The Stories of Ivan Blake
Welcome to my website. I write all manner of story: horror, fantasy and literary fiction. I recently changed publishers and am re-issuing my previous books before my three new books are published. So please visit frequently for news of upcoming releases.
THE MORTSAFEMAN SERIES
Dead Scared, Book 1 in my Mortsafeman series, introduces series hero, seventeen-year old Chris Chandler. In Book 1, Chris is caught between a grave-robbing neighbor and a classmate who is gorgeous beyond belief and evil beyond imagining. In the course of battling both, Chris discovers his calling as a defender of the departed, a Mortsafeman, named for a medieval order of graveyard guardians. The mortsafe pictured to the right--a cage installed over a grave to deter 'resurrectionists'--can be found in Greyfriars' Church Yard in Edinburgh, Scotland.
REVIEWS OF DEAD SCARED
"In this gloriously macabre novel—the first installment of a series—Blake channels Stephen King and 1980s cult films like Re-Animator."
"Fans should claw at Blake’s windows for more graveyard tales after this delightful series opener."
Five Star "Most highly recommend Dead Scared…an intense and brooding tale that delivers….plot had me instantly hooked…writing is often lyrically lovely, but this never gets in the way of the action and horror that this book is steeped in…eagerly anticipating the next book in Blake’s The Mortsafeman Trilogy…"
Five Star "It is wonderfully written! It was ghoulishly enthralling, ghastly entertaining and ghostly intriguing."
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Dead Scared has already been recognized for excellence by several notable international literary competitions
Dead Silent now available on all platforms
I'm delighted to report that Dead Silent originally debuted at #7 on the Supernatural Thrillers list of Amazon.ca's list of bestseller.
The Mortsafeman Book Two
Chris Chandler is attempting to escape the glare of the media while the State of Maine reviews his conviction and investigates the disappearance of so many corpses from Bemishstock. He is hiding out in the tiny town of Lewis, Vermont where he’s been invited to house-sit the estate of a mysterious family with a history stretching back to the thirteenth century and the Albigensian Crusade. In Lewis he discovers one of the town’s prodigal sons has recently returned with a plan for a Goth festival and Grand Guignol Theater, which he’ll fund through the sale of human remains. Again, Chris and Gillian battle defilers of the dead, this time with the aid of an ancient amulet and an army of tortured phantoms, while their search intensifies for a way to lay Mallory Dahlman’s vengeful spirit to rest.
REVIEWS OF DEAD SILENT
a monstrously good romp
one of the best horror/dark fantasy series I’ve come across in some time
an awesomely dark and mind-expanding piece of thinking man’s horror
most highly recommended.
Ivan Blake excels in crafting enjoyable, seat-of-your-pants, high-octane tension
Readers who like fast-paced horror with a big dose of history and mystery, and who can't get enough intrigue and deadly encounters will find Dead Silent...heady, engrossing, and nearly impossible to put down.
Midwest Book Review
Humor, tragedy, love and horror all combined.
inventive and creative sense of horror have given rise to novels that leave the reader anxious, unsettled and unable to resist accompanying him on his journey into the grotesque
intelligent creativity that informs and captivates the reader.
Amazon Verified Purchase
None at the moment, but keep checking.
I expect there may be promotions in March in advance of Book Three's release. Watch this space or my publisher's website, Speaking Volumes.
end March or early April
In Book 3 of my Mortsafeman series, Chris Chandler is in Halifax, Nova Scotia where he is attempting to create a new life and identity for himself. His reputation as a defender of the dead will not let him go, however. Nor will the vengeful spirit of Malory Dahlman. There Chris will become entangled with a desperate and dissolute professor, a Holocaust survivor with a horrifying secret of his own, and the dead of the Titanic.
Dead Reckoning will be my first release with new publisher, Speaking Volumes. They will also be re-releasing the earlier books in the series, and all three books will be given a new makeover.
Poppins is a spirited and standout font that takes its inspiration from handwriting. It's sure to grab your reader's attention, especially in short paragraphs.
Beta Review of Dead Reckoning
Dr Ignatius Greyson is one of the most complex and well-crafted dark figures that I’ve seen in horror, and that’s in very a long time as a fan of the genre…the work has a rare sophistication in its narrative quality and overall confidence of storytelling. Certainly recommend Dead Reckoning to any reader seeking a psychological, fulfilling, and bone-shaking horror story with complexity and genuine terror.
Five Stars Readers Favorite
Earthedge is my new alternate history - fantasy novel for young adults, although its beta reviewers insist it fantastical settings, colorful characters and extraordinary story will appeal to readers of every age.
The manuscript is already in the hands of my publisher so watch for it soon.
What Earthedge beta readers have to say about my new alternate history fantasy
And I'm excited to report that Earthedge is already a prize-winner. Its manuscript just won an award for fiction in the 2021 Readers Favorite Awards.
“A mesmerizing tale of war and adventure that is humorous, at times heartbreaking, but never lacking the elements that entice readers — robust characters, deft plotting, beautiful prose and detailed writing.”
“A brilliant flight of fancy…written with a healthy dose of humor, Earthedge sets the bar when it comes to a blend of alternate history and fantasy.”
“Earthedge…is very different…wonderful characters, an eclectic mix of well-developed, likeable people with real lives, people you can’t help but feel some kind of affinity for. It has plenty of action and, at times, it is really quite funny. This is the kind of book you have to read with an open mind — it will take you places you never dreamed of going, places you will want to revisit time and time again.”
“Eccentric and fascinating with funny names and titles of people and places, weird fields of study, beautiful poems and songs, plus the use of automata. Despite its comedic and satirical qualities, Earthedge has its dark moments of loss, suffering, and dreadful situations. With its unique concept and intriguing premise, Ivan Blake's Earthedge is an epic fantasy…that lingers long after the story is concluded.”
Even as a boy I was always conjuring up stories and filling them with colorful characters, sharing them with anyone and everyone who would listen. I've had a satisfying and varied career that has taken me all over the world. Now that I have the time, I am able to devote myself to writing novels, and am having the time of my life.
"Happiness is the absence of pain with perhaps a slight sense of growth"
Two of the characters in a story I'm working on are poets, so recently I've had to try writing poetry. In the first poem, my adolescent heroine attempts to explain her rebelliousness to her guardian. In the second, my heroine discovers a terrible family secret in an aunt's poetry. And in the third, one aunt admires the work of the other.
Force of Nature
I shake my fist at the heavens and curse the wind and the rain.
I stomp through the fields and toss about armfuls of flowers and weeds that I have torn from the soil.
I splash in the mud and throw stones into puddles.
I heave sticks at ducks rising from the lake and chase deer through the forest like a wolf.
But my rage affirms the rain and celebrates the wind,
The muddy patch grows richer and wider with my stomping about,
And my chase makes the heart of the deer grow stronger.
In my anger and opposition, I celebrate the power of the world around me.
I am become one with the forces that oppose me.
Every waving blade of grass makes manifest the fire inside the earth.
Clouds racing across the sky roll and tumble with its energy,
And sometimes the clouds cannot contain it and it shatters the sky with white heat and the roar of cannons.
Winds swirl with rage and batter themselves against walls and cliffs and trees,
And so shall I rant and rail and race across the firmament.
The earth is not a place for the weak and the wary.
I will not be the prey, the stone that is worn away by the rain, or the tree that is splintered by the storm.
I shall be the wind, the rain, the wild animal on the hunt.
I shall be a force of nature.
The air beneath our larder floor
Smells of earth and spuds and beer.
The silence of the crawlspace
Mutes pain and tears and fear
I lie on soil and still my heart,
And dream that I’m not here.
And when my father stumbles home and finds that I am gone,
I dream he’s wracked with endless guilt and tortured to the bone.
And then perhaps I’ll weep. And then perhaps I’ll sleep.
To Sing of Thyme
Her brushes dance across the page and tempt faeries from their hedgerows.
“Will you paint us?” they cry. “Will you paint our faery ways and tales?”
“Yes, if you will sing for me,” she replies with a flourish of vermillion.
So the faeries sing of thyme, because to sing of thyme is to sing of love and sorrow.
Thyme--device of heroes, accolade of maidens, consoler of the broken.
In return, she weaves her strokes together like threads in the finest tapestry.
While faeries splash across her work in pools of blue and teal and plum,
And send droplets dancing like petals in a breeze,
She, with strokes that merely kiss the page, entwines their faery world
In vines and stems and blossoms of deepest reds and greens,
Dusts each nymph in gold, captures each wing in a silver whisper.
Beloved sorceress, beneath whose brush each twist of thyme
Becomes an enchanted landscape without blemish or shame or pain.
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