anthology · cover reveal · horror · steampunk

Book Trailer Reveal- Dead Steam

DeadSteam

I am so happy to share this really cool book with you and reveal its amazing trailer! If you like the cover, wait to you see this! There is also a chance to win a digital copy of Dead Steam, so make sure to enter the giveaway at the bottom!

DeadSteam_Ebook.jpgDead Steam: A Chilling Collection of Dreadpunk Tales of the Dark and Supernatural

Expected Publication Date: October 1st, 2018

Genre: Anthology/ Dreadpunk/ Dark Steampunk/ Horror

Reader beware: to open this tome is to invite dread into your heart. Every page you turn will bring you closer to something wicked. And when the dead begin to rise from the steaming pits of hell, only then will you discover that it is already too late. Your life is forfeit.

Featuring an introduction by Leanna Renee Hieber, author of the Eterna Files and Strangely Beautiful saga, DeadSteam plays host to the scintillating writing of David Lee Summers (Owl Dance, The Brazen Shark), Jen Ponce (The Bazaar, Demon’s Cradle), Wendy Nikel (The Continuum), Karen J Carlisle (The Adventures of Viola Stewart), Jonah Buck (Carrion Safari), and more…

With seventeen chilling tales of Dreadpunk, Gaslamp, and Dark Steampunk, DeadSteam will leave you tearing at the pages, desperate for more. For within these pages, the dead rise from their graves to haunt the London Underground, witches whisper their incantations to the wind, a sisterhood of bitten necks hunts fog-drenched alleyways lit only by gaslight, and only one thing is certain: that dread will follow you until you turn that final page.

And that sinking feeling in the pit of your chest? That fear that something is following you, watching you, hunting you? It is not for nothing. Look over your shoulder, dear reader. Watch behind you. Listen to the whispers in the darkness.

But know this…it is all inevitable.

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Excerpt

Burke Street Station

The city was frost and fog. Icy crystals formed on the windows of the train station. Breath drifted up in a hazy clouds like puffs of cigarette smoke as Theodore tried to warm his hands, blowing hot breath onto his stiff, cold fingers and rubbing his hands together vigorously. When that failed, he thrust them back into his coat pockets, cursing under his breath. His threadbare coat offered little warmth. Drafts of wind found their way through the broken stitching and the tears in his sleeves like rats scrambling through the cracks in the station walls. A discarded page of newsprint, caught in the rushing wind, tumbled and turned in the air and landed, crumpled and torn, at Theodore’s feet.

He stooped over, picked it up, and glanced at the engraving of a wanted man. Even without a skill for reading, he knew what name was printed beneath the picture of masked man on the page. Anthony Tidkins.

Wanted, he read. That was one word Theodore recognized. Crimes was another, and then, finally…murder.

Rubbish. The newspapers always tried to make villains out of the radical thinkers of the world. The Resurrectionists, who named their organization after the sack-em-up men who provided the anatomists with subjects for their scientific endeavors, were scientists. They had provided the world with aether, revolutionizing air travel. They had brought Prince Charles back from the brink of death. They had devised the engines for the London Underground. Anthony Tidkins himself promised to cure death. Yet the newspaper men still called for his blood. Theodore balled up the page and shoved it in his pocket.

He pulled out his trick coin as he approached the gate. The station master was asleep at his booth, a little dribble of spit running down his chin. Typical. Thoedore stuck his coin in the machine, waited for the gate to open, and then, with a light tug on the fishing line threaded through a little hole in the tip of the coin, it popped back out. Easy. He was in before anybody noticed what he had done. He pocketed the coin and started down the hallway.

Tap-tap, clack, tap-tap, clack, his shoes beat a rhythm on the stone steps. The sole of his left shoe was beginning to wear, and the heel of his shoe tapped against the heel of his foot as he walked. He puffed on his hands again, and peeked over his shoulder. No one was after him. He had done this trick a thousand times before. So why did he feel like there was someone watching him?

Clack, tap-tap, clack. Again, he glanced over his shoulder. The odd double-rhythm of his broken shoe was suddenly unnerving in the deserted station. Where were all the other passengers? Nice folks avoided this place like the plague, especially after midnight. The oil lamps that lit Burke Street Station were so routinely out of oil that he could hardly find his own feet in front of him, but still, Theodore expected to see other passengers. But where were the other vagrants? They should be sleeping in the dark corners of the hallway under blankets made of rags. And the boys from the blacking factory should be heading home from their long shifts, fingers stained black with powders and oil. But there was no one. Only the rats skittering through rat tunnels to keep him company.

Tap-tap, clack, tap-tap, clack.

Another set of footsteps began to follow his own, beating out a different rhythm. A steady tap, tap, tap, tap. He paused to listen, and nothing but silence greeted him. He glanced over his shoulder. Nobody there.

He continued onward, and again, a second set of footsteps started up behind him. He paused to listen. This time, they didn’t stop.

Tap, tap, tap, tap.

Whoever it was, they were getting closer. Closer and closer, louder and louder, tapping out a steady rhythm as they approached down the long, dark hallway. He could almost make out the solitary figure in the gloomy, hazy light, but then the fog grew thicker, and whatever he thought he’d seen was gone. The footsteps kept on getting louder, though, and closer. He turned and ran down the hallway.

A long flight of steps delved deeper into the darkness of Burke Street Station, down, down toward the platform. The train was already rumbling, announcing its approach. It vibrated through Theodore’s toes to the tip of his spine, rattling his bones.

He grabbed the railing all but flew down the staircase. The rumble of the train grew louder and clearer.

“Shit,” Theodore cursed. Taking the steps two at a time, he hurtled down the steps and didn’t stop when he reached the bottom.

Nails on a blackboard. The tines of silverware scraping against a ceramic plate. The screaming madmen at Newgate Asylum. The anguished cry of a mother weeping over her stillborn babe. Theodore had heard these sounds all, but not one compared to the shrill screech of an automatic train rolling into Burke Street. Iron wheels grinding against iron tracks. Hot metal sending up sparks, belching out steam as black as sin. The carriages rattling and clanging against one another. The hiss of hot coal burning in the engines. The shriek of brakes as the train ground to a halt. If it went on long enough, it would surely drive a man mad. Theodore covered his ears with his hands, pressing them against his head to muffle out the deafening noise, and waited for the thundering train to come to a halt.

When it did, he realized it must have drowned out the sound of the steadily approaching footsteps he’d heard in the hallway, because he could hear them again, and they were closer. So close he half expected to feel someone’s hot breath on his neck. He whirled around, but there was no one there. Silence greeted him like an old friend. His heart hammered against his chest.

“There’s no one there,” he muttered to himself. But he didn’t sound convinced.

A smell lingered in the air, as if something foul had passed through. The smell was familiar enough, the breath of a man with rotting teeth. It was a foul, cloying stench. He spun around again, and this time found himself face to face with the man to whom those dreaded footsteps belonged.

Only he wasn’t a man. Not really.

About the Author

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Bryce Raffle writes steampunk, horror, and fantasy. He was the lead writer for Ironclad Games’ multiplayer online game Sins of A Dark Age and is the founder of Grimmer & Grimmer Books. His short stories have appeared in numerous anthologies, including Hideous Progeny: Classic Horror Goes Punk, Denizens of Steam and Den of Antiquity. His short story, The Complications of Avery Vane, was awarded Best Steampunk Short in the Preditors and Editors Reader’s Poll in 2016. He lives in beautiful Vancouver, Canada, where he works in the film industry.

Bryce Raffle| Facebook | Instagram| Goodreads | Twitter

Bryce is giving away a digital copy of Dead Steam to one lucky winner. The giveaway will run from Sept. 17th to Sept. 20th so make sure you enter!

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blog tour · book launch · horror · YA

Book Blitz: Screams You Hear

Screams You Hear

by James Morris

Genre: Horror/ YA

Publication Date: January 8, 2018

Murder and madness infect a small town.

For sixteen-year-old Ruthie Stroud, life on tiny Hemlock Island in the Pacific Northwest is an endless sea of boring green, in a place where everybody knows everybody’s business and nothing ever happens. Then her world is ripped apart when her parents divorce and a new man enters her mother’s life. But worse is yet to come.

When she drifts ashore on the mainland, hideously burned, Ruthie has a harrowing tale to tell. It begins with the murder of a family. It ends with her being the sole survivor of a cataclysm that sweeps her little island. As a detective attempts to unravel Ruthie’s story of murder and madness, only one horrifying conclusion can be drawn: whatever was isolated on remote Hemlock Island may now have come to the mainland. Is Ruthie safe? Is anyone?

Excerpt

Chapter 1

I wake to pain, pain beyond comprehension, my skin on fire, only to find myself in a hospital bed, my arms bandaged, and wires snaking into machines. The burns are covered in white gauze and every motion, no matter how small, sends my nerves screaming. The air is heavy against my skin. And that smell. I can still smell the bitterness of my singed hair. I feel my head, expecting strands of hair, thick and wavy, but it’s gone. There are only splotches of emptiness, a topography of touch that alarms me. I wonder if it will ever grow back.

Tendrils of anxiety course through me, pulsing steadily. I need to wake up from whatever this is.

In spite of the pain, I caress my face and I have no eyebrows. Only stubble. No matter where I touch, my skin isn’t soft; it’s leather, a mask that rests too tightly against my skull. It’s like my skin is both expanding and contracting, pushing and pulling.

In the cyclone of terror, I remember. I remember everything.

I wish I didn’t. I wish it all away.

Around the room, there are no mirrors, and I know it’s no accident. It’s small comfort. I don’t want to see myself. I may never look in a mirror again. It’s only me and a bed, and colorful murals of elephants and giraffes on the wall, their cartoon smiles mocking me. I must be in the children’s wing, even though I’m sixteen. Next to me, an IV recedes into my vein. To my left is a button. It could be to call for assistance. Or to adjust the bed. But I think it’s something else. I think it’s for pain.

I could press it and disappear into numbness.

I could press it and just drift.

But there is something about pain. It’s the price of being alive.

The button is my litmus test.

I am stronger than my pain. I need to focus on something—anything. I need to distract myself.

I am not my pain.

I am Ruthie Stroud. I live at— wait—not anymore. I have a brother—no, not anymore.

I shut my eyes. I can’t shut them hard enough. Through the darkness, I still see fire. My world engulfed with flickering orange and reds. And the all-encompassing heat, heat beyond boiling, bordering on oblivion. Melting.

My last memory is coming ashore on the mainland, alone and fiercely tired. I didn’t walk, didn’t run. I moved, floating, held aloft by the most invisible of strings, my eyes on the horizon, people on the edges of my vision. Adults. I felt their gaze. The air was cool and moist and my skin so hot. Moving and moving; people staring. I hear them, words like police and 911 and oh my God. They surround me, a horde. They’re feral creatures, circling, their faces distorted. They are coming for me. I have no escape.

I scream and my world goes dark.

“Ruthie?”

I open my eyes. A woman stands in the hospital room doorway. Her skin is the color of teak, her black hair pulled into a tight ponytail, and without a uniform, she’s clearly no nurse. I look down her button-down shirt and a badge is attached to her belt, a gun holstered at her side.

She says, not unkindly, “I’m Detective Perez from the Washington State Police.”

I knew the cops would get involved, even though they’re late. Far too late.

She waits for me to invite her in. “May I?”

I nod and my skin crinkles and cracks. She enters, pulling a chair beside my bed and sits down. Her brown eyes rest on me and then dart away. She can’t bear to look. I must seem a monster. She asks, “How are you feeling?”

I don’t know how to answer that question.

“I’m sorry,” she says.

Down the hall, I hear a child scream. From surgery or fear, I don’t know. I think fight the pain, fight the pain.

She speaks to me in soothing tones. “I need to ask you a few questions. About what happened. Can you talk?”

My mouth is dry, my throat sore, my vocal chords thrashed. I’d forgotten how much I screamed. I feel my skin wrinkle into deep crevices as I move my jaw, and it’s an effort to form words. Even my tongue feels burned; this strange muscle in my mouth. “Is my dad coming?”

“He’s on his way.” We share a bit of silence and I stare at the woman she is, the beautiful woman I will never be, and she says, “I’d like to start at the beginning. And if there’s ever a point where you need to stop, just let me know, okay?”

“There’s just one thing,” and I clear my throat. I force her to find my eyes. To see. To look. To understand.

“What’s that?”

“Don’t judge me,” I tell her. “I did what I had to.”

About the Author

James Morris is a television writer who now works in digital media.

He is the author of the young adult thriller What Lies Within, the dystopian love story Melophobia, the young adult suspense Feel Me Fall, and the young adult horror Screams You Hear.

When not writing, you can find him scoping out the latest sushi spot, watching ‘House Hunters Renovation’, or trying new recipes in the kitchen.

He lives with his wife and dog in Los Angeles. Catch him at jamesmorriswriter.com.

Author Links:

Goodreads

Website

Twitter

Facebook

Amazon Author Page

Get your copy here on Amazon

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Enter here.

 

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book launch · ebooks · horror · paranormal · romance · thriller

Featured Series – The Dead Game

 💞THE DEAD GAME 💞

by Susanne Leist

Coming this summer!
Book Two of The Dead Game series.
More games to play,
Vampires to slay. 

Check out the YouTube video … and prepare to be hooked.

In the meantime, catch up now on the first book in the series:

Linda Bennett leaves New York for the slower-paced lifestyle of Oasis, Florida. She opens a bookstore and makes new friends. Life is simple that is until the dead body washes up onshore. She is horrified to learn that dead bodies and disappearing tourists are typical for this small town. Rumors abound of secret parties held by the original residents in their secluded mansions. Once night falls, the tourist-friendly community becomes a haven for evil and dark shadows. However, this is only the beginning.
Linda and her group receive an unsigned invitation to a party at End House, the deserted house in the forest behind the town, a mansion with a violent history. They are pursued through revolving rooms and dangerous traps, barely escaping with their lives, leaving two of their friends trapped inside.
It is up to Linda and her friends to search out The Dead and find the evil one controlling their once peaceful community. Can they trust the Sheriff and his best friend, Todd?
THE DEAD GAME has begun.

Buy now from Amazon or Barnes & Noble

If you do choose to read Susanne’s book, please consider leaving a review. Reviews keep writers writing.

Thanks for reading 😉

courtroom drama · historical fiction · horror · review · short story

Normal service …. a book review!

Brisen Drake

by M F White

I gave it 4 stars

Historical fiction / Crime / Horror

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Summary:  Set in the 12th century, as trial by jury is introduced to English law, Brisen finds himself standing in a gloomy courtroom. The murder and butchering of his betrothed and her physician is what he must now answer for, and their blood is unquestionably upon his hands…
Yet, Brisen Drake’s account of the events leading up their deaths shall call into question whether he was justified in killing them, as he relates of the dark and seemingly supernatural deeds of the physician, Brainard…

My thoughts: This is a blurb that got my attention immediately; not only is it historical fiction but it’s in a courtroom too – oh happy days! But this is one tale with a twist, and as soon as I saw mention of vampires I knew this would be a treat. Whilst I can’t generally relate to modern-day stories of zombies or tales of gore with an excessive outpouring of blood and other grisly organic matter, I find vampire stories slightly more credible. They have an essence of mysticism about them, even a certain polite charm – albeit tinged with blood. This short story (142 pages) didn’t disappoint.

Brisen Drake’s account of the events leading up to the deaths of the his fiancée and the physician lead us to believe in the possibility of vampires, and only go to prove the saying that ‘a little knowledge is a dangerous thing’.  He attempts to learn as much as he can in order to save Arethusa from being cursed and in doing so feels he then has to kill her for her own protection. He implies that she is obsessed to the point of madness by vampires and the same insanity is later his own undoing. The twist in the tale at the very end supports the adage that one should never judge a book by its cover. For this very act Brisen Drake is guilty as charged, but you could say he was the product of his own making.

An interesting read, short enough to be read in one go and intriguing enough to hold your attention to the end.

books · horror · reading · review · thriller · words

‘Fraid so – it’s another book review!

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Book: Small Things

Author: Joe DeRouen

Rating: 5

Summary:

Shawn Spencer is attending the funeral of his best friend, whose sister Jenny  swears he was killed by a monster. Feeling guilty for the loss of his friend, Shawn tries to help Jenny with her grief, but comes to see that maybe she is not imagining the monster in the lake. Strange voices in his head lead him to realise that there is something very strange happening in Carthage,  and he believes he may have triggered the whole messy business after breaking into an old derelict house with Tanner shortly before his death. Shawn and Jenny grow closer as more weird  incidents occur, people go missing, his cat is found dead and the voices in his head become more threatening and personal.  As the police are called to investigate, the local sheriff, while still suffering his own loss,  is mystified to explain the events and later becomes embroiled in the plot to catch and kill the monster.

Social context:

Set in a time when kids rode their bikes, went swimming in the lake and generally had the freedom to play by themselves, this story is beautifully reminiscent of the innocence of youth, first love and strong childhood friendships. It is a tale of high adventure, touching sentimentality and fast-paced horror, which defines the very personal quest of a young boy and girl, fighting off evil on their own, but with so much at stake.

Writing style:

This is a very quick-paced novel, the reader is thrown in at the deep end, desperate to learn more about this monster. At times the story is bloody and graphic, the monster’s actions are easily visualised, the danger is palpable and the tension is high. If this were a movie, I’d be hiding behind the sofa on several occasions! There are, however, elements of real-life sadness, grief and pain all mixed in with the emergence of new relationships, recovery and hope for the future. The characters are so well drawn, you can picture them clearly as you fly through the pages, seeking answers and instead finding more unexpected twists.

My thoughts:

Although this is not my usual read, I was pleasantly surprised at how much I enjoyed it. It was a real page-turner, leaving me totally engrossed and not able to put the book down. I will definitely be looking out for the next book in the series. Thank you Joe for bringing me back over to the dark side!