Sunday, 26 June 2016

Book Spotlight: The Dreamer

Today, I have a spotlight on the horror novel, The Dreamer by Travis McBee. Enjoy.

The Dreamer by Travis McBee

Oak Grove, Georgia.
It’s a tiny mountain town where nothing ever seemed to happen. Until dreams began to come true. Dreams that could more aptly be called nightmares. Monsters, wild animals, nefarious traps, anything is possible. No one is safe. The only thing they have in common is a teenage girl, Natalie Mullin, who dreams about each new horror as they happen. But why does she dream of them? And can she stop them before she dreams of everyone she loves? For when she lays her head to rest, it’s your life that’s put to the test.

The Dreamer is available on Amazon

Book Trailer

Author Bio: 

Travis McBee was born and raised just outside of Atlanta, Georgia. He is the younger of two children and enjoys backpacking, playing rugby, and watching football. Apart from his many short stories, he is the author of several novels including, Bridgeworld; Bridgeworld: Encounter at Atlantis; The Dreamer; and Triton: Rise of Empire. He is also the author of a children's series: The Chronicles of a Second Grade Genius. He currently resides with an assortment of very fluffy animals in Georgia.

For more on the author check out these sites:

Thursday, 23 June 2016

The Heartbeat Thief, A Victorian Birthday, And Mementos Mori

Today I bring you some morbid morsels from Victorian history with a guest post by Ash Krafton, and another look at her delightfully dark novel, The Heartbeat Thief (penned under A. J. Krafton). Enjoy my minions...

A Victorian Birthday and Mementos Mori

The Victorian Era is steeped in traditions. Anything that flew in the face of tradition was shunned, cursed, and outcast. Tradition provided vital foundation, the legs upon which society stood. 
Traditions embellished every moment in life. One such tradition was the celebration of birthdays. Considering this month marks the book birthday for THE HEARTBEAT THIEF, you might expect a post on birthdays. Right? Anecdotes about parties and pastries and pretty ribbons and…
…no. Just—no.
On one hand, THE HEARTBEAT THIEF *is* pretty on the outside, like a birthday party. Beautiful and beribboned and sweet as strawberries and cream. But what is a birthday if not all about victory over death? And, deep within, that is what Senza Fyne’s tale is all about.
She is, after all, the Forever Girl. Death’s Estranged. Endless. She stopped celebrating birthdays when she learned how to steal immortality. Eventually, there was only one day she marked each year: her Unbirthing Day.
So just think about all the lovely traditions she missed out on when it came to her death. The Victorians were morbidly fascinated with death and went to great lengths to mark the occasion.

Senza could not die. She denied her loved ones so many opportunities…
No one would stop the clocks or draw all the curtains, to dwell in sad, shadowy silence.
No one would post elegantly written funeral notes of invitation.
No one would stand watch over her body, every moment from death to interment (which could take three to four days to allow family to arrive).
No one would arrange flowers around her body to mask the signs of decay.
No final death portraits, with falsely life-like poses, cosmetically-created rosy cheeks, or painted pupils in propped-open eyes.

No hair trinkets. No one would trim her winter-fire red locks and weave the tresses into rings or bracelets or brooches to wear as mourning jewelry.
No one would wear mourning for her, deep black crinoline with heavy veils and dark jet jewels. Instead, those would be her own disguise, hiding the eternal freshness of her beautiful cheeks from her aging loved ones and she sneaked like a thief through the pages of time.
No drapes upon the mirrors to prevent them from enticing her soul to enter, only to become trapped for all of wretched eternity.
No black crape hung around the doorknobs to announce the tragedy of her passing, reminding callers to avoid ringing.
No elaborate funeral procession, aristocratic and stately, with plumes and pallbearers, a hearse trimmed in white to lament the passing of one so young.
No strings tied to her finger, connecting her to coffin bells above her grave. No dead-ringers, graveyard shifts, or being saved by the bell.

See what I meant when I said the Victorians were just a little on the morbid side? Bereavement, you see, was generally the order of the day, even when there was no one to bury, because life was fragile and brief and all too often lost in the blink of an eye.
Senza Fyne would not die. Mr. Knell had worked his dark spell on her and removed her from the march of time, placing her far beyond the decayed grasp of Death. Although the Ferryman would not come for her, she was forced to watch each and everyone around her succumb to the ravages of life’s bittersweet ending.
Shadows cluttered her heart, each and every day that she went forth, beautiful and young and free of what frightened her most. She could not die.
But in that, she very nearly forgot how to live.
You can read Senza Fyne’s dark tale and take that long walk with her. See what she sees, experience what she felt as she stood still, a statue in a fast-growing, fast-wilting, ever-changing garden.

This week until June 26th, THE HEARTBEAT THIEF ebook will be $0.99!

Find it at any of these retailers:

About the author: Ash Krafton
Ash Krafton writes New Adult speculative fiction under the pen name AJ Krafton. In addition to THE HEARTBEAT THIEF, Ash is also the author of a growing list of poetry, short stories, and urban fantasy novels.
Currently, she’s working on a new series, THE DEMON WHISPERER. First book, CHARM CITY, can be found on where you can read it free. Find it here: CHARM CITY on
Find more to love at

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Wednesday, 22 June 2016

Drabble Wednesday: Take to the Air

Today, on Drabble Wednesday, I take flight in words...


The airship drifted over the battlefield, wisps of smoke from charred remains rising to greet it. The ground below reflected death: scorched and trampled grass, gouged dirt and mud, and the tattered corpses of soldiers rotting in the sun.
The ship wandered aimlessly, the sputtering groan of its engine the only sound, save the hiss of wind. Below, silence swallowed the world, the once deafening boom of artillery quiet, guns rusting and useless. The ship flew over lifeless terrain, the fight done with no victory.
Still it flew on, its crew now dead, waiting for the fuel to run out.



I’m standing on the precipice, the sun at my back. Behind me are a scattering of my instructors and fellow students, waiting in anticipation. I simply have to step off the edge.
I’m afraid.
Such a deed hasn’t been attempted in decades, not since my particular mutation ceased manifesting itself. I was quite the surprise.
I’m the first one in eighty years.
They’ve done their best to prepare me, but they can only guess what will happen. If something goes wrong...
Failure means death. Still...
I stretch my wings to their full glory and step off the cliff.
I fly.


Last Night

“Has the sun set? It seems dark.”
“Yes, the sun has set for you, David.”
“Who’s there? I can’t see well. It’s so dark.”
“I’m an old friend, you have yet to meet. But don’t be afraid. You will come to me quietly, in your own time.”
“I don’t understand.”
“You will soon. We will ascend the universe together, David. To the celestial light and the comforting wonder of creation.”
David’s answer came with the exhalation of his last breath.
With a sigh, the Angel of Death wrapped David’s soul in his arms.
They flew to the stars beyond heaven.

© A. F. Stewart 2016 All Rights Reserved

Wednesday, 15 June 2016

Drabble Wednesday: Alternate Worlds

Today in Drabble Wednesday something a bit different. I bring you three stories, three settings, one person in three alternate world circumstances…


For the moment she is alone.
She looks in the mirror. The bright sun streams in the window, casting sparkles over her beaming reflection. She smiles. Everything is perfect. Just as she imagined. Outside the door she can hear the commotion of the day, the voices, the chatter.
Soon it will begin. She leave this room, this temporary respite from what was to come, these last few moments of simply her.
A knock echoes on her rumination. It is time. She picks up her bouquet, and opens the door. Her father stands there, waiting.
The wedding march begins to play.



For the moment she is alone.
She looks in the mirror. The fading sun streams in the small window, illuminating the faint scar on her cheek. She examines her appearance. Everything is perfect. Not a button out of place on her regalia. This day will happen just as she imagined.
Outside the door there is silence. All her fellow students and teachers will be assembled on the training grounds for the ceremony. Soon it will begin.
A knock sounds, and she opens the door.
An officer of the Royal Guard awaits her, ready to escort her to her induction ceremony.



For the moment she is alone.
She looks in the dusty mirror. The sun streams past the cracked window, casting shadows on her pale reflection. She wants to cry. Everything is ruined. Nothing has gone as she imagined.
Outside the door she hears commotion, roaring voices, the sound of shooting, screams. Here, in her temporary refuge, she wonders how it came to this. To war. To genocide.
She picks up her gun and stares at the cold metal. One bullet left.
As ferocious pounding slams against the door, she knows it’s too late. They’ve found her.
A gunshot rings out.

© A. F. Stewart 2016 All Rights Reserved

Wednesday, 8 June 2016

Drabble Wednesday: Shadows

Today on Drabble Wednesday, we settle into the shadows…

Shades of Time

Beyond the ken of reality, I wait. Watching history pass, each moment a raindrop in infinity. I have seen the fall of Rome, a myriad of lovers kiss, the rise of empires, and the death of those whose names are unrecorded, save by me.
My fingers have touched rose petals and dust, my steps have walked through stars and mud. I have reveled in laughter, sorrowed in tears, and listened to my silence echo through centuries. I have lived surrounded by humanity, alone.
Pariah and observer. Recorder of history, never to be part of time.
That has been my punishment.



Tonight, my friend, we talk of creatures, monsters hiding in the night. Things dismissed as stuff and nonsense, no? Perhaps they are more real than imagined.
I see you disagree. You reject them as fanciful tales conjured to scare the unenlightened. But are they? Or is that what we tell ourselves for untroubled slumber?
Such an indulgent smile you have. You believe me a mad, old man. Your incredulity changes nothing. The shadows of the night are alive.
What a deep laugh you have. You do not believe. Ah well, I tried. Still, my friend, do be careful walking home.


Accidental Encounters

How did I get here?
I’m stumbling in the dark. I can hear people around me, but I can’t see anyone.
I don’t understand.
What happened to me?
It’s hard to think, to remember…
I was driving, wasn’t I? At night. I recall headlights. Another car.
Wait. Is that light?
I run.
I can see the road. And flashing lights, with people.
And my car.
No. My poor car. The front end is smashed, the windshield shattered.
My vision clears. The flashing lights are police vehicles.
I shout. No one seems to hear.
I don’t understand?
What happened to me?

© A. F. Stewart 2016 All Rights Reserved

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