Discover My New Horror Novel!

Can a village be inherently evil?

Welcome to Brunswick NY, Population 4,941.

On the façade, this sleepy hamlet comes to life every autumn with picturesque apple orchards, haunted corn mazes, fun-filled pumpkin patches, and holiday hayrides. During a snowy Halloween, a young William Willowsby must battle evil forces that have been shielded by the locals for generations. On the outskirts of the town is the abandoned Forest Park Cemetery. All things wicked seem to revolve around the old graveyard. A rarely seen homunculus serves an evil taskmaster. Together they weave a wicked web that attempts to snare the youth of the hamlet. A creepy graveyard, a spooky schoolhouse, an abandoned mortuary and a member of his own family will leave you simply sleepless

My first foray into writing, “A Wistful Tale of Gods, Men, and Monsters is now available. You can get it at Amazon, Walmart, and Barnes &

Here are a few reviews of my book;



“A wonderful ode to the mysteries, fears, and delights of the things that haunt the night. Replete with tinges of Supernatural and Stranger Things, it brings to mind what you might get if director Tim Burton wrote horror novels! This is one story sure to keep you up far into the night!” — J. Aislynn d’Merricksson, MANHATTAN BOOK REVIEW

A Wistful Tale of Gods, Men and Monsters is a work of dark and intriguing horror fiction penned by author David Ruggerio. Short and sharp in its presentation, this is a story with shivers sewn into its spine. The action centers around the small town of Brunswick in New York State, where less than five thousand people reside. Here there are many places where strange happenings are alleged to have been witnessed, not least the eerie Forest Park Cemetery on the very edge of the town. When a dedicated servant and a vicious master stir up unspeakable trouble at Halloween, one young boy falls victim and must do all he can to survive.  I was hooked on this eerie tale from the very first page because it plays on all those wonderful nostalgic sensibilities of small-town horror and draws you in with the promise of intense fright. Author David Ruggerio builds his tale of woe very well, maintaining suspense with small chunks of exposition and building tension as well as character in the early stages. It was wonderful to see that the frights, when they came, did not disappoint, and the narrative, pacing, and dialogue all shifted to match the intense atmosphere and shocking surprises of the plot itself. What results is a highly accomplished horror tale with haunting cinematic descriptions and dialogue lines that echo in your head long after the story is over. I would certainly recommend A Wistful Tale of Gods, Men, and Monsters to classic horror fans everywhere.Reviewed by K.C. Finn for READERS’ FAVORITE.COM

A small town with a gothic history falls prey to evil forces in former TV cooking-show host and restaurateur Ruggerio’s (Ruggerio’s Italian Kitchen, 2000, etc.) debut novel.
Children have been disappearing in the tiny, rustic hamlet of Brunswick, New York, for centuries. As Halloween draws near, young, stuttering, motherless William Willowsby witnesses frightening apparitions while playing with his friend Lilly Mueller in the reportedly haunted Forest Park cemetery. Even though he’s fascinated by the idea of monsters, he encounters creeping fog and the sound of a guttural moan that forces William to flee. But he soon becomes obsessed with investigating the mysteries surrounding the graveyard. Meanwhile, brothers Joey and Bobby Martorano visit Brunswick to debunk supernatural rumors. But horrific events befall the siblings as they explore the deep corners of a morgue, just as local longtime bookshop owner Jessup Homel feared would happen. Soon, local law enforcement becomes inspired to reopen a cold case and solves a mystery in the process. Throughout the novel, the author builds out Brunswick’s origins and legacy with ominous historical anecdotes. Ancient lore meets contemporary horror as monsters materialize in the present day, and William, Tom, and Bobby, cry werewolf—to the townspeople’s collective dismay. Bloodshed ensues before the serpentine nightmare comes to a close, leaving room for a potential sequel. In a succession of crisp, clipped chapters, Ruggerio moves his story along using classic horror and suspense tropes, blended with a unique descriptive flair, particularly when setting scenes or detailing the grim particulars of a monster. The author also conjures a fantastically eerie sense of place, showing Brunswick to be a close-knit, Halloween-loving, evil-fearing township, complete with a haunted mansion and schoolhouse, and a creepy mortuary with a grim past. The author brings in numerous characters along the way, although some wander in and out a bit too hastily. Overall, though, the story is alluring and devilishly entertaining, with a tone and subject matter reminiscent of spooky (but PG-rated) horror movies.  
A sinister but not-too-scary slice of Halloween horror fiction featuring a hearty bunch of heroes. –KIRKUS

“He could sense that there was someone or worse, something, evil, seemingly crouching in the recesses of the cellar. It fed on his fear.”
The sleepy town of Brunswick, New York, has its share of characters and history that give the town its identity. Unlike most small towns, however, the identity of Brunswick seems to be colored in unspeakable evil. From the abandoned funeral parlor and mansion suspected to be involved in corpse mutilation and unholy sacrifice to a string of cold cases involving murdered and mutilated young girls that the town seems oddly unconcerned with, Brunswick’s past is checkered, to say the least. With a new sheriff in from Philadelphia, some overeager ghost hunters from New Jersey, a local boy enamored by all things dark and spooky, and a rare “All Hallow’s Tide” blood moon all intersecting, the distinction between local legend and supernatural truth is called into question. If there truly is evil in this town, the community must face its past before it can move on.

Calling to mind the idyllic yet horrific New England of Stephen King’s books, the setting of this book is just as pivotal to its suspense and grip as any of its scariest monsters. The duality of what we think of as a simpler, happier lifestyle and the presence of evil lurking in anyone’s heart creates an environment of not knowing who to trust when everyone appears to be what they say at face value. This tension comes to an absolute head near the end of the story, as the author brilliantly sets up each chapter as a vignette about one of the town’s characters or current visitors before throwing alliances and allegiances up in the air on either side of a deadly but resigned cult. The pressure builds slowly but releases in an instant, always hinting at something sinister lurking but not in a hurry to reveal its secrets. The result is unsettling… yet satisfying.– book review by Michael Radon, US REVIEW OF BOOKS

“Author, David Ruggerio, merges Mary Shelley and Stephen King in A Wistful Tale of God’s Men and Monsters. Suspense laced with vibrant prose, this novel will have you turning the pages and wondering what evil awaits you.” -C. L. PAUR, AUTHOR – STORIES AND WAVES.

“Eloquent, mysterious, and poetic by turns, David Ruggerio has given us a mystery-cum-ghost story that is as haunting as its main characters are haunted. Along the way, Ruggerio has also captured the bewilderment, vulnerability—and strengths—of childhood. Atmospheric, meticulously crafted prose carries the mystery forward with enviable ease and a hovering sense of dread.” TOM STEELE – AUTHOR, EDITOR, NEWSPAPER COLUMNIST

“I’m a huge fan of musical supergroups.  A Wistful Tale of God’s, Men and Monsters is the literary equivalent.  David Ruggiero has captured the storytelling nature of Neil Gaiman, replicated the family lineage of a George R. R. Martin novel and offered descriptions that rival Stephen King.  A true masterpiece of penmanship.” ALEX BERNSTEIN – AUTHOR – THE PLATFORM