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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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!

A Halloween Story: The Ghost Tree

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The Ghost Tree

Shall I tell you a story?
Such an inconsequential story, in the grand scheme of universal things, but still quite important to some.
To those that died.
This story has many beginnings, the very first happened a century or two past (or perhaps three, it’s hard to keep track sometimes), the latest only a year ago on a blustery October day.
I remember that day very well (I wasn’t there at the very beginning, though the tale has been told to me).
Evening dusk had settled in, brushing the edges of sunset, and letting the shadows come out to play. I was where I always am. By the oak tree on the hill. I recall staring up, at one crimson leaf clinging to a branch high in the otherwise barren tree. The leaf swayed in the breezy northeast wind, defying the inevitable until it too drifted downward to join its fellows on the cold ground. One more decaying piece of vegetation in the colorful patchwork shroud beneath my tree.
I laughed when the breeze swirled the leaves; a crinkle and crunch sound sailing on whispered air. Around the tree trunk the gust circled, a dance of dead foliage in its wake, streaks of scarlet, lemon and carroty orange fluttering like a procession. It soared to the sky and showered mouldering colours to settle once more to the earth.
It was a beautiful moment.
A rare moment for me.
It didn’t last.
For a pair of happy lovers interrupted the quiet. I knew the pair, seen them often, here underneath the tree. A handsome young lawyer and his pretty mistress. Her face held such a radiant smile, so sweet, so beautiful.
Until the very instant he slit her throat.
Her bones are buried in the nearby woods. Her mother stills cries at night for her lost daughter.
But she’s with us now. A wandering spirit, waiting.
One of the Ghosts of the Oak Tree.
That’s what we call ourselves. Rather silly, but accurate. For this is where the murdered dead come… after. We all end here, every slain, pitiful spectre in the area. Summoned here… by something.
All the local lost souls come to the tree.
Rain says it’s because of the massacre that happened on the hill. Because of the innocent blood that soaked into the ground. It stained the tree she told me, gave it power. I’m not certain if I believe that, but she knows more of it than I do. She and her people were the first to die. The first story.
But there won’t be a story this year.
That poor smiling girl was the final soul we needed
We’re strong enough now.
We are legion.
And we know all the wicked secrets.
The dead are coming home.
For vengeance.

And as an added bonus, here’s a Halloween Reading from Horror Haiku and Other Poems.

Happy Halloween!

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The Sirens Call eZine and More Updates

 

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Great news!

As mentioned in a previous post, my little horror story, Arthur’s World, was accepted for publication in the Sirens Call eZine. Well…

The Sirens Call eZine – Issue 28 Terrifying Tales is out!

You can check out the website page for the issue #28 link (along with links to back issues). Sirens Call Publications 

Or go here for the direct download:

http://www.sirenscallpublications.com/pdfs/SirensCallEZine_August2016.pdf

There’s a plethora of wonderfully creepy tales and poems to peruse, along with interviews and artwork. So do pop over and take a look.

 

And now for other Updates…

I will (despite life’s annoying interruptions) be publishing my new poetry book in October. It’s a collection of my horror poetry, Horror Haiku And Other Poems, and will come out in time to make Halloween extra creepy. I will be doing a cover reveal later in September for the book.

In other book news, Ghosts of the Sea Moon, is nearly finished, but the above mentioned life interruptions have slowed down progress on the novella slightly. It should, however, be ready for publication by the end of the year.

In convention news:

– The Efestival of Words went well and a good time was had by all.

– I recklessly volunteered to run the horror genre for the Brain to Books Cyber Convention, so I’m actively looking to recruit horror authors for the event. If you have published a horror book, and are interested in participating in B2BCYCON, please leave a comment. You can check out the convention FAQ page here:  http://braintobooks.com/b2bcycon-faq/

Registration for B2BCYCON doesn’t begin until October, but feel free to check it out, or ask me questions.

 

 

 

Updates and Events

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I have some quick writing news and the lowdown about an online event I’m participating in this weekend.

First the news. I have a story appearing in the upcoming issue of The Sirens Call eZine – Issue 28 Terrifying Tales. I’m especially fond of this dark tale, called Arthur’s World, and I hope you check it out later this month when the ezine is published.  I’ll share a link when it drops.

I also have a story still in the running for the upcoming Occult Detective Quarterly magazine. Fingers-crossed for that one, but the competition is tough.

Now for the event.

This weekend, August 12th-14th the wacky fun of the Efestival of Words is taking place! And I am participating again this year.

My events happen on Saturday, August 13th.

At Noon EDT, I’ll be one of the writers in the Build a Story Twitter Challenge panel, where you can watch a crazy multi-author story unfold one tweet-length piece at a time.

And then later that day I’ll be appearing for a 30 minute Q&A session at 4:00 PM EDT.

So please pop over and join the delightful mayhem.

Here’s where you can find the full schedule: The Efestival of Words Schedule of Events

 

 

 

 

Indie Pride Day and a Brain to Books Takeover

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Join me on Goodreads on July 1st for an Indie Pride Day, Brain to Books Event (and for me a Canada Day celebration).

 

It all happen here on Goodreads: Brain to Books Takeover

I’ll be appearing for the Horror showcase at 10 AM EST July 1st

And also for the Epic Fantasy showcase at 3 PM EST July 1st

Plus, I’ll be in the Poetry showcase at 11:00 AM EST July 1st

I’ll be taking about the genres, my published books, and teasing sneak peeks at my upcoming works. So pop on by to chat, or lob me some questions. Each session will last for an hour, and then on to the next wonderful author.

See you there!

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#NationalPoetryMonth Day 29: Stone Maidens in a Row

My penultimate poem for Day 29 of National Poetry Month.

Stone Maiden

 

Stone Maidens in a Row

 

Those little stone maidens all in a row,

come see them hither, along the wall

with downcast eyes, hands folded all

Those little stone maidens all in a row

 

Come see them hither, along the wall

Such pretty things for cold grey stone,

standing there amidst grass overgrown

Come see them hither, along the wall

 

Such pretty things for cold grey stone

Makes you wonder what’s underneath

Is it flesh and bone that lies beneath?

Such pretty things for cold grey stone

 

Makes you wonder what’s underneath,

those little stone maidens all in a row

Is it sad small tales of death and woe?

Makes you wonder what’s underneath

 

Those little stone maidens all in a row,

come see them hither, along the wall

with downcast eyes, hands folded all

Those little stone maidens all in a row




© A. F. Stewart 2016 All Rights Reserved

 

#NationalPoetryMonth Day 27: Blind to the Bridge

My poem for Day 27 of National Poetry Month.

Bridge

 

Blind to the Bridge

 

Bask in the dawn

in her warm, bountiful kiss,

as the sirens ever beckon you

Come blind to the bridge

where you fall

 

Savour the splendid beauty

of the sky and the season’s stars,

hear their enticing song

Step blind to the bridge

where you fall

 

Glory in the harvest

in the last days of summer

You cannot drown the voices

Stumble blind to the bridge

where you fall

 

Feel the embittered cold

deep down into your bones

Heed the sirens’ last call

Crawl blind to the bridge

where you fall




© A. F. Stewart 2016 All Rights Reserved