Wednesday 2 September 2015

Are You Ready for the End of the World?

I am delighted to welcome fellow horror author, Hunter Shea to my blog today. He has a fabulous new book out - Tortures of the Damned - and you can read my review of it later. For now though, it's over to Hunter:

Tortures of the Damned is not for the faint of heart. 
Hell, when you get down to it, Armageddon tends to favor the strong. I’m not talking big muscles strong. It’s the kind of strength that comes from the soul.

The original title of the book was Run Like Hell. And that’s exactly how it was written. Each small chapter is a fast-paced sprint to the finish line, except in the world I created for my characters, the finish line is always shifting, never in clear sight. They know what they’re running from – bombs, infection, rabid animals – but never exactly sure where to, other than anywhere but here.  

Each time I sat down to write Tortures of the Damned, I felt as if I’d done a fifty yard dash. I really, really got into my work.  My heart raced, my fingers flying over the keyboard so fast, the typos piling up like stacks of bricks. I talked out loud, making my cats look at me funnier than usual. I frightened myself by researching the types of weapons already out there, realizing how close we all are to a terrible end. Sometimes I had to get up and pace, pondering what awful obstacle to place in the way of the decent, honest characters I’d created. 

That was the hardest part – putting good people through the Devil’s wringer. The Padilla family is a close-knit bunch. They’re not perfect, but they’re also against typecast in today’s world because the parents love each other and the children aren’t runways or sneaking pot when they can. Yes, functional families do exist! And in my mind, that foundation is what gave them the fortitude to press on when everything around them has gone insane. 

The end times are brutal, and I didn’t want to skirt any of the tough issues the Padillas would have to face. I chose Yonkers because it’s close to a major target, New York City, has a very diverse population with its share of serious issues on the best of days, and most importantly, was involved with the parking garage bombing of the World Trade Center in the 90s. Fear and distrust are an underlying current there, no matter how hard people try to ignore it. It’s a big city, with all kinds of little pockets where anything can happen. The layout of the city plays a big part in how the horrors unfold. I know, the mayor of Yonkers isn’t giving me the key to the city any time soon. My wife did grow up with him, though. 

Killing dead things shambling about is easy. When the real shit hits the fan, we’ll wish for zombies. 


First, the electricity goes—plunging the east coast in darkness after a devastating nuclear attack. Millions panic. Millions die. They are the lucky ones.


Next, the chemical weapons take effect—killing or contaminating everything alive. Except a handful of survivors in a bomb shelter. They are the damned.


Then, the real nightmare begins. Hordes of rats force two terrified families out of their shelter—and into the savage streets of an apocalytic wasteland. They are not alone. Vicious, chemical-crazed animals hunt in packs. Dogs tear flesh, cats draw blood, horses crush bone. Roaming gangs of the sick and dying are barely recognizable as human. These are the times that try men’s souls. These are the tortures that tear families apart. This is hell on earth. The rules are simple: Kill or die.

“A lot of splattery fun.”—Publishers Weekly

“Harrowing, bloodsoaked.” —Jonathan Janz, Author of The Nightmare Girl

“Frightening, gripping.”—Night Owl Reviews

“Old school horror.” —Jonathan Maberry, New York Times bestselling author

I loved Tortures of the Damned. Here's my review:

"I love Hunter Shea’s books. His characters leap off the page. You suffer with them, fight in their corner, feel their fear – the whole package. The premise of this story centres on a post-apocalyptic, world where some cataclysmic episode has wiped out most of humanity and turned other living creatures into raving, rampaging killing machines. In this world, the lucky ones were those who were killed instantly. Those who survived, but were contaminated by the chemical cloud, become fatally sick – but death comes hard. Most of the main characters in the story were unscathed, because they took refuge in a fallout shelter. For them, the torture of fighting for survival with the odds stacked skyscraper-high against them, certainly earns them the title of this book, for they truly are the damned.

Suspense, terror and a plot that screams out to be filmed. Tortures of the Damned had me hooked from the first page and never let go until the end. And the ending was, for my money, well worthy of the story. Excellent."

Hunter Shea, Biography

Hunter Shea is the author of the novels The Montauk Monster, Sinister Entity, Forest of Shadows, Swamp Monster Massacre, and Evil Eternal. His stories have appeared in numerous magazines, including Dark Moon Digest, Morpheus Tales and the Cemetery Dance anthology, Shocklines : Fresh Voices in Terror.

His obsession with all things horrific has led him to real life exploration of the paranormal, interviews with exorcists and other things that would keep most people awake with the lights on. He lives in New York with his family and vindictive cat. He waits with Biblical patience for the Mets to win a World Series. You can read about his latest travails and communicate with him at


You can purchase Tortures of the Damned in mass market paperback at more retail stores nationwide, as well as bookstores, both independent and chain.

You can also buy online at:


One signed book from Hunter Shea of winner’s choice (or e-book) and a bookmark.


  1. Busy, as always, Cat, with another great post AND guest.

    1. Hunter's books are always great, Shey. You'd love them! :)