B2BCyCon Walk with the Monsters Blog Hop

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Welcome to the Blood Spring and the Walk with the Monsters Blog Hop!

Join us on the dark road as we explore the shadowy domain of horror. Come discover strange haunts and creepy corners where things really do go bump in the night.

Come, step on the path, the bloodthirsty creatures await…

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Courser

Aeryi huddled against the brick wall, pressed into a black corner of a backstreet alley. Danger stalked the hours after the twelfth bell chimed. Creatures emerged from shadowed alleys to hunt, beasts both otherworldly and mortal. She shivered, the echo of her dead father’s voice ringing in her head.

“Never be a victim, child. Never.”

Aeryi smiled, a cold lifeless salute, and leapt from her hiding place. She slashed her knife with skillful ease. Her prey, a poor drunkard, fell on the cobblestones his calf half-severed and bleeding.

“Come and feed,” she whispered, and the alley swirled with a dark pulse.

She watched as the air solidified, as pale hunched over creatures cloaked in smoke and incorporeal substance shuffled from the dark night. She stared as the unnatural things gravitated to the groaning man, who wriggled on the stones, still unaware of his fate. Her father’s voice again whispered in her ear.

“Sometimes a devil’s bargain is all you have.”

Some part of her wanted to look away, but she kept her gaze straight ahead on the unfolding scene. The beings swarmed the poor unfortunate soul with gnashing teeth and slicing claws, in screams and pleas of mercy. They devoured flesh and bone, drank of bile and blood, until not a scrap of body remained, and their meal was done.

One turned to Aeryi then, a ragged toothed smile peeking from an eternal black empty and its red eyes swirling in unknown emotion. “Good hound.” A semblance rasp of a voice addressed her. “Find us good meat.”

It raised its facsimile of a limb and patted her head with blood stained claws. Only experience and practice prevented Aeryi from shuddering. “Now find more. Still hungry.”

“Yes, master. As you command.” She gave a slight bow. “Another kill tonight. I’ll find you someone.”

Another smile and the thing and its fellows melted back into the shadows. Aeryi headed into the street to find another victim for the beasts that controlled her. The ever present murmur of her father’s voice followed her as she stalked the streets, the words he spoke the day he bound her body and soul to the creatures.

“One day you’ll understand. One day you’ll thank me. Better to be predator than prey.”

Whispers caught her attention. A man and a woman framed in a doorway.

Fresh meat.

As she crept along the shadows, knife ready to strike, she thought about her father, about his words. He was right about one thing.

Always better to be predator than prey.

Her father learned that last winter at the point of her knife. And tonight so would the couple kissing in the shadows.

Her masters needed to feed. She wouldn’t end as their prey.

Her father’s screams were his best lesson.

 

 © A. F. Stewart 2017 All Rights Reserved



If you like what you see, feel free to check out the rest of my website, click one of the follow buttons or signup for my newsletter (I don’t bite, I promise).

And here’s where you go for the next stop on the Walk with Monsters Blog Hop:  Angela Yuriko Smith. Many things await you there, haunted houses, vampires and more…

For the entire Blog Hop list you can check out the B2BCyCon Blog Hop Page (scroll until you find the horror listing)  or the B2BCyCon Horror Page.

 

 

The Stalk the Monsters Scavenger Hunt is Now Closed!

 

Stalk the Monsters Scavenger Hunt

As part of the B2BCyCon blog hop of horror, come join the Stalk the Monsters Scavenger hunt!

Somewhere on this site you will find a piece of the puzzle that will allow you to enter to win a grand prize pack of books and other goodies. Once you collect them all, (or as many as you can find), pop over to the contest page and enter!

What you need to find on this website:  A picture of a ship and a sea monster.

What you need to put on the entry form: The book title you find on the picture

Hint: It’s the cover of an upcoming book

 

The grand prize winner will be randomly selected from the entries.

And when you’ve found all the items listed in hunt (or as many as you can find) here’s the last stop to be entered in the contest:  Horror at the B2BCyCon

 

Horror Hall

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Come Denizens of the Dark to Horror Hall!

Greetings all you fans of things that go bump in the night, you scribes of dark fiction! I invite you to enter into a place of shadows. Where the blood runs red and cold,  where shivers chase up you spine, and the monsters come out to play.

This is Horror Hall!

Horror Hall

This horror event is part of the Brain to Book Cyber Convention and happens on Facebook from April 7th until April 9th . Horror fans and authors alike can come and chat, post, discuss all things horror and have a good time. Share your stories, excerpts, talk books, movies, your favorite horror tropes. There will be discussions, authors popping in, and an updating of the B2BCyCon horror events. So please join us in the virtual world. We’ll be serving blood wine and eyeball appetizers.

Come to the Horror Hall

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Damned, Thunderclaps, and Book News

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It’s been busy, busy for me the last week or so with all sorts of wondrous peculiarities happening. So on with the news…

First an awesome announcement (if a slightly delayed one). I was asked to join the superbly talented group of writers over at Pen of the Damned. I had my debut January 3rd, with my story Rebirth and this week you can check out a fabulously dark tale by  Christopher A. Liccardi called Playmate. So keep watching for the Damned, with more wonderful stories coming your way soon.

Next the Horror at the B2BCyCon Thunderclap released itself into the world on January 13th, so thank you to everyone who supported. And authors and readers, don’t forget to check out the Brain to Books Cyber Convention and Book Expo. You don’t want to miss out on all the fun.

And an update on the P&E Readers Poll. Horror Haiku and Other Poems finished first in its category (hurrah), and the official tallies have declared it the winner! A huge thank you to everybody who voted. You rock!

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And finally, I’m making progress again on my fantasy novel Ghosts of the Sea Moon, so it’s back on track for publication sometime this year.

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Nominations and Thunderclaps

Hello all, readers, minions, assorted others.

Today I come to you on bended knee asking for your support. I have two requests, one for votes and one for social media support of a Thunderclap. Plus, I have a short announcement, so read on to the end.

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First, I have good news. My book, Horror Haiku and Other Poems, was nominated in the Preditors & Editors Readers’ Poll in the Poem category. So yay!

This brings me to my first request. I need votes! So I ask you to find a spark of kindness and go check out the poll, and perhaps grant my poor book a vote.

Here’s the page: http://critters.org/predpoll/poem.shtml

 

One to the next request. My thunderclap.

I’ve mentioned this event before on the site, but the campaign has only 9 days to go, and has stalled. It still has nearly 30 supporters to go to reach its goal, so please, please support or share this campaign. If it doesn’t reach 100 supporters by the January 13th deadline it will not blast out  into the internet ether.

You can find it here:  Horror at the B2BCyCon

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Oh, and one last thing (but most definitely not least), I have officially joined Pen of the Damned, and you can check out my debut story here: Rebirth

More on that in a later post.

 

Support the ThunderClap!

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I’m currently running a thunderclap to extend an open invitation to all horror writers and fans of horror fiction!  As one of the featured genres in the Brain to Books Cyber Convention and Book Expo this April, horror will present scary goodies galore for both author and reader.

Welcome to the Blood Spring!

The horror events will bring forth dark terrors, human and non-human, oozing out from primal corners of the universe and the pages of author’s books to infest the convention.

Here are some of the horror event highlights:

The Book Expo

This is a book showcase on the Brain to Books Convention site, arranged by genre. So horror fans can go and browse with ease. No fuss, no muss.

The Blog Hop

A genre based hop for websites designed to showcase books and authors. The horror hop has a theme of Walk with the Monsters, and will focus on the terrifying creatures our authors create Zombies, vampires, ghouls, ghosts, demons, and serial killers are most welcome.  A scavenger hunt is also planned for the hop with a grand prize.

The Genre Tour

Here you get a taste of the top genres featured in the convention, with previews, sneak peeks and up close and personal looks at what these genres have to offer. The Horror Tour will bring chills, scares, books and creepy characters right to you, all under the theme Out of the Shadows, Welcome to the Blood Spring.

Panel Discussions

Live YouTube discussions on various book topics. The horror highlight is the panel: Horror, Thriller, Suspense…What is the difference? 

Character CosPlay

Authors don their best garb and resume the role of one of their characters (readers are also welcome). The picture is submitted along with a character card and you vote best costume. Zombie lovers unite! Also, vampires, demons, and the odd slayer or dark arts practitioner.

Cover Wars

This contest is all about judging those books by their covers. For three days, readers can vote for their favorite cover. So bring on your best and most gruesome horror cover!

So please spread the word and support the Thunderclap: Horror at the B2BCyCon

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Brain to Books Cyber Convention and Book Expo

Yes, I should be writing and finishing my current novel (Ghosts of the Sea Moon, the one that used to be a novella). Unfortunately for the book I have two gods, various ghosts, and a pack of sea monsters pouting in my head and not talking to me. So I’m taking a break and penning this post on the Brain to Books Cyber Convention and Book Expo instead.

Read on for my best P.T. Barnum spiel…

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Authors are you looking for a great place to market your books?  To showcase you, your characters, and your genre? One that doesn’t cost two arms , a leg, and the promise of your first-born child? Where you can interact with readers from the comfort of your own home?

Well, have I got the place for you!

The niftiest virtual convention this side of the book page, the Brain to Books Cyber Convention and Book Expo! Coming this April on the 7th, 8th, and 9th! Three days of a book lovers paradise!

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We welcome authors from all types of genres: from mystery, thriller, horror, to fantasy, science fiction, romance, memoir, historical, and all those in-between!

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We have events for introverts, extroverts, and even your characters! If you like being on camera we have panel discussions and live YouTube streams! And character cosplay! Rather be a disembodied voice? We have podcasts and interviews! Want to lurk behind your website? Try our Blog Hop! Rather focus on your book? We have a Book Expo! Or Cover Wars! Plus there are character tournaments, workshops, story time, giveaways, and more!

So what are you waiting for? Check it out and sign up for all the fun in April!

Brain to Books Cyber Convention and Book Expo

Not an author?

No problem. Readers can Save the Date!

Sign up for a reminder email one week prior to the B2BCyCon and another the day of CyCon. Plus, be entered in a giveaway.

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And as we old fogies used to say, be there or be square!

The Highwayman – #B2BCYCON Story Hop

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Welcome to the Brain to Books Cyber Convention Story Hop. My contribution to this literary excursion through the blogosphere is a small paranormal tale called, The Highwayman

 

Road

 

The Highwayman

by A. F. Stewart

 

Sorley hefted the fat purse he lifted off the poor fool asking for directions. The hapless man hailed him at the crossroads, and never felt Sorley’s nimble fingers deprive of his money. Nor did he suspect Sorley’s generous help steered him down the wrong road.

“Serves the Sassenach right. With any luck he’ll end in a bog.” Sorley chuckled. “His coin will do me more good at any rate.”

He tucked the money purse into his coat pocket and started back down the road towards home, whistling his mother’s favourite tune. As he strolled, he smiled at thought of spending his ill-gotten gains.

Maybe I’ll buy Caitriona those hair ribbons she admired. Or Mairi some of those sweets she enjoys. Or a new coat for myself.

Lost in his dreams of gifts and grandeur, he almost missed the sound drifting from the river. Past the bend in the road came a quiet song, a soft and somber lilt, flowing from the water’s edge. Sorley turned his head.

The sight he beheld caused him to stay his travels and stare. On the sandy riverbank, a smallish old woman—dressed in a sea green cloak—squatted, her gnarled fingers hard at work doing her washing. The air around her seemed to tremble and shimmer as if bewitched. Sorley responded in kind with an agitated shiver, though no wind blew and the day was warm. He moved off the road, closer to the river.

The old woman twisted her head and gaped at him, her face a withered reflection of age and decay. Another shiver chased up Sorley’s spine.

“Come to gawk at an old crone, have you?”

“Just curious, old woman.” Her dark, piercing eyes made him uncomfortable, so he looked away, glancing at her laundry. The mess of gray, stained cloth did not put his mind at ease, but he blustered past his disquiet. “But I’d give it up if I were you. That cloth of yours has seen better days. You’ll need more than a good scrub to clean it.”

“That it has, and you’re right. Its day is coming soon.” She smiled, a crooked grin of missing teeth.

Sorley shook his head. His mind seemed improbably mesmerized. “You’re an odd old thing, aren’t you?”

“That I am, full of strange ways.” She shifted her stance, crouching on one knee and hunching her shoulders. “But I have things to say, and you should listen to me.”

“And why is that?” Sorley smiled, now highly amused at her impudence. “What ancient wisdom to you have to offer?”

“Just one small pearl.” She chuckled. “We can’t escape our fate, young man.”

“That’s it?” Disappointment crossed Sorley’s face. “A bit of superstitious nonsense. I was hoping for better, old woman, than tired and useless banality. Fate is for fools. There’s nothing controlling my destiny. I make my own way.”

The old woman stuck out her tongue, and then giggled. “So sure of yourself, you are. Would it surprise you that I agreed? Our actions do determine our fate. Yet…” She smiled another gapped-toothed grin. “We each walk the same path.”

“More nonsense wrapped in daft riddles.” Irritation crept into his tone, with the thought she mocked him. His attention flickered back to the road. “As delightful as this chat has been, I haven’t the time. Good luck with your washing and your drivel, old woman. I’m off.”

“Farewell, Sorley. We’ll meet again soon.”

Sorley sniffed and gave a shrug, dismissing the old woman as he walked on. Only a mile or so down the road did her use of his given name sink into his head. He stopped, and stared back over his shoulder.

“I didn’t tell her my name. I know I didn’t. How did she know?”

His skin prickled, and unease crept into his thoughts, but he pushed the whole encounter into the back recesses of his memory. He continued towards home.

~*~

Nevertheless, the encounter still bothered him. Two nights later, in a seedy tavern, he spoke of it to three friends, Alan, Rab and Graham, as they sat around the card table

“The other day I saw something odd on the way home.” Sorley casually threw the remark, and his move, into the game.

Alan smirked and played his turn. “Do tell.”

“There was a daft old woman down by the river, washing clothes. Isn’t that peculiar?”

“Oh.” Rab glanced up from his hesitation over the cards. “Oh my. I hope it wasn’t the Washer at the Ford.”

“The what?” Sorley frowned.

“It’s some legend, isn’t it?” Alan’s voice interrupted. “See the old woman, and someone you know will die.”

“Oh, I’ve heard of that.” Graham chimed in, “But I thought the person who saw her was the one to die.”

“It’s both actually,” Rab corrected, “She’s a harbinger of death, but who will die only time will tell.”

“Nonsense. She a figment of foolishness. Silly superstition.” Sorley dismissed his friends, but his earlier unease prickled under his skin. “Things like that don’t exist. It’s all just the prattle of fools.”

“You’re probably right, all this talk is a bit silly.” Alan chuckled. “Perhaps someone was playing a prank.” He threw down a card, a grin plastered on his face. “Still, it might be best to avoid cuckolding any husbands for a bit. To be on the safe side.” His trio of friends roared in laughter and Sorley scowled at them.

“If you’re done amusing yourselves at my expense, can we get back to the game?”

And with that, the group spun their attention back to the cards, the conversation fading into ale and the wee hours.

~*~

On the precipice of dusk, Sorley crouched in the woods at the edge of the road, awaiting the carriage of a well-heeled landowner. He heard the rumble of the wheels, and saw the dust in the distance. With one last adjustment to his mask, he raised his pistols and stepped out into the road.

“Halt!” Sorley shouted the command with the roar of a beast, grinning wickedly. He aimed both pistols at the approaching carriage.

The driver, faced with the choice of stopping or running Sorley down, chose to stop. Then he snatched a gun from the adjacent seat. Sorley didn’t hesitate, firing a shot into the man’s chest. The driver slumped, his weapon clattering usually onto the floorboards.

Sorley dashed forward, his heart pumping, and hopped onto the carriage to check on his victim. Satisfied he was dead, Sorley jumped to the ground, still facing the coach. Then came the click of the carriage door opening.

“Damnable highwaymen!”

Sorley whirled at the shout, his remaining weapon raised. He saw the flash of the other man’s pistol, and felt an agony pierce his abdomen. He stumbled, staring at the spreading stain on his shirt, the crimson colour darkly illuminated by the last rays of the sun. Pain screamed through his body as he collapsed onto the ground, his head slumped at an angle, his fingers dropping his useless guns.

Gasping raw and laboured, his blood pooling in the dirt, he saw the old woman standing by the side of the road.

“I told you young man. You can’t escape your fate. Death comes for us all.”

Sorley breathed his last to the soft echoes of a tender, wailing lament.

 

© A. F. Stewart 2016 All Rights Reserved

 

All the stories in the Hop can be found here: The Story Hop

 

For more fun check out the Convention

And my booth, Are You Afraid of the Dark? – Fantasy and Horror Author A.F. Stewart

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Brain to Books Cyber Convention

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Welcome to the Brain to Books Cyber Convention!

It all begins tomorrow!

Starting Friday April 8th until Sunday April 10th, I’ll be participating in the wonderful Brain to Books Cyber Convention 2016, and there is such fun planned. You can find it all at my Author Booth come Friday, but here are the the highlights.

 

A rundown of  convention events  I’m participating in this weekend.

(Note: Some of these links will not be live until tomorrow)

-I’m one of the authors in the B2BCYCON Fantasy Blog Tour. The tour begins on Friday April 8th here:  http://www.angelabchrysler.com/brain-to-books-cyber-convention-fantasy-blog-tour

-I’ll be participating in two discussion panels, Introducing Steampunk (5 PM EST, April 8th), and Paranormal Fascination (7 PM EST, April 9th)

-I’m part of the Facebook Author Takeover – I take the spotlight on April 10th at 2 PM EST: https://www.facebook.com/events/1116006305110882/

-My villain Balthazar will be part of the Character Showdown

-Fairy Tale Fusion is entered in the Cover Wars: https://www.facebook.com/events/924740790949091/

-And an excerpt from Fairy Tale Fusion can be heard as part of the convention’s Story Time Tour  Go here to check out more of the Story Time Tour

-I’m part of the Story Hop, with a paranormal tale called The Highwayman (here on this website): https://www.goodreads.com/topic/show/18053739-the-story-hop-let-us-fire-your-imagination

 

And, oh yes, there are giveaways.

I have two books up for grabs in the B2B Convention’s Grand Giveaways:

Enter for a chance to win Killers and Demons II (plus other fantastic books)

And enter for a chance to win a paperback copy of Colours of Poetry (along with other great books)

I also have my own Rafflecopter Giveaway going this weekend with three sets of ebook prizes to be won: http://afstewartblog.blogspot.ca/p/blog-page_4.html

And I’ll also be giving away some bits and bobs and books during my Facebook Takeover spot April 10th!

 

In addition, I’ll be manning my Author Booth on Goodreads all weekend (along with a host of other talented authors), so stop by and chat.

 

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