I'm honored to be a part of Riptide Publishing's 2nd Anniversary and the first stop on the book tour for the horror-infused erotic anthology, Bump in the Night, featuring some of my favorite authors writing short stories that are m/m-themed. Keep reading to learn about the contribution from Peter Hansen and make sure to visit the other blogs hosting this tour to learn even more about this anthology. Leave a comment below telling us your favorite part of Halloween for your chance to win a $25 Riptide Publishing GC!
Hello there, I’m Peter Hansen and welcome to the Bump in the Night blog tour. Bump in the Night is an erotic horror anthology edited by Rachel Haimowitz and featuring my story “Sleeping with Ghosts.”
I was born in late October, and as long as I can remember, I've felt most at home with Halloween just around the corner. I love the way the leaves began to burn brown and gold at the edges, and I love the bite of winter in the air ... and although I don't dress up much anymore, I love the opportunity to build a costume.
I grew up so far in the middle of nowhere that we had to take a car to go trick-or-treating, but my birthday party was almost always Halloween themed, which gave me a chance to craft a new self. I remember constructing each costume with careful attention to detail, painstakingly copying Darth Maul's tattoos onto my face in greasepaint (and then despairing as the hottest Halloween on record melted the paint away), or searching out red, green, and yellow plastic wrap for the lamp covers in my traffic light costume.
Looking back, it's not surprising that I wanted to be the guy with the double-bladed lightsaber or the device that told people to stop. As a bullied kid, more than anything, I wanted to be powerful. I wanted to be something completely unlike myself, a Viking or a pirate or a Sith Lord. The year I went as a traffic light, another kid had been pushed in front of a truck on school grounds, and while he was fine, watching that had shaken me up pretty badly. Those costumes were supposed to transform me, but instead, they tell me a lot about who I was. I look through two decades and a layer of thin plastic wrap or greasepaint, and I can still see my face there.
I heard somewhere that people used to go masked on Halloween so that wandering spirits wouldn't recognize them for mortals and whisk them away. A witch sees a little girl with her face painted green and a wart on her nose, and instead of a frightened child, she sees kin. A ghost sees a little boy in a sheet, and says, This child is my brother in death. There is no more I can do to him. (One presumes that ninjas, Batmen, and sexy nurses will have a similar response.)
There's at least as much fantasy as fear in a costume, though, and sometimes it's hard to pull the two apart. A part of me wants to be Leif Eiriksson or Darth Maul for a day because they're strong, and a part of me wants it because I'm afraid I'm not. When I paint my face or brace myself like a sailor against the pitch of the ship, I'm trying to will a little of their power into myself. Make me your brother in strength. Whisk me away. I'm ready to go.
As an author, I'm still interested in those thin screens that we put up as the nights grow long -- not masks to conceal the face, but paint and plastic to transform it. I'm interested in the way people pretend to be kinder, braver, stronger, sexier versions of themselves, for a day or for their whole lives. In "Sleeping with Ghosts," this is the question that lingers for me: Can one always recognize the face behind the screen, in all its fear and hope and calculation? Or, if one pretends long enough and hard enough, is it possible to become what one pretends to be?
Turn off the lights . . . and turn on your darkest fantasies.
Demon pacts. Ghostly possessions. Monsters lurking in the depths. The things that go bump in the night frighten us, but they also intrigue us. Fascinate us. Even turn us on.
Join us as fan favorites Ally Blue and Kari Gregg bring over-amorous aquatic beasts to life with their mythic twists on the Siren and the monster in the lake. Erotic horror pros Heidi Belleau, Sam Schooler, and Brien Michaels show us just how sexy scary can be with a pair of demon deals destined to curl your toes and set your heart thrashing. And literary masters Laylah Hunter and Peter Hansen weave haunting worlds where ghosts and dead lovers can touch our hearts (and other, naughtier places too . . .) and teach us lessons from beyond the grave.
By turns exciting, evocative, and exquisitely explicit, the stories in Bump in the Night are sure to scratch your sexy paranormal itch. Explore your wildest fantasies with us in this collection of dark erotic tales.
*You can read an excerpt of “Sleeping with Ghost” and purchase Bump in the Night here.
MY IMPRESSIONS OF THIS BOOK:
With Halloween just around the corner the Bump in the Night anthology offers just the right amount of chills to make you think twice before going to sleep, or into a forest, or......well, you get the picture. With its vividly dark imagery and cruel twist to its erotic scenes, this is an unsettling group of stories that leave a lasting impression. Each story is set during a different time period with the evil ranging from man-made to otherworldly. The erotic m/m scenes are extremely graphic and not seen in a romantic light for the most part. These stories don't necessarily end happily but there's more of a happy for now sense to each with the characters doing the best they can with the choices they're given. You're not left with warm fuzzy feelings after reading each story but rather a feeling of acceptance.
It's not easy reading these stories but each author has created a darkly atmospheric and lyrical tale that makes these reads hard to put down. There are somewhat disturbing encounters between good and evil represented that make for thoughtprovoking themes that don't always offer easy answers. Ultimately this is not a read for the faint of heart. Its themes and images are dark and make for grueling reads but are a perfect fit for Halloween and I especially recommend it to fans of the horror genre.
My rating for this is a C+
*I received this book from NetGalley for review in exchange for my honest opinion.
Peter Hansen is a teacher, writer, and former spelling bee champion who lives a stone's throw from the Erie Canal.
He got his start in publishing with his college newspaper, where he was forced to write "I will not rake the muck" one hundred times on the chalkboard before they let him write editorials. With that gritty, real-world experience under his belt, he promptly turned to science fiction and fantasy.
He spends his days teaching young writers about the pathetic fallacy, his evenings mainlining iced tea, and his nights building a time machine in his basement.
To enter the giveaway leave a comment, ALONG WITH YOUR EMAIL ADDY, telling us what you love about Halloween! Every comment on this blog tour enters you in a drawing for a $25 Riptide Publishing gift certificate! Entries close at midnight EST, on November 2nd, and one grand prize winner will be contacted on November 3rd. Contest is valid worldwide.