I’ve been waiting anxiously to share more of the Chupacabra Series with you. I’ve been featuring Michael’s series for years now and it’s always so exciting to have him back again.
There’s so much to share with you today.
Michael has some free books for you!
He has an awesome guest post.
I’ll be sharing my review of the fourth book in this thrilling series, Dawn Of The Chupcabra.
And there’s a killer giveaway! So don’t forget to enter!
9 Halloween Days of Free Chills!
In promoting Dawn of the Chupacabra’s release, and in honor of the Halloween season, Michael has put together his “9 Halloween Days of Free Chills” . His short story, Rattlesnake, plus Curse of the Chupacabra will be free for 5 days!
Here are the dates for “9 Halloween Days of Free Chills”:
Click on the covers for your free copies. Make sure you check the free dates!
10/9/15 – 10/13/15 – Short Western Horror Story “Rattlesnake” about a man who kidnaps a boy for information about his missing son after narrowly escaping a town gone mad. (Retail: $0.99)
10/13/15 – 10/17/15 – eBook of Book II, Curse of the Chupacabra, which follows the survivors of the Dillmore Valley massacre as they journey through the mountains for a fresh start, despite the looming terror that awaits around every turn. (Retail: $2.99)
And now, this from Michael Hebler!
10 Fascinating Facts About the Chupacabra Series
Blog host Laura and I have conducted three interviews together, each at the release of a Chupacabra Series novel. This time, for the release of the fourth book, Dawn of the Chupacabra, Laura thought it best to break tradition by asking that I write a guest post instead. Immediately I agreed, even though I had no idea what the post would be about. I had only ever written one guest post before about the roots of the creature feature, and definitely did not want to repeat myself. Then, on my birthday, it dawned on me that the Chupacabra Series had officially been a part of my life by more than half. That egg of an idea that was nurtured in 1992 had been given life and matured into this miraculous thing over the last 23 years. Like a proud parent, it would have learned to walk and speak, learned to drive, and could have even graduated college by now. And like any upbringing, there were plenty of mistakes, which became learning experiences that aided in the development of the body of work it is today. Therefore, I thought it would be fun to share ten of my favorite “moments” that you might find fascinating.
1. Like most things conceived, it takes two. In the case of this series, it was Clint Eastwood’s remarkable film, Unforgiven, and a student written one-act play I watched in college about a small group trapped inside a saloon with monsters trying to get inside that was the inspiration. However, until 2010, the stories were only in screenplay format. It wasn’t until the film production company, Atlas Entertainment (The Dark Knight Series, Inception) asked if I could take my story out of the Old West that I decided to adapt the series into prose. Obviously, I declined their request.
2. Fan favorite character, Jessie, used to have a brother named Clarence. He was five years her senior, fifteen, lanky, submissive, and mousy. Jessie protected him at all costs though, like a chupacabra herself, she gave him multiple tongue lashings. Clarence was included in a large church-scene attack that was also written, and then abandoned. Let’s just say, even if he had survived to the novel adaptation, he would not have survived the Night.
3. Suzanne’s original name was Zelma. Probably the smartest change of any I made in this series. There was no reason for her to be named Zelma other than I really like the name. The problem I had with it was that after a few drafts, I realized it did not fit the time period of the Old West.
4. Many readers and reviewers of these books who typically do not enjoy reading phonetic dialogue have stated that they are not bothered by the language when reading Chupacabra. There could be a reason for this. Night of the Chupacabra is dedicated to Virginia Grafton-Wade. The reason for this dedication is in two parts: The year before Night’s release, Virigina was a 94-year-old woman to whom I delivered Meals on Wheels. A regret in Virginia’s life was that she had always wanted to write a book, but both her mind and years she had left would not allow that dream to be fulfilled. Though not a fan of horror, Virginia was a fan of westerns. Her grandfather had lived through the 1870s and 1880s and he used to tell her stories of that time period quite often. Virginia remembered how he spoke, the words and the inflections he would use. Being a second-hand expert, Virginia proofed my dialogue. This not only helped me tremendously, but it also gave her fulfillment to realize that dream of being a part of a book’s creation. Before Virginia’s death in 2014, the first three Chupacabra novels went through the Virginia dialogue grinder. Legend of the Chupacabra even includes a quote that her grandfather always repeated, which I gave to the Reverend Moyle’s character, “Do not speak ill of others, though it be the truth, rather flatter behind one’s back that your honeyed words be reported.”
5. Though not completely off the shelf, Night of the Chupacabra came close to being adapted into a graphic novel. I hope to have this idea revisited again soon.
6. The end of Night of the Chupacabra originally occurred in the mines. During the stagecoach chase of the first book, Raul explains his intentions to Drake about how they would capture and kill the beast inside the caves. Raul’s “plan” is exactly how Night of the Chupacabra ended in earlier drafts. The reason for the change was because I thought a more fitting ending was a night that began and ended in Dillmore Valley. But I did not want to abandon my cavern idea. Having my heart set on that location, I moved it to its more fitting home in Curse of the Chupacabra.
7. Growing up, my mother used to read anything by Stephen King. She had an entire bookshelf of his books, but one cover above all others used to give me the creeps. That is why the original sleeve for Cujo was the inspiration for the cover of Curse of the Chupacabra.
8. Speaking of inspiration, it can come from odd places, as well as at unexpected times. Years ago, when searching for an idea to keep the center of the story for Legend of the Chupacabra glued together, I was having a couch potato kind of day. While flipping cable channels, I happened to land on a program called Cities of the Underworld. This particular episode was about the underground tunnels of Portland, Oregon, where [Legend] would take place. By the end of the program, I knew I had found my adhesive subplot. If you can find the episode online, I highly recommend anyone to watch it. It’s fascinating.
9. Not every baddie received their comeuppance. Originally, the foul and egotistical Evelyn Diamond (from Curse of the Chupacabra) was supposed to reappear in Legend of the Chupacabra with her traveling show. Unfortunately, that slippery minx escaped the beast yet again when I realized that having her, as well as another returning character from Book II was too much of a coincidence. That other character was essential to the plot of the third book while Evelyn’s demise was nothing more than my own personal gratification. Don’t get me wrong, I love her… I love all my characters… but it just seems wrong to allow such a villainess to live. Who knows, maybe there’s a short story to be told one day.
10. Originally, this story was about a serial killer in the Old West and not a chupacabra. I didn’t even now what a chupacabra was at the time, but as this world began to develop, it did become more about a creature. However, I never could let go of the human murder aspect, which ended up being used as backstory for Book I. That backstory quickly developed into its own story and has now been released as its own novel, Dawn of the Chupacabra. So essentially, the second plot developed for the Chupacabra Series was not Book II but Book IV.
Of course, there are many other facts I would love to divulge, but many of those would risk being spoilers to those who have yet to fall prey to the complex chupacabra. I wouldn’t want to be the one responsible for straightening out any twists or turns for the journey I laid. One thing I can say is that I have always perceived this series more as family drama than a western horror. Though I’m not a fan of stories about romantic love, love of family intrigues me the most as a reader and writer. Family is what drives all my stories, including my recently released short story Rattlesnake, and my upcoming novella for 2016, The Ghost of Christmas Past.
DAWN OF THE CHUPACABRA
by Michael Hebler
The fourth chapter in the award-winning Chupacabra Series follows an A.W.O.L. Confederate soldier, who is hunted by a demon sent to avenge the victims of his heinous crimes.
I love creature stories and Michael’s series just keeps getting better.
I’m sure you’ve all heard mention of the legendary beast, the chupacabra. the goat sucker. Well, Michael’s put his own spin on this creature and it’s scary as hell.
This book takes you to where it all began.
The chupacabra is terrifying. So relentless. So malevolent. And it will never stop coming for it’s victim. Don’t get in its way.
While the chup is awesome, so are Michael’s characters. They live. They breathe. They bleed.
This author so easily brings his characters to life. You’ll care about them. Worry about them. You’ll love some and hate some. All are important to the story. Even the minor characters add important elements to make this story shout from the pages.
A creature born from a lust for blood vengeance, the chupacabra is not to be controlled. Michael’s use of ancient Indian rituals makes this story even more eerie.
One man, with a horrible past, does despicable deeds. Called to seek vengeance, the chupcabra beings to hunt him. The war is over for most, but the final battle is just beginning for Jeremiah Whiting.
The beginning of this story follows Jeremiah from the battlefield to home and on to Cherokee territory. You won’t like him. You’ll loathe him. Wish him dead in all kinds of ways for the terrible things he’s done. Once he starts on his terrible path, he can’t stop. The voice in his head doesn’t help much and his luck is running out. Jeremiah is lower than pond scum and you’ll be anxious for his demise.
And it’s coming. It’s horrific. It’s hungry for blood. The chupacabra will find Jeremiah. It will toy with him. Torture him. And then… you’ll see the dark side of this cat and mouse ending.
Chilling and disturbing. Fascinating and addictive. The old west is twisted and remolded for Michael’s story. Adding a mythical beast to the mix takes you down a dark and chilling road.
The Fourth Novel in the Chupacabra Series is Released
Fort Myers, FL – October 09, 2015 – On October 13, 2015, the next installment in Michael Hebler’s award-winning dark fiction Chupacabra Series, Dawn of the Chupacabra, will be available on bookshelves and for eReader downloads.
Before Night, Came Dawn
An A.W.O.L. Confederate soldier is hunted by a demon sent to avenge the victims of his treacherous crimes.
Jeremiah Whiting has been a survivor since birth. He endured an abusive upbringing only to fight as a private for the losing side of the American Civil War. But when the war ends, Jeremiah’s battle does not. He will meet his greatest adversary yet, in the form of a heinous entity sent to kill him for crimes against the Cherokee Nation, and the only allies willing to fight at his side are the remarkable instincts he possesses and the voice of a deceptive Soldier who possesses him.
Hebler hopes fans and first-time readers of the series will enjoy the new dynamics in this origins story. “By going all the way back to the chupacabra’s origins, I wanted the reader to have a different experience with this novel,” states Hebler. “I intended for this entry to be grittier and scarier than previous volumes. I had to take it to a very dark place where it could be deemed logical to summon such a beast for the purpose of revenge.”
Hebler further states that this is not only an origins story for the chupacabra, but for some of the characters from previous volumes as well. He also assures the series’ same action and adventure, and promises to answer many lingering questions like who possessed the curse of the creature from Chapter I of Night of the Chupacabra.
The new book will be made available in trade paperback and eBook. Dawn of the Chupacabra also marks the final chapter to take place in the Old West before the series leaps forward into more modern times when the fifth entry, Return of the Chupacabra, is released in 2017.
The ebook is currently available for pre-order at $3.99 and will be raised to $9.99 on the release day, October 13. The print book will be retailed at $17.95.
Author Michael Hebler
Born in the early 1970’s in Los Angeles County to a salesman and homemaker, Michael dreamed of following his passions for entertainment and storytelling by acting. It was while studying theatre arts at Orange Coast College in Costa Mesa, California, did he realize his penchant for stories were better suited on the page rather than the stage. But creating tales with suspense, laughter, and heart is not Michael’s only love. Hebler also enjoys volunteering in his local community, as well as aid in the capture/spay/neuter/release feral program.
To date, Michael’s publications include NIGHT OF THE CHUPACABRA, CURSE OF THE CHUPACABRA, and LEGEND OF THE CHUPACABRA (Books I, II, & III of the six-part Chupacabra Series) as well as his first publication, THE NIGHT AFTER CHRISTMAS, a holiday picture book for believers of any age. Michael’s fourth book in the Chupacabra Series, DAWN OF THE CHUPACABRA will be available in print and for ebook on October 13, 2015.
First – Choice of signed paperback copy of Dawn of the Chupacabra (US Only) OR eBooks of the complete series
Runner-Up – Choice of any Chupacabra Series eBook
Entry is easy. Just leave your email address so I can contact you if you win and answer this question:
The chupacabra has found you. What do you do?
Do you fight with everything you can muster?
Do you run screaming into the dark, knowing it’ll catch you?
Do you melt into a blubbering puddle of fear?
Or, do you have something else in mind?
Giveaway ends November 2nd.
Other books in the series available now.
Click on the covers for my reviews.
Thanks so much for visiting fuonlyknew and Good Luck!
To see all of my giveaways click on the lucky horseshoe below!