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Saturday, October 13, 2012

October Horror Spotlight Saturday: Guest Post and Giveaway with Brian Moreland, author of Dead of Winter and Shadows in the Mist

Hi, everyone!

Welcome to another edition of Spotlight Saturday at Darlene's Book Nook, where we feature authors and their books!

To celebrate Halloween, we will be featuring horror authors for the entire month of October Spotlights!

We will be joined today by Brian Moreland.

About Brian:

Brian Moreland writes novels and short stories of horror and supernatural suspense. His first two novels, Dead of Winter and Shadows in the Mist, are now available. His third novel, The Devil’s Woods, will release in 2013. He loves hiking, kayaking, rock climbing, and dancing. Brian lives in Dallas, Texas where he is diligently writing his next horror novel.

| Coaching For Writers Blog

Welcome to Darlene's Book Nook, Brian!

Brian has written a guest post, so I will now turn the floor over to him!

My supernatural horror novels, Dead of Winter and Shadows in the Mist, are both historical stories based partly on true events and partly from my imagination.

In Dead of Winter, set in the late 1800s, an outbreak of cannibalism terrorizes a small colony at an isolated fort in Ontario, Canada. The main character is Inspector Tom Hatcher, a troubled detective from Montreal who had recently captured an infamous serial killer known as the Cannery Cannibal. Even though the man who murdered 12 prostitutes is behind bars, Tom is still haunted from the case, so he decides to move himself and his rebellious teenage son out to the wilderness. At the beginning of the story, Tom has taken a job at Fort Pendleton to solve a case of strange murders that are happening to the fur traders. Some predator in the woods surrounding the fort is attacking colonists and spreading a gruesome plague—the victims turn into ravenous cannibals with an unending hunger for human flesh. In Tom’s search for answers, he discovers that the Jesuits know something about this plague. My second main character is Father Xavier, an exorcist from Montreal who is ordered by the Vatican to travel to Ontario to help Tom battle the killer causing the outbreak.

Shadows in the Mist is a supernatural thriller set during World War II. The story is about Lt. Jack Chambers, an Army platoon leader who has seen a lot of death during his tour, from battling Germans in North Africa, Italy, and Germany. Lt. Chambers has lost so many men that he’s earned the moniker “Lt. Grim Reaper.” Now he’s down to his last few men who call themselves “the Lucky Seven” because they’ve survived many battles with Lt. Chambers. All he wants now is to get his men out alive. To earn an opportunity to send them home, Chambers volunteers his platoon for one last secret mission--lead a team of commandos to a Nazi bunker. What Chambers and his men don’t know is something dark and evil is waiting for them in the foggy woods.

While indeed works of fiction, I wanted my novels to feel real and authentic. Throughout both stories I interweave several facts I pulled from history. For Dead of Winter, I interviewed a descendent from a Canadian Ojibwa tribe. During my research, I came across some unexplained stories that the Ojibwa and Algonquin tribes all around the Great Lakes region, including Ontario, Quebec, Michigan, and Minnesota, feared a supernatural creature that lives in the woods and stalks people every winter. The tribes migrated every year because of this superstition.

This legend also spooked the white fur traders, like the men of Hudson’s Bay Company, who lived in isolated forts all across Canada and traded with the Indians (now called First Nations). In my novel, Fort Pendleton is a fictitious fort named after one my characters, a tycoon by the name of Master Avery Pendleton. When the mysterious killings start plaguing the colonists living within his fort, Pendleton hires Tom Hatcher to solve the case. Tom teams up with an Ojibwa tracker and shaman, Anika Moonblood. She doesn’t believe the killer is a man or animal, but something much more terrifying. In the book, everyone in the neighboring Ojibwa tribe is spooked by the stalker in the woods. I studied the customs of the Ojibwa people of that era, as well as shamanism, and put much of what I learned into the book. To authenticate my priest characters, I studied Jesuit history, demonology, and countless cases of exorcism. From the scriptures I gathered on battling demons, I could probably do an exorcism myself, not that I would ever want to.

Shadows in the Mist takes place in Germany’s Hürtgen Forest, a seventy-square mile patch of woods and farm country that borders Belgium in Northwest Germany. The setting is World War II, in October 1944, when Allied soldiers were first crossing into Germany. The Battle of the Hürtgen Forest was one of the bloodiest battles we fought. I’ve woven in historical details, like the issues the Allies were actually facing, along with real towns and battlefields. My characters, being a platoon leader and his platoon, were developed based on numerous research I did on WWII. I studied many photos and films, interviewed veteran soldiers, historians, and even walked the battlefields in Germany. I also studied the Nazis, their philosophies, abnormal scientific practices, and their fascination with Occult. All of that research went into building a fictional world that was based on events that really happened. It helps that my readers have seen many of these same images. They can easily visualize the setting, the soldiers, and the Nazis. All I had to do was write a plot that keeps readers turning the pages.

I had a blast writing both Dead of Winter and Shadows in the Mist, and it’s an honor to share them here at Darlene’s Book Nook.
Thanks so much for joining us today, Brian!

Grand Prize: Winner's choice of a signed paperback copy (Canada/US only) of either one of Brian's horror novels, Dead of Winter or Shadows in the Mist.

4 Runner-up Prizes: Digital copies of either one of Brian's horror novels, Dead of Winter or Shadows in the Mist.

Yes, that's 5 chances to win!

A predator stalks the frozen woods.

At a fort deep in the Ontario wilderness in 1878, a ghastly predator is attacking colonists and spreading a gruesome plague—his victims turn into ravenous cannibals with an unending hunger for human flesh. Inspector Tom Hatcher has faced a madman before, when he tracked down Montreal’s infamous Cannery Cannibal. But can even he stop the slaughter this time?

In Montreal exorcist Father Xavier visits an asylum where the Cannery Cannibal is imprisoned. But the killer who murdered thirteen women is more than just a madman who craves human meat. He is possessed by a shape-shifting demon. Inspector Hatcher and Father Xavier must unravel a mystery that has spanned centuries and confront a predator that has turned the frozen woods into a killing ground where evil has come to feed.

Buy Link: 
Amazon Paperback / Amazon Kindle

The truth will not stay buried.

During World War II, Germany’s Hürtgen Forest was a killing field. But there was something worse than the enemy in the mist. An ancient power was waiting to prey upon those who opposed the Third Reich.

Jack Chambers survived the war, but even after all these years, he still has nightmares about Hürtgen—and the unholy horrors he battled there. Now he is determined to reveal the truth behind his platoon’s massacre and entrusts the task to his grandson, Sean. But Sean’s quest sets him in a deadly race against those who wish to bury the truth forever—and those who plan to use it to unleash hell on Earth.

Buy Link: 

To enter the giveaway, you must complete the Rafflecopter entry form below.

This giveaway is open to worldwide (the Grand Prize is open to Canada/US addresses only) until 12:01 AM EST on October 20, 2012.


  1. Thank you so much for taking the time and effort to share with us today. I am new to your work and really intrigued Dead of Winter and will be looking up more :)

  2. Thanks, Denise, I hope you give Dead of Winter a read. You'll find there is a lot more happening within that book than the description reveals.

  3. Ooooh, I have read about Dead of Winter before and have really been wanting to read it. Thanks for the chance!


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