Saturday 23 October 2021

Spotlight on The Dark Horde

I'm bringing you something a bit different today, with a musical spotlight on a band and a concept album, The Calling, a prequel for the horror novel, The Dark Horde by Brewin (and yes, the author is a band member). I have a few musical snippets, a playlist, and a look at the members. Enjoy.


Time is short now, I sense them drawing close.
Whilst blood still flows through these shaking hands...

You can check out more on the YouTube Channel:

And you can also check out the website:

Brewin – Concept, Lyrics, Narration, Direction, Production

Brewin (Andrew Drage) lives in Melbourne, Australia. He has a first-class honours degree in zoology, statistics and philosophy from La Trobe University, has worked as an editor and designer for five titles in the highly acclaimed Gamebook Adventures interactive fiction series, a Senior Research Scientist at the Insectarium of Victoria and has over twenty years’ experience as an IT developer and analyst. He is the author of Infinite Universe, a science-fiction gamebook, Evermore: An Introduction, a philosophical fantasy novel, and the award-winning supernatural horror/thriller The Dark Horde, which The Calling is a musical prequel to.

Brewin has worked on The Calling for over twenty years with various artists, spawning many different incarnations of the album, but this is the only version to be released.

Hanny Mohamed – Music composition and performance, Production

Hanny Mohamed is a guitarist and composer from Melbourne’s long time running and established power metal band Black Majesty. He collaborated with Brewin in 2011 to create the music for Brewin’s Infinite Universe gamebook and has also been involved in The Calling project in its various forms since 2006.

Hanny is endorsed by Jackson Guitars, In Tune Guitar Picks and DSL Straps.


Logan Jacobs
– Music composition and performance

Logan Jacobs is a guitarist and composer based in Melbourne. Logan began learning piano at six years old, taking simple lessons from his grandma. He took up playing guitar and bass at fourteen, and guitar has become his main instrument of choice since. Logan’s influences include John Carpenter, Giorgio Moroder, Vince Dicola, Judas Priest, Kiss, King Diamond, Def Leppard and Mike Slamer.


Danny Cecati
– Main vocals

Danny Cecati is the singer of Melbourne's hard rock band Wicked Smile. He has previously sung for the progressive metal band Eyefear and the heavy metal band Pegazus. His powerful soaring vocals are world-renown and speak for themselves as to his class.

Wicked Smile’s debut album Wait for the Night is to be released September 24th 2021.


Kevin Powe – Narrator, voice of Henry Wilcox

Kevin is an international voice actor with a love of storytelling and helping bring dark, complex characters to life. He has lent his voice to roles like Dracula and 2000AD's Judge Dredd, and Kevin proudly adds Henry Wilcox as a haunted and nuanced role to that list.  Kevin's work can be heard in Digital Extreme's Warframe, Trinket Studios' Battle Chef Brigade, and Tiny Bull Studios' Blind. He can also be heard in the Australian-made horror audio drama YOWIE, as well as Bithell Games' sci-fi comedy audio drama North Star Rising.

Soon you'll hear Kevin's work in the upcoming Beyond the Veil by Sun's Shadow Studios and in Fanclub's Dead Static Drive, described as 'Grand Theft Cthulhu'.


Shaun Farrugia – ‘Demon’ vocals

Shaun Farrugia is the founding guitarist and vocalist from Melbourne's veteran thrash/death band In Malice's Wake, a band that have established themselves as a dominant thrash/death metal force for well over a decade in Australia. Each full-length release has pushed further into darker and heavier territory leading to the savage fourth release The Blindness of Faith in 2021.

When not deploying his signature guttural rasp, Shaun paints art and teaches art to his primary school pupils.


Chris Kane
– Guest musician

Chris Kane is a guitarist from Melbourne and is the founding member of the melodic death metal band Eye of the Enemy. Over the course of three albums, Chris has created a unique writing style with a mix of death and thrash metal with a hint of melody.

His signature style of musical storytelling can be heard on the track “Rebirth”.

Chris is endorsed by Ibanez Guitars.


James Lowe
– Guest musician

James Lowe is a guitarist and composer based in Melbourne. He has been playing guitar since 1997 and is currently working on one of his solo projects with other prominent musicians. His interests include spaghetti, things that are mad, and penguins.


Dexter Seamus
– Voice of young Henry

Dexter was only 5 years old when he played the part of Henry and is now a 23-year-old recording artist and hip hop producer based in Melbourne. He recently released his debut album Love in the Hills.


Jane Brewin
– Voice of Henry’s mother

Jane Brewin has had a life-long career in general, mental health and infant care nursing, caring for her patient's physical and mental health with compassion, respect and good humour. Her great pleasures these days are her family, her dogs and being creative. She lives in Melbourne with her partner of many years, the eldest of her two sons and two dogs, and intends to live her best life until the very end!


Andrew Carolane – Voice of Bernard Russell, psychiatrist

Andrew Carolane graduated from the University of Melbourne with a Bachelor of Dramatic Art in 2012 and a first-class honours Bachelor of Fine Arts Honours Degree specialising in acting technique in 2017. An actor, director, writer and acting coach with over fifteen years’ experience in the industry, he has worked with some of the most renowned stage actors in Australia including Alison Whyte, Brian Lipson, Greg Stone, Peter Houghton and Andre De Vanny. He has played many roles, Shakespearean and otherwise, with the Australian Shakespeare Company, Proper Villains Theatre Co, Victorian College of the Arts, Malthouse Tower Theatre, La Mamma Courthouse Theatre, and most recently as a member of the 5AM (Five Angry Men) ensemble performing The March in a Malthouse Theatre/5AM performance event.

Aldo Requena
– Artist

Aldo ‘Valgorth’ Requena is an Argentine artist. Many of his works deal with a dark subject-matter. He is also known for his association with the metal music scene. With over a hundred designs published worldwide, his artwork has featured on albums, books, apparel, posters advertising and film. He is the artificer of the art and texts used on the Necronomicon book for the Argentine movie Necronomicón.

Aldo runs Hammerblaze, a graphic design company which has done works for a variety of metal artists and labels of all calibres from all around the globe.

Tuesday 19 October 2021

Book Spotlight: The Dragon Charmer's Apprentice: A Legends of Tivara Myth

Today, I have a quick book spotlight for you for a new fantasy release, The Dragon Charmer's Apprentice: A Legends of Tivara Myth by JC Kang. Enjoy.

The Dragon Charmer's Apprentice: A Legends of Tivara Myth

A slave shall rise from the ashes to master dragons.

Born into slavery, Mai's horizons are limited to one simple desire: to catch the eye of a handsome mate. She dares not dream for more, for like all humans, she’s been taught from birth that her life belongs to the orcs, her destiny to serve.

But her world is upended when Aralas, a messenger from the elf gods, reveals blasphemous truths: humanity was created to be free; and hope—if it can be called that—lies in the jaws of the dragon Avarax, whom only Mai can charm with her unique voice.

Torn, overwhelmed, desperate to hope yet terrified of failing her kind, Mai has until a rare conjunction of moons to master magic that takes lifetimes to learn. Yet how will she discover who she really is when even her allies seek to control her?

Only by making the greatest of sacrifices will she manifest the power of a Dragon Song, and help mankind escape eternal servitude.

Check it out on Amazon

About the Author

JC Kang's unhealthy obsession with Fantasy and Sci-Fi began at an early age when his brother introduced him to The Chronicles of Narnia, Star Trek, and Star Wars. As an adult, he combines his geek roots with his professional experiences as a Chinese Medicine doctor, martial arts instructor, and technical writer to pen epic fantasy stories.

To learn more about what goes on in his twisted mind, follow his Facebook page:

Wednesday 6 October 2021

Book Spotlight: The Bone Thief

Today I have a book spotlight for you, with an excerpt, for the humorous fantasy, The Bone Thief, (The Roshaven Series Book 3) by Claire Buss

The Bone Thief, (The Roshaven Series Book 3) by Claire Buss

The Spice Ghosts have descended on Roshaven accusing Jenni of stealing their sacred bones and are threatening to destroy the city if they are not returned but Jenni the sprite has no idea what they’re talking about.

With the help of her boss, Chief Thief-Catcher Ned Spinks, Jenni promises to find and return them however the skeletal trail leads them into the dark and dangerous waters of the dread Sea Witch.

Ned is out of his depth and frantically treading water while Jenni must fight to avoid becoming catch of the day.

You can pre-order the book here:

Releases November 12th

A Short Excerpt:

Ned Spinks, Chief Thief-Catcher looked in dismay at the pile of reports on his desk. Things were not well in the city of Roshaven.  

‘And these are all from this week?’ Ned asked as he gestured at the pile. 

‘Yes, Boss.’ Willow, a tree nymph and one of Ned’s catchers, nodded her head vigorously causing her leaves to rustle. ‘There’s been multiple instances of people claiming their magic has been stolen and a report from the Sailor’s Guild that unexpected sea-related deaths have risen sharply.’ 

‘Have you spoken with them?’ asked Ned. 

‘The Guild? No. We thought it was just their standard report –should we have?’ Willow bloomed uncertainly. 

‘No, not the Guild – the people who think their magic was stolen.’ 

‘Not yet, but we’ve set up interviews with some of them this afternoon. But Boss… how can we prove if someone’s had their magic stolen or not?’ she asked. 

‘The best thing you can do is find out why they think it’s happened in the first place. See if they noticed a particular sound or smell or even person nearby when they thought it happened. If we can discover a common element between each experience then we might be able to pinpoint where it’s happening,’ replied Ned.  

He was mildly concerned. In all likelihood the people who thought they’d lost some magic had inadvertently used more than they expected or had some other ailment that was preventing their ability to cast. But magic skimming, taking small amounts of power from others, was illegal so if these were legitimate claims then the catchers would need to find and arrest the culprit before they caused someone permanent damage. Skimming was dangerous to both parties. 

‘Let’s hope it’s kids messing about so we can nip it in the bud or better yet, maybe they all have a nasty cold affecting their casting. See what you can find out.’ He shuffled through the paperwork. ‘Is that everything?’  

‘There’s the paper,’ said Joe helpfully. He was Ned’s only fully human catcher, besides himself. 

Ned waited for the lad to expand but nothing else was forthcoming so he examined his paperwork pile more closely and sure enough, a copy of The Daily Blag lay between reports. He eased it out of the stack and read out the headline. 

Death at the Beach.’ He glanced at Joe. 

‘There’s a bit more, Boss.’ 

‘Yes, thank you, Joe.’ Ned stiffened the paper with a flick of his wrists and read on. ‘Towns and villages up and down the coast of Efrana are reporting an increase in mysterious deaths linked to the ocean. Officials are baffled as to why it is suddenly not safe in the water and are urging residents and visitors to stay away from the beach.’ Ned read on in silence but the article lacked any further facts. ‘What do we think – mermaids?’ 

Both Willow and Joe shook their heads. 

‘Sparks thinks someone is communing with an evil entity in the sea, telling them when people are in the ocean,’ said Willow.  

Sparks was another of Ned’s thief-catchers and a firefly with many contacts in and around Roshaven due to his huge bug network of friends and relations. 


About the Author

Claire Buss is an award-winning multi-genre author and poet. She wanted to be Lois Lane when she grew up but work experience at her local paper was eye-opening. Instead, Claire went on to work in a variety of marketing and administrative roles for over a decade but never felt quite at home. An avid reader, baker and expert procrastinator Claire won second place in the Barking and Dagenham Pen to Print writing competition in 2015 with her debut novel, The Gaia Effect, setting her writing career in motion. She continues to write passionately and is hopelessly addicted to cake.

You can follow her on TwitterFacebook, and visit her website for more information about Claire and her writing. All her books are available in eBook and paperback on Amazon at

Monday 4 October 2021

October Frights Blog Hop


Usually this time of year, I'd be posting about the upcoming October Frights Blog Hop hosted here from October 10th-15th. However this year, due to the inclusion of a Book Fair, I've moved the Hop to my author website. Everything will be happening as other years, simply over on the other site.

If you'd like to come and join the mayhem this year. please check out my posts on Welcome to Avalon, from October 10th-15th. There will be the regular flash fiction, poetry, drabbles and fun.

Welcome to Avalon

Saturday 14 August 2021

Book Spotlight: Deathly Fog

Today I bring you another spotlighted book, Deathly Fog by Adam Breckenridge, part of the Horror Bites series of books. Enjoy.

When Jacob and his brothers discover the ability to capture fog from the marsh behind their house, they bring it back with them. The fun game turns to danger as they realize perhaps something else accompanied them home. Is it too late to escape the Deathly Fog?

Available now on Amazon Kindle


Deathly Fog

by Adam Breckenridge

Because the marsh at the edge of our property was forbidden to us, my brothers and I would take any chance we could get to slip away from under our mother’s nose and go stand at its edge. She had told us it was dangerous because so many things died there and we knew it was true, despite how many plants and bugs we found there. Even with all that life, the marsh was still where things went to die. My older brother, Jacob, used to tell us that there were bodies buried everywhere in the muck, going back hundreds of years.

“From back when it was Indians killing other Indians,” he said. “Centuries of murder down there. If you pulled the bodies up they’d look just like they’d been killed yesterday.” 

We poked around a lot trying to find a human body. We never did, but we found just about every kind of animal that we knew lived on our property. Squirrels, rabbits, frogs, snakes, and birds, all mummified in a terrible imitation of life. 

And then there was the fog, always so thick you could never see more than a few feet in front of you. It didn’t matter when you went. No matter how sunny the day was, as soon as you passed into the marsh, the world became murky and dark. That’s why we only ever stood on its edge. We were pretty sure if you went in, the fog would eat you whole. It could certainly move in ways that seemed unnatural for fog. Sometimes I was convinced it had teeth, but we were always safe as long as the air to our backs was clear. 

When we weren’t there looking for dead bodies, we’d try to catch the fog in our hands instead. That’s how thick it was. You could actually cup it in your hands and hold it there. It was like holding a ghost. You could feel all that death from the marsh in it chilling your skin. It became a game for us to see who could hold their fistful of fog the longest, and then the game became running toward the house while trying to enclose it, which further evolved into a determination to try to get into the house while still cupping the fog in your hands. We never made it anywhere near the house. The fog was too slippery for the task, dribbling out between our fingers as we ran.

But then Jacob figured out a way to blow on the fog that would make it spin into a globe. He’d stay down there at the marsh’s edge for hours, practicing rolling the fog in his hands with his breath, trying to keep it going for as long as he could. It always bored the hell out of me and our younger brother, Mattie. Neither one of us could do it. We just didn’t have the breath for it, but we never wanted to leave him alone while he practiced because that’s how bodies go missing in the marsh. You never knew what was hiding in the fog just out of view. So, we’d stay and watch, keeping an eye on the fog for him in case one of those dead Indians rose from his grave and came after us with his tomahawk.

“Okay, I’m ready,” Jacob said one day after practicing for awhile. He scooped a fresh batch of fog in his hands and then started running for the house, keeping it spinning with each exhalation like it was the world in his grasp. 

We ran after him, not getting too close in case we tripped him up. I could see bits of the fog slipping away, but he was keeping a lot of it in his hands, blowing and running at the same time. 

Mattie rushed ahead to open the front door for him and then he was through, still a few wisps clutched in his hands. In the atrium, he stopped blowing and we watched the fog dissipate above us.

It should have been a cause for celebration—we had finally pulled off the impossible task—but a somber mood struck us. The marsh was a place of death, not fit for any house, let alone our house, and we had brought some of its morbid air into it. The decay had diffused and we could never get it back. My brothers and I breathed gingerly for a long while afterwards, feeling the stink of death in our lungs everywhere we went in the house.

The fog sat long in our minds so that even as we aged and shed our childish beliefs, the specter of death never stopped hanging over the house. Our house was a place of life, not just with our family coming in and out of it and all the pets and plants we had, but also the spiders, rats, and mold in the basement. Even the furniture, which was old and made of wood, had a certain life to them. There wasn’t a corner of the house that didn’t have something breathing in it, but since we unleashed the fog, the house was just as much a place of death as the marsh was.

Jacob was more adamant than any of us in trying to dismiss the weight of our superstition, but I could tell it bothered him as much as it did the rest of us. 

Read more of Deathly Fog.



Adam Brekenridge is a traveling professor for the US military who goes around the world teaching US soldiers stationed overseas. He has eighteen short story publications and most recently his work has appeared in Visions Magazine, Mystery Weekly, and Clockwork, Curses and Coal from Worldweaver Press. He's currently based in Seoul.


Horror Bites Series
Short horror stories at an affordable price. 

Volume 1: Alice’s Scars by Adam L. Bealby

When he met Alice, he wasn’t prepared to go down the rabbit hole. His love for her pushes him into the uncomfortable realization she might be mad. He wants to keep her safe, but what if that’s not what Alice wants?

Volume 2: Campfire Tales

Dear Reader,

You’ve been invited to a very special night of Campfire Tales, hosted by Meet us at Old Bear Creek, just past Dead Man’s Curve. Dress warm. We’ll be waiting.

Four scary tales told by Next Great Horror Writer finalists and woven together by a trek through the woods you’ll never forget.

Volume 3: #NGHW Editor’s Pick is proud to present our top 14 contestants in the Next Great Horror Writer Contest. The stories, scripts, and poems are the result of the hard work and dedication these fine writers put forth to win a book contract. We hope you enjoy the writing as much as we did.

Volume 4: #NGHW Winner

Requiem in Frost by Jonathan Fortin

BLACK METAL LIVES! When Ingrid and her mother move into a home in the deep frostbitten woods of Norway, they are haunted by extreme metal musician, Skansi Oppegård. Hoping to exorcise Skansi’s ghost, she talks her mom into being part of a metal band. Oppegård’s last musical creation awakens forces beyond Ingrid’s understanding and causes Skansi’s murderer to resurface. In the battle between a madman and zombies, metal may be the only weapon she has.

Monday 9 August 2021

Between the Pages Book Chats: Jeff Bacon

 In the coming weeks, I'll be posting selected interviews from my podcast here on the blog. Enjoy.

Here's a chat with fantasy author Jeff Bacon about his series, The Darkside of Good.

Tuesday 27 July 2021

Book Spotlight: Star Things

Today we are back with another book spotlight, this time for the poetry book, Star Things by Jess Parker. Enjoy.

Star Things by Jess Parker

In Star Things, Jess Parker pulls down the cosmos as if a blanket, hangs the firmament itself as if a string of festive lights to illuminate the magic in the worldly mundane. These sixty-one brief yet powerful poems work in a broad array of forms, at once playful and serious, taking risks, toying with readers’ expectations and delivering seemingly effortless coups de grâce with a sly wink.

Praise for Star Things

Josh Norman (Telescopes and Other People): “Every love, every scraped knee, every abandonment, every moon is at once familiar yet alien.” 

Cynthia Marie Hoffman (Call Me When You Want to Talk About the Tombstones): “If the stars’ reflection in a pond creates a ‘morse code’ that communications with the constellations, so do these poems transmit the intricacies of being human in orbit among the stars...holding close to the knowledge that ‘we were moondust and will be again.’”

You can preorder the book directly from here:

About the Author

Originally from the Upper Peninsula of Michigan, Jess L Parker lives in Madison, Wisconsin with her husband, son, and French bulldog. Her work has appeared in Bramble, Poetry Hall, Millwork, Wallop Zine, and elsewhere. She holds an MA in Spanish Literature from UW-Madison and an MBA.

Wednesday 14 April 2021

Book Spotlight: To Drown A Man

I have a spotlight for you today, on the poetry collection To Drown a Man by Tyler James Russell. Enjoy.

To Drown a Man by Tyler James Russell

To Drown a Man is a sincere, plainspoken collection about fear, vulnerability, and radical honesty. At once delicate and visceral, the poems chronicle the long gauntlet from a life of secrets to a life of intimacy. Exploring the meaning of redemption and shame as related to the personal, the marital, and the spiritual, these poems read like chunks of ore being burned of their dross.

To Drown a Man is available at:

About the Author

Tyler James Russell is the author of To Drown a Man (2020), a poetry collection, and When Fire Splits the Sky (2022), a novel, both from Unsolicited Press. A high school English teacher and a graduate of the University of Pennsylvania and the University of British Columbia, he now lives in Central Pennsylvania with his wife Cat and their children. His other work has appeared in or is forthcoming in Riddle Fence, Montana Mouthful, the Sepia Journal, and Solum, among others, and was a nominee for the Rhysling Award. 

You can find him at, or on Twitter at @TJamesRussell.

Sunday 10 January 2021

Cover Reveal: The Silk Thief

Today I have a cover reveal for the humorous urban fantasy novel, The Silk Thief (The Roshaven Series Book 2) by Claire Buss, plus a sneak peek at the book as well as the preorder link. Enjoy.

The Silk Thief (The Roshaven Series Book 2)



Fourteen, heir to the Empire of Roshaven, must find a new name before Theo, Lord of neighbouring Fidelia, brings his schemes to fruition.

Not only has he stolen Roshaven’s trade, but he plans to make Fourteen his own and take her empire in the bargain.

Her protector, Ned Spinks, is plagued with supernatural nightmares whilst his assistant, Jenni the sprite, has lost her magick.

Can they figure out how to thwart Theo’s dastardly plan before it’s too late for his city and her empire?

The Silk Thief is the second quirky magical mystery adventure set in the Roshaven series of humorous fantasy novels. If you like the wit and humour of Terry Pratchett’s Discworld, then you’ll love The Silk Thief.


 The book releases June 4th 

More About The Roshaven Books

The Rose Thief, The Roshaven Series book 1

Someone is stealing the Emperor’s roses and if they take the magical red rose then love will be lost, to everyone, forever.

It’s up to Ned Spinks, Chief Thief Catcher, and his band of motley catchers to apprehend the thief and save the day.

But the thief isn’t exactly who they seem to be. Neither is the Emperor.

Ned and his team will have to go on a quest; defeating vampire mermaids, illusionists, estranged family members and an evil sorcerer in order to win the day. What could possibly go wrong?

Available in paperback and ebook everywhere:


The Interspecies Poker Tournament, Prequel Novella to The Rose Thief

Ned Spinks, Chief Thief-Catcher, has a new case. A murderous moustache-wearing cult is killing off members of Roshaven's fae community. At least that's what he's been led to believe by his not-so-trusty sidekick, Jenni the sprite. She has information she's not sharing but plans to get her boss into the Interspecies Poker Tournament so he can catch the bad guy and save the day. If only Ned knew how to play!

Available in paperback and ebook everywhere:

Ye Olde Magick Shoppe, a Roshaven short story

Join Ned Spinks, Chief Thief-Catcher, and his sidekick Jenni the sprite in this short story about an unwanted magick shoppe.

This free short story is available in ebook everywhere:


What Readers Say About The Books

“Loved the quirky banter!”

“Entirely delightful and captivating.”

“A wonderful tribute to the Late Great Sir Terry.”

“If you are a fan of the discworld you will love this book.”

“A hilariously thrilling fantasy mystery.”


About the Author

Claire Buss is a multi-genre author and poet based in the UK. She wanted to be Lois Lane when she grew up but work experience at her local paper was eye-opening. Instead, Claire went on to work in a variety of admin roles for over a decade but never felt quite at home. An avid reader, baker and Pinterest addict Claire won second place in the Barking and Dagenham Pen to Print writing competition in 2015 with her debut novel, The Gaia Effect, setting her writing career in motion. She continues to write passionately and is hopelessly addicted to cake.


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