Robert Weinberg Presents
Cursed Be The Child Audiobook
by Mort Castle
Read by Nick Santa Maria
Cursed Be the Child by Mort Castle is a classic horror novel of possession and revenge. Lisette has been dead for nearly a century, but she is very determined to get payback on the big, cruel world that betrayed her.
This is not a book for the faint-of-heart. It is a story of a tormented soul, that of a murdered child, Lisette, who was raped and killed when she was only five years old.
Terribly ill, Lisette’s dying mother sends her to live with her uncle. But, it is 1918 and his family is also in the grip of the Spanish influenza. Still, it is Lisette’s savage uncle who rapes and murders her when she is only five. The monstrous circumstances of her death has changed the child into a tormented spirit. Now, another five year old girl, Missy, has moved into her new home, supposedly haunted, with its huge basement. Missy has no realization that her new imaginary playmate, Lisette, is looking for revenge for crimes that can only be taken against Missy and her family.
Cursed Be the Child is a chilling experience. The story is filled with dark, most horrifying magic. Children are abused, adults are tortured, lives are lost, while others are changed forever. This is a tale of ghostly possession and terrible tragedy. Overwhelmed by the evil spirit of Lisette, Missy plots horrible vengeance against her parents, Vicki and Warren; Vicki’s sister Carol Grace and her husband, a TV evangelist, Evan Dean; as well as their friends, a child therapist raised as a gypsy, Selena, and Selena’s boyfriend, David. Each character is attacked by Lisette, and each one of them fights in the battle to defeat her. Gypsy magic plays a large part in the story and the Romani people and culture are described with complete accuracy. The various adult characters in this book are real, they are believable, and they find themselves confronted by an evil they must destroy––or be themselves destroyed. This is a powerful novel, and not one you will easily forget.
Mort Castle is a Chicago writer who concentrates primarily on composing horror and dark fantasy fiction. In the course of a career spanning more than 45 years, Castle has sold more than 350 short stories and twelve books. His fiction has been nominated four times for a Bram Stoker Award (given by the Horror Writers Association) for the best short story of the year. A dedicated writing teacher, Castle has taught high school English and numerous writing seminars for aspiring horror authors.
Poem and Dedication
The Castle Tshatsimo: An Introduction by Gary A. Braunbeck
One: 0 Drom Le Ushalin: The Way of Shadow
Two: 0 Drom Le Vila: The Way Of Dark Spirit
Three: 0 Drom Le Beng: The Way Of Evil
Four: 0 Drom Le Baht: The Way Of Fate
Robert Weinberg, Series Editor, in fifth grade read The Devil and Daniel Webster, by Stephen Vincent Benet, and knew beyond any shadow of a doubt that he wanted to become a writer. It’s a dream he’s followed since. During the past 57 years, Bob has written and sold nearly 150 short stories, 19 novels, 18 non-fiction books and more than two dozen comic book scripts. He’s edited more than 200 anthologies and short story collections. Bob’s work has been published in 20 countries and 15 languages.
He’s won 2 Bram Stoker Awards, for writing and editing, given by the Horror Writers Association; 2 World Fantasy Awards; and 2 Society of Technical Writers Awards for his non-fiction science books. He served 2 terms as Vice President of the Horror Writers Association. He’s the only person in the history of the organization to win the group’s Silver Hammer Award for service to the association 2 times. Bob also was on the Board of Trustees for the World Fantasy Convention for 24 years. In 2005, Bob was Guest-of-Honor at Robert E. Howard Days held in Cross, Plains, Texas. Later that same year, was Guest-of-Honor at the World Fantasy Convention held in Milwaukee, Wisconsin. In 1983, Bob was given a Lamont Lifetime Achievement Award, presented by the Directors of PULPcon, the convention for pulp magazine enthusiasts. The Horror Writers Association awarded Bob a Bram Stoker Lifetime Achievement Award in 2010. In 2012, he was present a special award by the World Science Fiction Convention for his contributions to the Science Fiction field. Bob is probably the only horror writer who has ever served as Grand Marshall of a Rodeo parade. Despite all his success, Bob Weinberg is not yet ready to retire. He’s still looking to write the perfect story. He’s intent on composing a story that resonates with his readers the way The Devil and Daniel Webster did with him. It’s a goal he may never achieve, but he intends to keep trying.
Mort Castle A former stage hypnotist, folksinger, and high school teacher, Mort Castle has been a publishing writer since 1967. He's been deemed a "horror doyen" by Publishers Weekly, "El Maestro del Terror" by South America's Galaxia Cthulhu, and "the master of contemporary horror" by Poland's Nowa Fantastyka magazine. Castle has published about 600 "shorter things," mostly articles and short stories, in a variety of magazines, including Penthouse, Twilight Zone, Cavalier, Bombay Gin, and Writer's Digest, and books, among them Still Dead, Lovecraft's Legacy, Poe's Lighthouse, and Masques (he is the only living author to have stories in all five of the Masques volumes edited by the late J. N. Williamson). His novels include Cursed Be the Child andThe Strangers, optioned for the screen by Whitewater Films, and cited on the list of "Ten Best Horror-Thriller Novels" published in Poland in 2008 by Newsweek.pl. Castle edited the essential reference work Writing Horror and the expanded and revised later edition On Writing Horror for the Horror Writers Association (Writer's Digest Books). In 2012, William Morrow published Shadow Show: All New Stories in Celebration of Ray Bradbury, an anthology Castle co-edited with Sam Weller. Shadow Show was a Book of the Month Club Alternate and was produced for audio with readings by Neil Gaiman, F. Murray Abraham, Kate Mulgrew, George Takei, and Sam Weller and Mort Castle. Castle's forthcoming or recent publications include: (editor) All American Horror of the 21st Century, Wicker Park Press; Dracula: The Annotated Classic, Writer's Digest Press; a five issue adaptation in comics format of Shadow Show from IDW; and the monthly comic book Darchon, art by Ricardo Jaime, from Red Giant Entertainment. Castle has twice won the Black Quill award for editing, has received two Bram Stoker awards, and was cited as one of "21 Leaders in the Arts for the 21st Century in Chicago's Southland" by the Chicago Sun-Times Newspaper Group. He teaches in the fiction writing program at Columbia College Chicago and at writing conferences and seminars throughout the country. Castle and Jane, his wife of 41 years, live in Crete, Illinois, known for both its bandstand and bubbling fountain.
Nick Santa Maria Nick was born early in life in Brooklyn, NY. His theatrical background is based in Comedy Improv. He was a long standing member of the late lamented Miami based, Mental Floss, where he served as head writer/composer. From there he began his career in commercials, voice-overs, TV, Film, and theatre. He has performed in many roles on the stage including his award winning turn as Nick in Over The River And Through The Woods, I Love You, You’re Perfect, Now Change, as Nathan Detroit in Guys and Dolls, in The 25th Annual Putnam Country Spelling Bee as Mr. Panch (3-D Theatricals), Mr. Bromhead in No Sex Please, We’re British at The Norris, and as Pseudolus in, A Funny Thing Happened on the Way to the Forum at the Norris Theatre. Television: The Buffalo Bill Show, B.J. Stryker, and two Disney Christmas Specials. Off Broadway: Writer/Composer/Performer on Secrets Every Smart Traveler Should Know, Soundtrack on RCA Victor. Broadway: Vince Fontaine in Tommy Tune’s production of Grease. He also appeared in every domestic company of Mel Brooks’ The Producers, understudying everyone from Nathan Lane and Jason Alexander, to Tony Danza and David Hassellhoff. He was the original Genie in Disney’s Aladdin, a Musical Spectacular, soundtrack on Disney Records. Nick is a resident of Los Angeles and is currently writing a book about classic film comedians, Nick’s been a long time film historian, and has written several articles on the topic.