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Writer. Author. Storyteller.

THE NOVELS OF IVAN BLAKE

Hello and welcome to my website. I write novels for all ages and tastes. At left is the cover of Dead Scared, Book One in my Mortsafeman Trilogy which was launched in both e-format and paperback on October 10, 2017.  

THE MORTSAFEMAN SERIES

Book 1

Dead Scared, which is available through all major booksellers world-wide, 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.

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BOOK TRAILER FOR DEAD SCARED

Indebted to the artistry of fellow author, Kevin Hopson for the chilling book trailer to follow.

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."

Kirkus Reviews

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…"

Readers Favorite

Five Star "It is wonderfully written! It was ghoulishly enthralling, ghastly entertaining and ghostly intriguing."

Amazon Verified Purchase

Dead Scared has already been recognized for excellence by several notable international literary competitions

Dead Silent released June 12, 2018


I'm delighted to report that Dead Silent debuted at #7 on the Supernatural  Thrillers list of Amazon.ca's list of bestseller.

Charlotte Volnek, one of MuseItUp's outstanding cover artists, has done it again! Her design for Book Two of the Mortsafeman Trilogy is both chilling and evocative. I'm so grateful for her amazing work.


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 The Mortsafeman Book Two

DEAD SILENT


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.

TRAILER FOR DEAD SILENT

Once again, Kevin Hopson has done wonders. His latest trailer for my books is chilling indeed. Add to his capabilities as a producer of remarkable videos is his own talent as a very popular novelist and storyteller.

REVIEWS OF DEAD SILENT

Five Stars

  • 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.

Readers Favorite

  • 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

DARK TALES

In my horror stories I try to play with conventions. For example, I was determined my Mortsafeman Trilogy would not be about another zombie apocalypse. The dead would not be mindless killers but victims, and my villain, not a misguided scientist, but an almost-comic oddball on the fringes of science. I like to play with myths and beliefs and to upend traditional notions of cruelty and evil. In all my tales, my goals are the same however: to be a little thought-provoking and to scare the wits out of my readers.

ABOUT ME

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 much to my surprise, am having some success. My sons always urged me to write down the scary stories I told them as children, and that's just what I'm doing.

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GET IN TOUCH

I'd love to hear from you, and will try to reply.

"Happiness is the absence of pain with perhaps a slight sense of growth"

Jacob Burckhardt

BOOKS IN THE WORKS

Thyme for Love and Sorrow

After the accident that killed her parents, all Philipa Neville wanted in the world was to get as far away from Wolfville and the old inn as possible. Had it been her choice, her father would never have bought the rambling old mansion and brought her to the small college town in the first place, and as long as she stayed there, she would never know the life that was supposed to have been hers. For more than a decade, her bitterness had defined her. Until, that is, the time to leave was upon her.

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Earthedge

When at last the earth`s scientists admitted what we had always suspected, that the earth is flat afterall, the news made little difference to most people. But Jeremy Stardust was not most people. He was son of the first man to ever hike to the edge of the earth, and the young mayor of a tiny twilight hamlet called Earthedge where the few hardy souls fished for hydrogen atoms aboard their stone vessels, sailing on solar winds in the weak gravity and rings of ice crystals that washed the edge of the earth and sounded like wind chimes.  Life in Earthedge was hard but tranquil, until that is, Earth's humiliated scientists decided they had to expunge all knowledge of their great blunder--which meant obliterating Earthedge--and Jeremy was forced to lead an armada of stone sailing vessels on a great quest BENEATH the earth in search of their key to victory--a fabled passage to the very middle of the earth.

The Man who made an Angel

A retired academic receives a book to review entitled Science in Weimar Germany and memories of a tragic incident he witnessed as a young scholar come flooding back to him. Even after sixty years he has not been able to resolve the ethical issues the incident raised. Amid the wreckage of the First World War and the catastrophic hyper-inflation that gripped Germany, he had befriended an old biologist determined to restore faith in the future by creating the ultimate symbol of the perfectibility of Man, an angel crafted from his own tiny grandson.

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POETRY

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.

Gone

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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