Patriotic Horror

This Independence Day finds me working through the copy edits of my novel The Astronomer’s Crypt, which is set roughly this time of year. I have to admit, I thought it would feel strange to work on a horror novel during the height of summer on such a celebratory holiday, but somehow it hasn’t been as discordant as I would have thought. Performing a Google search on “Patriotic Horror” I find a few web sites with suggestions about horror movies for the long 4th of July weekend.

On reflection, perhaps this isn’t so unusual. After all, how many slasher movies essentially start out with people going camping in the woods? Of course, the original summer blockbuster, Jaws, is a thriller set on the beach during summertime, and the story even spans the July 4 holiday. When I spent a summer on Nantucket, where the ocean scenes in Jaws were filmed, not only did we scare ourselves with visions of shark-infested waters, we sometimes thought we could hear the ghost of Maria Mitchell tromping though the observatory named in her honor late at night.

Maria Mitchell Observatory on Nantucket

Maria Mitchell Observatory on Nantucket

Horror and Americana seem strangely linked sometimes. After all, Washington Irving’s The Legend of Sleepy Hollow, with its New England setting, is not only a creepy story, but takes us back to the early days of the nation. Sometimes even modern authors look back at the past and charge up the reputations of real heroes, such as Seth Grahame-Smith did when he wrote Abraham Lincoln Vampire Hunter.

One movie on those lists of patriotic horror films stood out to me: The Omen starring Gregory Peck and Lee Remick. It makes the list because Peck played an ambassador to England and the devil’s son, Damien, seems to move himself ever closer to the president of the United States over the course of the movie. This was one of the first horror films I remember watching with my dad and it genuinely terrified me despite my dad’s assurances it was all pretend and his Mystery Science Theater 3000-style ribbing of the film. I certainly hope The Astronomer’s Crypt scares readers as much as The Omen scared me and that it might even provide some good memories for families who share it together.

If you’re looking for some good summer scares, check out my Book Info and Excerpts page for some ideas. May all your scares this Independence Day be imaginary ones and all the ghosts you meet be friendly.

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Vampire Titles 25% Off Today – #AReBlast

All my vampire titles at OmniLit and All Romance eBooks are 25% off today to celebrate the first day of summer!

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This post will give you links to those books they have available. I hope you’ll add one or more of my books to your summer reading list.

Dragon’s Fall: Rise of the Scarlet Order

Dragon's Fall Three vampires—a warrior, a thief, and an assassin—adapt to their life of darkness by forming a team of mercenaries that fight for the crowned heads of Europe. Get the book at: https://www.omnilit.com/product-dragonsfallriseofthescarletorder-970117-235.html

Vampires of the Scarlet Order

Vampires of the Scarlet Order Governments tamper with powers they don’t understand to create a new breed of super soldiers. Only the Scarlet Order vampire mercenaries stand in their way. Get it at: https://www.allromanceebooks.com/product-vampiresofthescarletorder-184717-348.html


If you’re on a budget and just want to sample my vampire stories, this is still a great opportunity! The original Dragon’s Fall novellas are only 74 cents each today!

Dragon’s Fall: Bondage

Cover of Dragon's Fall: Bondage In Hellenistic Athens, the slave Alexandra finds herself in a new house with a mysterious owner who offers the promise of freedom. Get the ebook at: https://www.allromanceebooks.com/product-bondage-500121-348.html

Dragon’s Fall: The Dragon’s Quest

Dragons-Quest-200x300 Desmond stood to inherit the throne of Britain until he fell in battle. A vampire resurrected him and now he seeks redemption. Can he entice his friend Arthur to seek the cup of Christ? Get it at: https://www.allromanceebooks.com/product-dragon039squest-514278-139.html



My science fiction titles are also on sale! Visit the post at David Lee Summers’ Web Journal for a list of titles and links to them.