Monday, 15 October 2018

#OctoberFrights Day Six: The Assassin's Coin



For this the last day of October Frights, I bring you another book, this one by fellow hopper John Linwood Grant, about the his most terrifying assassin, Mr. Dry, and the days when Jack the Ripper stalked the streets of London...


Are You Afraid of the Dark (And October Frights) Presents



The Assassin's Coin: The True History of the Deptford Assassin

by John Linwood Grant




She is Catherine Weatherhead, and she is Madame Rostov. She will lie, though not with malice. She will deceive, though often with good cause. And she will change the course of history, for murder speaks to her. In Whitechapel, all talk is of Jack the Ripper, but there is another killer in play, and he most definitely has a name. Mr Edwin Dry, the Deptford Assassin. The truth is not what you believe. It is what he makes it.

Although THE ASSASSIN'S COIN is a standalone story, it is also a companion novel to the Jack the Ripper Victims Series novel, THE PROSTITUTE'S PRICE, by Alan M. Clark. To gain a broader experience of each novel, read both.


The Assassin's Coin is available on Amazon







For more stories with Mr. Dry (and other tales) also check out the author's other most most excellent book:  A Persistence of Geraniums and Other Worrying Tales



John Linwood Grant is an author and editor whose stories have appeared in various anthologies and is part of the team for Occult Detective Quarterly. He also runs the strange but delightful blog, greydogtales.






Last day for the giveaway!




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Sunday, 14 October 2018

#OctoberFrights Day Five: Dark Poetry Corner



And now dear readers, we come to the day of poetic reckoning, the day when the raven flies on dark wings and brings verse most disturbing and wicked...

Welcome to my Dark Poetry Corner





The Red Queens

Rivers flow in crimson streams
with blood a thousand-fold
and tears of the blackened damned
Seared demon mists
roil from the wormy earth
blown on brimstone winds

Can you hear them call?
Can you hear them laugh?
The Red Queens walk tonight

Spirits claw from beneath their graves,
born again with baneful verve
from cracking bones and rancid flesh
And while they howl their spite
toward this forlorn night,
they scurry to heed the summons

Can you hear them call?
Can you hear them shriek?
The Red Queens walk tonight

The Red Queens stalk the night

~*~




Fifty Fathoms Deep

Stygian squelch and salty brine
where the carrion fall to slumber
Inky black and a wet drowned hell
with the monsters coloured umber
It’s where I live
Fifty fathoms deep

The raven grave and eternal abyss
for ships that sunk from battle
flesh picked clean and washed away
Nothing left but a dead bone rattle
It’s where I live
Fifty fathoms deep

It’s submerged tears of last regrets
in the face of your abandoned faith
Whispers and screams come empty
in the home of the devil’s wraith
It’s where I died,
and rose again
Fifty fathoms deep

~*~




Shadow’s Breath


One breath

quantum shadow of your life

One breath

held shallow inside the night

One breath

clutching back your last scream

One breath

scratching against your neck

One breath is all you have left

~*~





Hellfire Moon


Upon the dead man’s hour
cradled by the graveyard wind,
sulphurous and dank,
the Hellfire Moon unfurls
Crimson glare, cast down
over shrivelled trees
dripping charcoal ichor,
as blasphemous tongues
spew virgin blood and lies
Along the shadow’s path
creep the legged beasts
their barbs so sharp and ready
The Hellfire Moon commands
their minds, their thoughts
they will bring you to your doom

~*~


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Saturday, 13 October 2018

#October Frights Day Four: Spooky Story Time



Today it is time for some spooky stories, for those tales to read with the lights on, all about things that go bump in the night...


Spooky Storytime





Midnight in Purgatory


At the crossroads, beneath the half-moon and the undertone stench of brimstone, the shadows gathered. The breath of a witch's hiss and the cold touch of death spelled the air, while the mocking laughter of the damned echoed in the trees.
A sniffle, a groan, and the shuffle of footsteps down the road swirled past the night as a hunched figure walked along the dirt, circling the crossroads. A long black coat flapped against spindly legs, the collar turned to ward off the chill, and a floppy hat pulled low engulfed his features in silhouette. The sound of his scuffing feet against the dirt made a strange rhythm, a scraping beat pulsing into the black abyss. Round and round he walked, only looking up and slowing to a halt when another figure, a man, strolled down the road.
The new man stopped in the middle of the crossroads, the grin of the devil on his face, smack in the center of the circle traced by the feet of the figure in the long coat. The fresh arrival reached in a pocket and took out a pack of cigarettes and matches. He lit a smoke, shadows and nicotine vapour passing over his face. He licked his lips and spoke.
“My name’s Nick. Time to deal.”
“Such a rush.” The voice of the black-clad figure smacked the night with a hollow tone vibrating halfway between a rasp and a croak and holding a weariness of a dead man’s bones. “Savour the moment. Ain’t nothing like it going to come your way again soon.” A cracking noise that might have been a chuckle sounded, and then, “Besides, it’s been a long time since I seen you. I want a good long look this time.”
Nick’s eyes narrowed and he sneered. The cigarette dropped and he squashed it under his shoe. “I know you, old man? We do a deal before? Because you can’t sell your soul twice, not even to the devil.” Nick laughed.
“Oh, we’ve met. A while back, but I didn’t sell my soul to you.” The figure in black lifted his head, a pale, gaunt face staring at Nick. For a moment it almost seemed his eyes glinted red under his hat. “That would be quite impossible, Nick, seeing you’re a fraud. You ain’t the devil.” A wicked grin lit the man’s face, and, for an instant, his appearance seemed… angelic. 
“I know you, Nick, back when your name was David and you ran two-bit hustles out of a revival tent. Back when you whispered your sins to the moon, and you came to another crossroads begging for a life that was wasting away from too much whiskey and cigarettes.” The man in black looked down at the dirt. “I see you never gave up that habit. Even after the cancer went away.”
“How did you…” Nick took a step back, the sneer and bravado gone and fear creeping across his face. “You've got no proof I did anything criminal.”
That cracking chuckle sounded again. “Of course, you done things criminal. Lined your pockets with other people’s money, lied, cheated, and things far worse to damn your soul. You and I know that. For the longest time, you were my favourite.”
A wisp of air, foul and hot, escaped his lips on the edge of a sigh. “But I can’t forgive this. You give the Devil his due, you don’t steal his thunder.” A smile flickered on his lips as the sky streaked wide with a booming noise and a flash of lightning.
Nick jumped and stumbled back against the edge of the circle etched in the road. A hot burst of fire and burning pain seared through cloth and flesh and Nick screamed. He jerked and fell forward on his face, before rolling onto his back with a whimper. “Who are you?”
The figure in black doffed his hat and gave a little smile. “Now, I’m hurt you don’t remember. Fifteen years ago you sold me your soul for good health and a charmed new life. Name’s Lucifer. And it’s time for me to collect what you owe.”
The crossroads circle erupted in a wall of hellfire, damnation and fresh new screams, followed by a trail of laughter. When the smoke and stink cleared, only charred ash and burns littered the road and the small echo of a man’s lost soul.


~*~



Waiting


The wind coughed dust along a dry parched riverbed, long devoid of water. The swirling gusts scraped and buried my bones, my decayed body losing its battle with the elements and time. The breeze and scattering dirt made the only noise in this curse-drenched corner of the world. All other life had long since fled or lay buried with me. I watched the last gleam of bleached white remains disappear under the unrelenting sand, still tied to the corpse of what I used to be. For now at least. That would change soon.
The earth had finally swallowed my bones and they would be coming.
I heard them out there in the distance. Had for some time. Drifting on the edges of the wind. The dark winged beasts, the curse-bringers, the carrion eaters of the soul. They were the ones that led me here to die. Soon, they would show themselves and my curse will reach its end.
The last of me would disappear into the darkness.






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Friday, 12 October 2018

#OctoberFrights Day Three: The Subtlety of Terror




Today I bring you a look at the talented author, Christie Stratos. I'm featuring her new horror short story, The Subtlety of Terror, her first foray in pure horror, as well as her great historical thrillers the Dark Victoriana Collection. Enjoy...




 

The Subtlety of Terror: A Short Horror Read by Christie Stratos 







It's the quietest evils that are the most horrifying—their persistence, constant presence, and unyielding terror. Real horror flourishes in its perpetual infliction of fear.

















Anatomy of a Darkened Heart

Abigail Delilah is the firstborn of three Whitestone children - and she is the most regretted.

But is it really her fault?

She can't help that the revelation of Father's wretched secret coincides with her birth. She can't help the fear she feels during Mother's psychological - and physical - assaults. As the shadows grow stronger over her soul and the noose of pain tightens around her neck, Abigail will find out which is stronger: her family's wicked assumptions about her or her true self.






Brotherhood of Secrets

"Brothers in the art of keeping secrets.

This is the mantra Mr. Locke's carefully chosen five employees must repeat together every day before starting work.

If you won't tell them your name for Locke and Keye's ledger, they'll find out. They have their ways--and many of them. Yes, these talented locksmiths can make a new lock and key set for you. They can even make a special padlock for a diary you never want to share with anyone. But just remember: when they make the lock, they keep a key--and it's only a matter of time until they use it.

Day by day, each of these young, single, alone-in-the-world workers is being molded into the family they crave. A family in which each member has his use toward an end he doesn't even know exists.

How do the brotherhood and the town's secrets interlock? Only Mr. Locke holds the key. 

Available on 
Amazon
Barnes and Noble
Smashwords





About the Author




Christie Stratos is an award-winning writer who holds a degree in English Literature. She is the author of Anatomy of a Darkened Heart and Brotherhood of Secrets, the first two books in the Dark Victoriana Collection. Christie has had short stories and poetry published in Ginosko Literary Journal, Andromedae Review, 99Fiction, and various anthologies. An avid reader of all genres and world literature, Christie reads everything from bestsellers to classics to indies.






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Thursday, 11 October 2018

Day Two #OctoberFrights: The 13: Tales of Macabre


Ready for some more dark delights? Today I have a book spotlight on the upcoming release of tales most creepy. Come feast your bloodshot eyes on The 13: Tales of Macabre by Stephanie Ayers. This book is a spooky collection of horror stories and the second book in The 13 series, the first being The 13: Tales of Illusory. We are also a stop on Stephanie's blog tour, so be sure to check that out too!






The 13: Tales of Macabre




Can you survive all 12?

Killer watermelons, murderous jewelry boxes, centenarian sea whisperers, creatures of myth/legend, and more...

This supernatural story collection will make you reconsider everything you thought you knew. At night you'll hover under your covers while looking over your shoulder in the day. Down, down in the depths they fell; bodies in the dark of a liquid hell. Can you survive all 12?

This is the second collection in The 13 series.








Available Here For Preorder
Releases October 26, 2018









About the Author




A published author with a knack for twisted tales, Stephanie Ayers is a coffee guzzling, word whispering, world building creative ninja and unicorn living in Ohio disguised as a human. She mothers her children, loves her husband, attends church, and avoids all things housework and zombies. When she isn't doing any of these things, she can be found stretching her creative wings designing book covers, promotional graphics, logos and more.




A Few of Her Favorite Things (Fast Five)

Favorite Books: The Stand, Divergent, Through the Looking Glass, The Forgotten Garden, and Inkheart.
Favorite Songs: Anyway by Martina McBride, Chasing Cars by Soul Patrol, Dream On by Aerosmith, Cotton Eyed Joe by Rednex, Cake by the Ocean by DNCE
Favorite Movies: Hope Floats, Divine Secrets of the Yaya Sisterhood, The Messengers, The Wizard of Oz, Mary Poppins
Favorite Foods: pizza, pasta, ice cream, chips, second breakfasts
Favorite TV Shows: Chicago Fire, Chicago PD, Law & Order SVU, The Voice, This Is Us









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Wednesday, 10 October 2018

Welcome to the #OctoberFrights Blog Hop 2018!

Welcome all you lovers of the macabre, the supernatural, of horror. It is the time of the dark night when the moon is full and the ghosts roam the graveyard. It is time for...

October Frights!




For the week of October 10-15, I'll have horrific treats for you with book spotlights, stories and my annual Dark Poetry segment. So come sit a spell while I weave an enchantment of cobwebs and inky shadow and pay no attention to those bones in the corner...




First up, I have a book spotlight for my own book, the latest addition to my Saga of the Outer Islands seires, Souls of the Dark Sea.

Souls of the Dark Sea 



From the depths, darkness is rising…

Something ancient and powerful stirs beneath the sea of the Outer Islands. A creature strong enough to challenge Captain Rafe Morrow, God of Souls, for control of the dead and the survival of the living.
Still reeling from the aftermath of his battle with the Goddess of the Moon, Rafe and the crew of the Celestial Jewel find a mysterious shipwreck and strange tales of bones. Tasked by a new ally to find answers, Rafe stumbles on long-buried secrets shrouded in the shadows of the Nightmare Crow.
Now armies of the dead ascend from the ocean. And their master is not far behind.

Set sail on a new adventure with ghosts, gods and sea monsters!


And it's 99 cents until Halloween!




An Excerpt



The hours ticked by and an unsettled day flowed into night, with the crew of the Jewel and the people of the town settling into slumber. Over Abersythe, the starlit clouds swirled, and the wind blew past the harbourmaster, past the Celestial Jewel wafting far out to sea. The dark waves gently rolled with the shadows bereft of moon while, below the surface, the sea creatures slept to the soft strains of a mother’s lullaby.

All seemed serene, yet something in the shadows stirred. Someone emerged from an in-between place, from the blackness of a veiled sanctuary. She swept from the folds of the gloom to a corner of a reef, against the silhouette of the Coral Rose shipwreck.

The ruined boat dwarfed her presence, its shade making her uneasy. Its empty shell somehow felt haunted even though it remained bereft of souls. She wondered at the queasy chill in her blood, in her night’s shadows even as she repressed the guilt tickling at the back of her mind.

I did this. Her conscience whispered, a persistent itch she tried to deny. But how could I know? And everything has a price. And what do mortal lives matter to me?

She turned her gaze away from the ship, staring at the sea. She gathered the night around her like a cloak, reflexively trying to hide. Above her head, she heard the beat of wings and the caw of a crow. The bird swooped down out of the sky and landed at her feet.

She stepped back, startled, and snapped at the creature. “Why did you want to meet here? Of all places?”

The Nightmare Crow cackled. “Why, Bevire, so testy you are. Are we having regrets so soon?”





The Souls of the Dark Sea Blog Tour Giveaway




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Tuesday, 9 October 2018

Book Spotlight: The Green and the Black

It is the day before #OctoberFrights and I come to you today to whet your appetite for all things horror. I am shining a light into the darkness and showcasing a new release, The Green and the Black, by the most talented author William Meikle. Enjoy...


The Green and the Black by William Meikle




A small group of industrial archaeologists head into the center of Newfoundland, investigating a rumor of a lost prospecting team of Irish miners in the late Nineteenth century.

They find the remains of a mining operation, and a journal and papers detailing the extent of the miners' activities. But there is something else on the site, something older than the miners, as old as the rock itself.

Soon the archaeologists are coming under assault, from a strange infection that spreads like wildfire through mind and body, one that doctors seem powerless to define let alone control.

The survivors only have one option. They must return to the mine, and face what waits for them, down in the deep dark places, where the green meets the black.



The Green and the Black is available at Amazon




About the Author






William Meikle is a Scottish writer, now living in Canada, with over twenty five novels published in the genre press and more than 300 short story credits in thirteen countries. He has books available from a variety of publishers and his work has appeared in a large number of professional anthologies and magazines. He lives in Newfoundland with whales, bald eagles and icebergs for company. When he's not writing he drinks beer, plays guitar, and dreams of fortune and glory.

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