Synopsis for Blood Sacrifices: Four Tales of Terror
Publication Date: April 5, 2016
Publication Length: 282 pages
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.
Excerpt from short story “Girl from the Blood Coven”
from BLOOD SACRIFICES: FOUR TALES OF TERROR
by Brian Moreland
June 21, 1972
As Sheriff Travis Keagan drove through the pine country of East Texas, he had two things on his mind: drinking a cold beer and watching the second half of the Rangers baseball game. On the radio, the announcer said it was top of the fifth and the Yankees were winning five to three.
“Come on, Rangers.” Sheriff Keagan felt absolutely beat and needed his team to lift his spirits. It was the end of another long, hot and balmy summer day of dealing with traffic accidents, drunken domestic disputes and escorting a wife beater to the county jail. Now the shadows of dusk were gathering in the forest, and judging by the flickering clouds, a stormy night was fast approaching.
A woman’s voice squawked on the CB radio. “Dispatch to Sheriff. Over.”
Sheriff Keagan sighed and picked up the microphone. “Yes, Connie. Over.”
“Earl Potter called and claims he saw the ghost of a girl cross through his pasture. Says she spooked his horses.”
“Ghost…” Keagan chuckled, shaking his head. “Last week it was flying saucers. Did he sound drunk?”
Connie laughed. “Like he always does. Over.”
“Tell Earl he needs to lay off the moonshine and go to bed. I’m calling it a night.
Have a wonderful evening, Connie. I’ll be at the Armadillo if you need me. Over and out.” Keagan parked his police car in the gravel lot of the Lazy Armadillo. The roadhouse and connecting gas station were isolated on a wooded road just outside of the small town of Buck Horn. Inside the restaurant, the jukebox was playing a Willie Nelson song. A half–dozen townspeople acknowledged the sheriff as he entered the bar. He knew everyone here by name, where they lived, where they worked and their nighttime habits. He knew that Dale and Judy in the corner booth were cheating on their spouses. At another table, Tommy Green was studying to be a lawyer so he didn’t have to end up selling cars his whole life like his pops. And the sheriff knew that the Kincaid brothers, who were casually playing pool, would later get drunk and start throwing fists at one another. Just a typical night at the Armadillo.
Taking off his cowboy hat, Keagan sat at his favorite bar stool, where he had a perfect view of the Rangers game on the TV. “Damn, Yanks scored again?”
Sheila, the sexiest redheaded bartender in the county, put a frosty mug in front of Keagan. “Rangers’ pitching is terrible tonight.”
“Their bats aren’t hitting squat either,” Keagan said.
She pulled out her order pad. “Your usual tonight, Sheriff?”
“Nah, I’m in the mood for a steak. Tell Jorge to burn it.”
Sheila leaned against the bar. “You know all that red meat isn’t good for your colon.” The student nurse was always looking after his health. “How about the grilled catfish with some stir-fried veggies? You’ll thank me twenty years from now.”
“Fine. But you’re not talking me out of the pecan pie.”
“Maybe I’ll have a slice with you.” She winked.
Keagan’s cheeks flushed and he felt warm all over. Since his wife left him a few years back, moving to Houston with their daughter, he missed having a woman care about him. He admired Sheila as she delivered his order to the kitchen. If the college girl wasn’t half his age, he’d ask her out in a heartbeat.
On the TV, the Rangers hit a homer with two men on base, tying the game.
Keagan cheered and waved the runners around the bases. He raised his beer in celebration and was about to drink when he heard a commotion behind him.
A man shouted, “Holy shit!”
Keagan spun around in his seat.
Standing in the front doorway was a young woman covered head to toe in blood. Her soaked nightgown clung to her body. She walked into the restaurant, stiff and grimacing, as if her bare feet were walking on glass. The girl’s face was a mask of solid red and her eyes were wide with terror. She stretched out an arm. “Help me…”
Keagan reached her first and she collapsed in his arms. She was trembling.
So much blood. It covered his hands and stained his uniform.
A crowd of onlookers gathered around, and the sheriff shouted, “Everyone stay back. Sheila, call for an ambulance. And somebody get her some water.” Keagan walked the girl to a booth and sat her down. He examined her exposed skin for bleeding wounds, but found none. It looked as if someone had dumped buckets of dark red paint over her head. Her long hair was littered with leaves and pine needles. Her gown was slashed across the chest and he could see part of one of her breasts. “Are you hurt anywhere?”
The girl looked at him, her lips quivering, and made a croaking sound.
The waitress gave her a glass of water.
As the girl drank, Keagan said, “You’re going to be okay. You’re safe now. An ambulance will be here soon. My name is Sheriff Keagan. Can you tell me what happened?”
“Dead…” she managed. “They’re all dead.”
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.
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