations of New York. It’s just the kind of place he needs to escape, do some soul searching, and start down the road to recovery.
The Wraxall Inn is the historic hotel he plans to call home for the duration of his stay in Haver-Towne, The Salem of New Hampshire. The 300 year old mansion is much more than it seems. After Stew meets the locals, he starts to learn that The Wraxall Inn and Haver-Towne harbor a secret that isn’t mentioned on the brochures – An incestuous warlock who sired children to be used for something far worse than sacrifice. A witch whose carnal abandon and sheer diabolism stagger even the most demented imaginations. A 300 year old mansion in whose walls are embalmed the infernal secret of…Witch-Water. All inside a town steeped in witchcraft and satanic debauchery.
It turns out that Haver-Towne is just the place to hone Stew’s paraphilic desires, especially with the historic ocular device he borrows from the Wraxall Inn’s display case. His curiosity unlocks one morbid secret after another, and reveals a history of erotopathic witches, depraved covens, sick-in-the-head sexuality, and the most grotesque method of execution ever devised.
Witch Water is a novel of immemorial curses, demonic lust, and absolutely unmitigated evil – all racing toward an ending that was totally unexpected, but an ending that I absolutely adore!
“Every day’s a sunshiny day when you don’t have maggots and spiders eating your guts.” -Stanley Dabernath
Stanley Dabernath is nobody special. He’s just a regular guy, who hates every minute of his miserable existence. $60,000 in debt, eating ramen noodles three times a day, and recently homeless since he just got evicted from his apartment.
His video distribution company, Demented Whackos, should have made him a millionaire, not a 35 year old man who lives where he works, and steals booze from his parent’s house. He won’t give up, though! All he needs is one sicko product to put Demented Whackos Video on the map, and he’s working on that project right now!
EXTREME FISHING is going to be a hit, he can feel it! Heavy metal music, gratuitous T & A, explosions, beatings, and of course… buckets of blood & guts! THIS is going to be the one, EXTREME FISHING is going to turn things around for poor Stanley Dabernath! Things might not be so bad for him after all, and he starts to feel better than he has in a very long time. Hey, he even jumped out of of the way and avoided being hit by the semi-truck that was barreling towards him! Quick moves! Nice going, Stanley!
Too bad his luck hadn’t changed completely. The truck, the same one that narrowly missed hitting Stanley, tipped over and crashed down on his left foot. If his luck had changed just a bit more, then he would have limped away. Sadly, Life said “Hahaha! Nope!”
Stanley found no humor in his situation as the truck spilled it’s contents all over him, and he drowned right there.
BIZARRE REALITY is taking a huge chance by airing a prime time TV special – LIVE. They have Project Second Chance as a guest, and have spent major cash advertising tonight’s show. “Witness the very first resurrection of a human corpse on LIVE TV!”
No spoilers here, really. If it didn’t work, we wouldn’t have a story! The corpse is Stanley Dabernath, and the scientists have successfully reanimated him for the entire viewing audience.
He’s alive… ALIVE! Muah-ha-ha-ha…
Alive, but not without some damage – he had started to decay a bit, so his coloring is kind of grey, and he smells none too fresh. You don’t need to be pretty to become a huge celebrity these days, and that’s exactly what Stanley has become. A celebrity with hated a nickname! The press started calling him ‘The Incredible Mr. Corpse’, then the world follows suit. Despite the new moniker, Mr. Corpse has finally made it. Fame, wealth, groupies… he’s living the dream. He even has a personal assistant, Veronica, to help him adjust to the lifestyle. She’s earning her salary, though – You can take the life out of Stanley, but you can’t remove the personality!
The story follows the transformation – from Stanley to The Incredible Mr. Corpse. Then… the annoying Mr. Corpse, the big-headed Mr. Corpse, the impossible Mr. Corpse… Eventually, the curious Mr. Corpse realizes that Project Second Chance may not be what they seem.
This is another novel by Jeff Strand that kept me laughing from start to finish. It’s dedicated to his wife, and I’ve often wondered if all of these characters stem from his everyday sense of humor. She must be cracking up all the time! Or, on the verge of smothering him with a pillow 😉
Along with Stanley’s shenanigans and smart assery, there are very serious, and sometimes uncomfortable moments. It wouldn’t be a true Strand story if it didn’t make me shed a few tears. Stanley grew as a person when he became a ‘zombie’. He has to learn things the hard way, but he’s a guy that I would love to know IRL, (if he picks up that deodorant gig!).
I don’t know what Stanley’s assistant, Veronica, is thinking – Stanley is VERY quotable…
“If you eat me, you’ll just be a cannibal! And that’s shameful! Nobody likes cannibals!”
Soon you may find me, in a dark alley behind a bookstore or a library, wearing a trench-coat and sunglasses, whispering to passers-by… “psst.. hey man, yeah, you…. ‘mere… wanna read a book?”
YES, you read that correctly.
According to the American Library Association, the Harry Potter series has now not just joined the ranks of such classics as as The Catcher in the Rye, by J.D. Salinger, The Lord of the Flies, by William Golding, & 1984, by George Orwell, but has passed them all to become The Most Banned Book in America. That puts J.K. Rowling arm in arm with Mark Twain, Harper Lee, and Maya Angelou!
How messed up is that?
“It is undeniable that themes of death and resurrection abound in the stories, as well as detailed depictions of potions and other hocus pocus. But while there are Christians who decry the celebration of witchcraft, there are other Christians who consider Harry’s journey an edifying allegory for Jesus Christ.” (O.o What!?)
I’m a filthy, dirty, hellbound pagan, and loved these books – not because I learned to point a tree branch and fix my glasses, or because they were a covert way to teach my son about my religious beliefs. But, for the same reason I enjoyed any other fictional book, for the characters I fell in love with, for the stories I got lost in, for the joy of reading a phenomenal story!
As much as I want to rant & rave about the people who believe that these books are anything other than fictional novels, I’m trying to hold my tongue. But, they’re the same people who banned Captain Underpants.
“That is another problem with banning books: it obscures the diversity of viewpoints within its potential readership.” Once they’re banned, the only people who discuss their viewpoints – are the narrow-minded one-way thinkers.
Thankfully at least 450 million copies have been sold, so there is little danger that an eager reader will not be able to drudge up a copy. But, this wasn’t always the case!
Yet me ask you this, with fanatics such as Fred Phelps (for example), who twist around the words in that all holy book to fit their way of bigotry and hatred… why hasn’t The Holy Bible been banned every hotel in America?
About a decade ago, PEN joined with the American Booksellers Foundation for Free Expression to support an initiative called KidSpeak, a website designed to encourage kids to debate free expression issues and, at least initially, to debate whether J.K. Rowling’s Harry Potter series should be censored. The conversation had been prompted by a number of religious groups that claimed the fantasy series about young wizards promoted occultism and paganism, thereby undermining Christian values. Here is a response from a fifth grader: “I think the Harry Potter case is just crazy. I have an idea that kids seven and under need a permission slip to see if it’s okay for seven and under to read Harry Potter books. If parents of kids eight and older complain, the principal should just talk to them and tell them that it’s just fantasy.”
How are kids so intelligent & well spoken?
OH! That’s right…
What stands out about this student’s response, and the response from the rest of the elementary school classroom, is not just her indignation at the idea of censoring the Potter books — she crafted a policy that would protect younger children. The discussion prompted the student to think about free expression and also to develop her own creative solutions to address the concerns of others who held views different from her own.
Since the publication of The Sorcerer’s Stone in 1997, kids have discussed, dissected and debated the books with a critical eye. Anyone who has listened to Mugglecast, a podcast for Harry Potter lovers, must acknowledge the close textual reading of every single chapter of the series, and fan fiction sites abound in an efflorescence of, albeit channeled, creativity. These books have taught children to read, to think, to write and to criticize, all hallmarks of free expression! How can that be a bad thing?
It’s these kids, the ones who learned to think critically & write creatively, who will soon be flooding the literary world with their ideas. These are also the ones who will probably be on a banned list of their own. And, that, is what gives me hope.
What has been your favorite book that has ended up on the BANNED LIST?
What do you think is the craziest book to end up in the BANNED LIST has been?