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Book Review of Folk Horror Thriller, “The Reddening” by Adam Neville

The following review was written by Horror author, A.R. Braun.

We have not evolved. Old gods and savage murders are still happening in Brickburgh, England. Katrine, a lifestyle journalist, escaped from horrors of the past by moving to a coast. Seaside holidays and the beauty of nature, what could go wrong?

Human remains and prehistoric artifacts are found in said Brickburgh, making Katrina’s life a nightmare.

Single-parent Helene lost her brother, Lincoln, six years ago. And there is a tape, recorded by Lincoln himself, of strange noises, exactly six years ago, in the caves off the water. In said caves, early man butchered each other sixteen thousand years ago. On the cave walls lurk drawings of their nameless deity. The worst part is, people have been disappearing from these remote locations for years.

There must be foul play.

And now there are sightings of drug plantations and the red folk. In this bucolic setting, strangers are not welcome. An insidious power looms underneath the earth, a supernatural being only the desperate invoke.

To save their lives and for Helene to find Lincoln, Katrine and Helene must confront the evil and investigate. The drug fields—also the killing fields—await, along with the murderous red folk, ready to destroy all that invade their coven.

Will Helene find her brother alive, or dead? And will she and Katrine be next? Or will they triumph after a bloody battle with these friends? One thing’s for sure, they’ll be forever scarred, if they survive, by the Reddening.

A.R. Braun on Mind on Fire Books

Review by Horror Writer, A.R. Braun. Check out his latest short story, “Little Ghoul,” here.

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🚨🚨BOOKLAUNCH!🚨🚨

Today we launch our first multi-author fiction anthology exploring three disturbing tales about the nature of man and the true nature of what lies inside of him.

The cost is only 2.99, so that’s one dollar a story and all of our writers are indie horror authors. Available on all major platforms.

Mad Men is a collection of three disturbing horror shorts from authors living in the Midwest. The themes explored in this collection range from man versus self, man versus man, and man versus creature.

We start with Matt’s tale, a thought-provoking thriller which causes the reader to question his reality and what he fears within himself. The second tale explores the grotesque juxtaposed with beautiful nature, where the ending unfolds into a horrific dream, waking in even more terrible pain. The third tale is by seasoned horror writer, A.R. Braun – and his diabolical creatures never disappoint!  A.R. Braun’s goal is to be on the banned book list; we think this tale may just be evil enough to be considered. A must read before it does get banned!

Mainstream Horror Shorts don’t always satisfy us in the way they should. They don’t open conversations about what it is that we fear or why we fear such things, they focus mainly on pop culture and gore. The writers in this anthology understand the need for literate horror, opening discussions of man’s psyche. When these writers set out to tell a story, they are less interested in conveying fear and more interested in wonder, the sublime, and the infinite strangeness that drives all man and woman. Highly recommended for tweens, teens, and adults.

Available now at Google Books, Barnes and Noble, Kobo, Apple iBooks, Smashwords, and Amazon.

A three story horror short anthology by A.R. BraunMatt “Love-it or” Leavitt and Willy Martinez.

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Hereditary: Film Review by Horror Author, A.R. Braun

This is the film that restored my faith in American cinema. Previously, I felt one had to watch a foreign flick for a good scare. Ari Aster is my favorite writer/director, the only American making shocking films right now. And this film WILL scare you. Also important is Toni Collette, who gives a lights-out performance, as always, just intense as can be. (The lead actress from The United States of Tara.)

Miniature model artist Annie Graham (Collette) has lost her weird, eerie mother, Ellen (Kathleen Chalfant). At the funeral, Annie is surprised by how many people show up, a staggering amount, and she’s never met any of them. When Ellen’s grave is desecrated, Annie sees her ghost.

Wanting her strange-and-creepy thirteen-year-old daughter, Charlie (Milly Shapiro), to enjoy her life, she manipulates her sixteen-year-old son, Peter (Alex Wolff), to take her along to a party he’s going to. Problem is, Charlie’s allergic to certain foods, and when she eats cake with nuts, she goes full-tilt into anaphylactic shock. Peter then rushes her to the hospital, but his driving’s erratic, and Charlie, not being able to breathe, sticks her head out the window for fresh air . . . and her head’s decapitated by a telephone pole.

Scene from Hereditary film for Mind on Fire Blog

Things go downhill from there.

At a grief-support group, Annie meets an older woman named Joan (Ann Dowd), who lost a son. At first, the friendship seems innocuous, but after a beat Joan shows Annie how to conjure up the departed loved one, and when you hear that creepy music and things start moving seemingly by themselves, you know you’re in trouble. In fact, I knew I was in trouble as soon as I saw Charlie, who’s really strange looking, and uses bird’s heads for her action figures.

From then on, you are not safe. If the scenes that follow don’t freak you out, you’re probably dead.

Why is Joan trying to exorcise Peter from his own body? Why does Charlie persist in being alive? Where did all those people at the funeral come from?

The scares amp-up until you think you can’t take it. I mean, ghosts being naked when they’re dead, I don’t need to see that!

And human spirits aren’t the biggest worry. Annie’s mother Ellen was a demon-worshipper, and those people at the funeral are her coven.

I highly recommend this one to those who think they can’t be scared by a film . . . and especially those that can.

A.R. Braun on Mind on Fire Books

Review by Horror Writer, A.R. Braun. Check out his latest Novel, “Only Women in Hell,” here.

A.R. Braun will also be featured on our anthology Mad Men, available for presale now.


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The Manitou by Graham Masterton – Book Review by Horror Writer, A.R. Braun

The Manitou is definitely Graham Masterton’s bread-and-butter, the series being the best books he’s ever written. He went on to write many great novels, a total of 101 in all!

In 1976’s The Manitou, based in San Francisco, something is growing on the back of an attractive woman named Karen Tandy’s neck—perceived as a tumor—which baffles her doctors.

Desperate for help, the good docs bring in a charlatan psychic named Harry Erskine—an unlikely hero who’s the perfect protagonist—as a paranormal investigator. Erskine helps the doctors discover that an ancient Native-American medicine man named Misquamacus, the most powerful Shaman ever, is back to seek revenge against the white man for stealing his country, as well as other atrocities. Reborn from a neck, the Native American is squat, has stunted limbs, but is none the less powerful. Able to call up the most powerful demons in the world who can’t be exercised by Christianity because they were before Christ, the shaman’s chief demon is a squid spirit and, yes, I believe it’s Cthulhu.

This infernal medicine man is feared by all as the body count rises. Everything in the world has a Manitou, a Native-American spirit, and Harry and the good doctors call upon a modern-day Shaman named John Singing Rock for help, definitely less powerful than Misquamacus. They battle and wrack their brains to come up with the best modern Manitou to fight the insidious shaman.

Will they be able to stop the carnage so vehement it’ll be mass-murder? Or will they end up butchered, like the cops in the elevator?

This novel was ten times better than I expected it to be, and I highly recommend this gem, plus the sequels, which are all great. You’d better hope Native-American spirits don’t come looking for revenge!

A.R. Braun on Mind on Fire Books

Review by Horror Writer, A.R. Braun. You can check out his latest Novel, “Dogman of Illinois, here.

A.R. Braun will also be featured on our anthology Mad Men, available for presale now.


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Faceless – 100 Word Short Story

She had always wanted to be beautiful. She had read about the power of love and beauty in the nefarious dead-fairy tales of the underworld. This could never be her.

Yet, she never gave up. She read voraciously about the fiction of the nether world histories. Summoning a Djin from a rescued incantation, she used it to plan her return to the world of the living. The first step was to convert her vaporous body into something tangible.

Next, for her to be beautiful and with a face, she would need to devour a heavenly soul.

Artwork is by mrs_white_photoart on Instagram and titled “Caught in Your World.”

Transcending
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Guy de Maupassant’s Horror Fiction and 10 Quotes

Born August 5, 1850, Guy de Maupassant was a popular 19th-century French writer. He is considered one of the fathers of the modern short story. He wrote more than 300 short stories, six novels, three travel books, and one volume of poetry.

It is with Le Gaulois in 1883 that de Maupassant diverted himself from a career as a humorous short story writer and begins on a second career that would make him a horror writer to stand beside Edgar Allan Poe. The stories in de Maupassant’s first nine volumes often speak of insanity, and it becomes clear that the author had a fascination with mental illness that grew with time, for lunacy is often used by de Maupassant as a plot devise.

De Maupassant’s masterpiece is “The Horla”(1886). Of all the stories he wrote this single tale is most often anthologized and was even filmed, though under the title of a different story, in MGM’s Diary of a Mad Man (1963) with Vincent Price. H. P. Lovecraft felt of stories describing alien possession “this tense narrative is perhaps without peer in its particular department.” In “Diary of a Mad Man” we read a judge’s diary revealing how he was obsessed with killing, then murders a little boy and a fisherman.

Here are a few of his short horror stories:

  1. “The Spectre” or “The Apparition” 
  2. “The Flayed Hand”
  3. “The Hand” or “The Englishman” 
  4. “The White Wolf” or “The Wolf”
  5. “Vendetta” or “Semillante”
  6. “A Mother of Monsters”
  7. “The Spasm” 
  8. “On the River”
  9. “He?” or “The Terror” 
  10. “The Specter” 
  11. “The White Lady”
  12. “Was it a Dream” or “Epitaph”
Photo by Justin Schuler. Graphic design by Mind on Fire Books.

Here are 10 quotes attributed to this writer.

  1. Patriotism is a kind of religion; it is the egg from which wars are hatched.
  2. There is only one good thing in life, and that is love. And how you misunderstand it! How you spoil it! You treat it as something solemn like a sacrament, or something to be bought, like a dress.
  3. I have come to the conclusion that the bed comprehends our whole life; for we were born in it, we live in it, and we shall die in it.
  4. Every government has as much of a duty to avoid war as a ship’s captain has to avoid a shipwreck.
  5. It is better to be unhappy in love than unhappy in marriage, but some people manage to be both.
  6. Solitude is dangerous for active minds. We need men who can think and can talk, around us. When we are alone for a long time, we people space with phantoms.
  7. Love always has its price, come whence it may.
  8. The great artists are those who impose their personal vision upon humanity.
  9. There are in France some fifty thousand young men of good birth and fairly well off who are encouraged to live a life of complete idleness. They must either cease to exist or must come to see that there can be no happiness, no health even, without regular daily labor of some sort.
  10. Our memory is a more perfect world than the universe: it gives back life to those who no longer exist.

Elevate My Thoughts
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Synopsis of “The Plague” by Albert Camus

There is no more important book to understand our times than Albert Camus’s The Plague, a novel about a virus that spreads uncontrollably from animals to humans and ends up destroying half the population of a representative modern town. Camus speaks to us now not because he was a magical seer, but because he correctly sized up human nature. As he wrote: ‘Everyone has inside it himself this plague, because no one in the world, no one, can ever be immune.’

Watch this quick synopsis produced by The School of Life:

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Monster Monday or Monday Motivation?

The week has just begun, get out there and terrorize that village… err, attack that work project with the tenacity of a laboratory engineered superhuman.