“That New Book Smell” a guest piece from Hunter Shea

Hey kids,

Zdubbz here, how are you all today? Well, I hope. If you weren’t aware of it already, Hunter Shea has a new tome available called “Tortures of the Damned” and it has some positive buzz flowing around it. I am ecstatic to have Mr. Shea here today to offer a little insight on being a book lover.  Hunter, the floor is yours.


That New Book Smell

by Hunter Shea, Author of Tortures of the Damned


I love the smell of new books. I know people have caught me sniffing a few in bookstores over the years. There are worse things I can put up my nose.

One of the coolest things about being a writer is getting a box of author copies. The number you get depends on the deal you make with your publisher. When I signed with Samhain way back in 2010, my first box of author copies of Forest of Shadows had an even dozen. Brilliant to behold. Twelve trade paperbacks with my name on them. First thing I did was dip my head into the box. I took a deep breath.

Meh. Turns out, the paper used in the trade paperbacks really didn’t have that special new book smell I’ve been addicted to since childhood. They’re kinda neutral.

And here’s why I love Tortures of the Damned. It’s in paperback. And paperbacks smell good. I’m talking reader nerdvana. Olfactory orgasms! And you don’t need a whole box to trip out. It just takes riffling the pages of one under your nose to give that desperately needed fix.

For people who love books, they truly are a drug – the best possible prescription for just about anything that ails you. No cowbell necessary. Need to get your heart racing? Read a bodice-ripping romance or thriller. In the mood to get a shiver or two? A host of horror books are waiting for you. Wonder what it’s like to live 300 years from now or in an alternate world? Fantasy and Sci-fi are there to take you away, tucked neatly in your pocket.

Don’t forget to take a hearty whiff. Cleanse the old palate, find where you left off and dive in.


I couldn’t agree more with that. I gave up my library in lieu of a digital eReader about four years ago. The wife and I were discussing having a third child, and living in a smallish three bedroom condo there wasn’t a lot of space to go around. Especially to squeeze in the necessities for another baby. So I ditched my books, four larger bookcases worth, so that she could mover her home office into my book corner, freeing up a room for a baby.

It was all for naught. Conception took longer than expected, and we had made some personal finance decisions. By the time our third child was born we had moved into a larger home. There’s no hard feelings, I love my eReader, period. But I do miss my books, especially the smell. I am slowly putting a library back together, full of handpicked choice books and books offered up for review. It’s a small collection at the moment, but it looks nice. The most recent book to find a home on my shelf is Mr. Shea’s “Tortures of the Damned”.

What it doesn’t say in the biography below is that Hunter is an all-around cool cat, pleasant and supportive. So if he suggests that this book be best enjoyed in an old-school fashion, reading a pocket sized paperback rather that a fancy digital copy, then that is what I will do. I will put my Kindle down, and read “Tortures of the Damned” in it’s physical form. I can already feel the nostalgia seeping in, it feels like home.

Care to know my feeling toward the contents of the book? Tune in on the 28th. And in case you’re wondering, what was the first thing I did after reading Hunter’s piece? That’s right, I put my nose to his book and started flipping the pages, taking a hearty whiff. And you know what, it smells amazing.


Tortures of the Damned, Info and Synopsis

• Mass Market Paperback: 352 pages
• Publisher: Pinnacle (July 28, 2015)
• Language: English
• ISBN-10: 0786034777
• ISBN-13: 978-0786034772

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


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 www.huntershea.com.


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:



Barnes and Noble-




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

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