Monday, October 24, 2016

The Demimonde series: Re-vamped and Ready for Action! #blogtour



THE BOOKS OF THE DEMIMONDE
Re-vamped and Ready for Action!

Celebrating the re-release of a beloved series...new looks inside and out!
Who's your team?
#TeamMarek
#TeamRode
#TeamDierk
...or maybe you haven't met your next book boyfriend?

Join us for a glorious blog tour!
We'll be visiting old friends and new as we introduce readers to
Sophie Galen, an advice columnist who is saving the world...
One damned person at a time.

And...don't miss the tour giveaway!
$25 Amazon gift card and copy of Bleeding Hearts (Demimonde #1) in winner's choice of format (Kindle, Paperback, or Audiobook)

a Rafflecopter giveaway

THE DEMIMONDE BOOK TOUR

October 24 Spotlight 

October 25 Spotlight

October 26 Spotlight

October 27 Guest blog

October 28 Interview

October 31 Spotlight

November 1 Spotlight

November 2 Spotlight

November 3 Spotlight and review

November 4 Spotlight

November 7 Spotlight

November 8 Spotlight

November 9 Spotlight

November 10 Spotlight

November 11 Spotlight

November 14 Spotlight

November 15 Guest Blog

November 15 Spotlight

November 16 Guest Blog

November 17 Interview

November 17 Spotlight
November 18 Guest Blog

November 18 Interview

November 21 Spotlight

November 21 Spotlight

Sunday, October 23, 2016

A Magickal Samhain: Wands at the Ready!

The Magickal Samhain Reader Event will be held October 27 to 31. You can join us on Facebook at for author hosted events…pop in anytime! My spot will be on Thursday October 27th from 10:30am to 12 noon, EST. I hope you'll stop by for some book-filled holiday fun…

While we count down the days waiting for the spirits gather, I thought I'd get us into the mood with a post of a magickal nature…

I have a wand collection.

Not surprising, since I'm a collector by nature. I started with stamps when I was nine. Moved on to stickers in the 80s because, hello? Lisa Frank!
Then it was books…then boots…coins…skulls and ravens…then wands, pretty much in that order.

I hadn't been seeking a new treasure to hoard when I started stockpiling wands. It just sort of happened. I had one wand, a black-and-white prop wand left over from my son's first magic kit. Kept it on my desk just in case. I wasn't obsessed, or anything.

But then, Harry Potter. Need I say more?

Suddenly, everyone had a wand. Kids everywhere were swishing and flicking their wands through the air like they just didn't care. Wands became common place, everyday things.

That was when I started collecting. That first trip to Universal Orlando did me in—we visited Hogsmeade and, during a show at Olivander's shop, y son was selected to play the part of a first year wizard. I think he blew up a flower pot and when he turned to look back at me, holding that wand in his hands, I knew it was coming home with us.

So did three others because my daughter, the hub, and I all had to get our own wands. On the trip back home, I knew—I knew—that all of them would be mine, mine, mine.

But it didn't stop there, with art replicas. I found wands everywhere I went. At the Pennsylvania Renaissance Faire. At the new age shop in downtown Gettysburg. On South Street in Philly. And, God bless it, all over the Internet. Every size and shape, color and design. It got to the point where, for the sake of space and sanity, I had to proceed to virtual collecting. (Check out my Pinterest page, btw…)

Hermes
(Stuttgart, Germany)

While my wands are mainly for admiration and creative inspiration, wands have been in use for millennia by countless cultures. The ancient Egyptians included them in burial goods. The Greek God Hermes carried a wand called a caduceus. Nordic shamans used them.

They were symbols of leadership and power: a queen's scepter. They were a mode of communication and command: the orchestra conductor's baton. They are an element of worship for practitioners of several religions, such as Wicca and Neopaganism.

They were also used by those who practiced ritual magic, by historically famous Magi such as Aleister Crowley or Dr. John Dee. Because of them, wand became widely known as conduits of magical power, and their fantastical uses found their way into legend and lore, onto page and screen.


In CHARM CITY, exorcist mage Simon Alliant has a lot of tricks up his sleeve—and one of them is his wand.

He's definitely not a swish-and-flick kind of guy. He's more about getting the job done because there's no room for flashy acts when you're trying to send a demon back to Hell. Magic is his juice, his power, his addiction. Hard not to get hooked on the stuff that lights you up…

Several years ago, Simon apprenticed with an English mage, a scholarly old gent who'd once had to put up with the ghost of Aleister Crowley (yep, that one.) Professor Kent was well-versed in the art of ritual magic and had introduced Simon to the wand.

No swishing and flicking, though. Unlike stage magicians or high priests, Kent took a very utilitarian approach to wand craft. He devised a unique charm, tailor-made for our boy Simon.

The wand was used to activate Simon's strongest amulet, which was inked into the skin on the bend of his left elbow: his runic tattoo.

And when Simon took a wand hit, it was like mainlining the purest of magic. Oh, the trouble he could get into when he hits the juice…

CHARM CITY on sale October 27-31 only 99 cents!

You can find out more about Simon and the demons he faces in CHARM CITY: The Demon Whisperer #1. (It will be on sale for only 99 cents October 27-31 but you can grab it FREE anytime on Kindle Unlimited!)

I really enjoy exploring wand lore (and fantasy) when I'm writing this series. So, if you ever stop by and find me fooling around with one of my wands, at least you'll know why. Definitely not floating feathers :) Just wondering where Simon's wand will take him next.

Stop by the Magickal Samhain Facebook page to RSVP...that way, you'll get a reminder when the event is about to start...and you won't miss a blessed thing.

AND DON'T FORGET! The October Giveaway page is loaded with goodies...check it out HERE!

Wednesday, October 19, 2016

The Holy History of Halloween (I laugh just writing it)

Hi! Welcome to another stop on the Haunted Halloween Spooktacular blog hop!

I'm Ash Krafton and I'm a writer of all things speculative fiction. I especially enjoy writing novel-length urban fantasy…and recently I celebrated the release of the first book in a new series. CHARM CITY is about an exorcist mage living in Baltimore. Simon Alliant sees it all—angels, demons, and those who may be a little bit of both. On top of everything else, he gets to play with magic. Now, if only it didn't feel like a drug to him…

The story can be a little bit dark at times, but it's not horrific or hopeless. I like the dark. I like the shadows. Why wouldn't I? I'm the girl who thinks the ideal fictional boyfriend is Jack Skellington. (Makes trips to Disney fun for the whole family ;^) )

And it's all because I adore Halloween.

My enthusiasm for Halloween is long-established and well-known (just check my Instagram). I'm the neighbor who keeps Halloween decorations up year 'round, has a life-sized toy skeleton (named Napoleon) who accompanies me on long car rides, and who lives every day like it's Edgar Allan Poe's birthday. Halloween isn't a one-day celebration (or, in the case of someone who works in retail, a six-week event.) It's a philosophy, an attitude, a way of life.

 photo desk_zpsfidwzi7s.jpgI love scary movies and love being scared silly. I know 90% of it is in my head but I'm in my forties and STILL can't look in a mirror in a darkened room. (You know why. Her first name is Bloody and her other name is NO I WON'T SAY IT) My desk has, among other things, a skull in a jar on it (with pretty LED lights. It's festive) and I own more than one Tarot set.

But not a Ouija Board. Nuh, uh. That's bad juju.

I suppose my guests are a little confused by my office d├ęcor (and the Grim Reaper mannequin in the basement) especially since there is another theme prevalent in my home: Catholicism. I'm an Irish-Polish Catholic and for every macabre knick-knack there's a Crucifix or a saint statue or other blessed item.

I'm pretty sure it aggravates my mother, who has learned to choose carefully where to look when she visits and tends to stay in the kitchen. (No skulls in there. Not good kitchen aesthetic.) But she knows me. She knows how my brain works and knows that when I call and say "I have a new book coming out!" odds are it's going to be something she doesn't think a good Catholic girl should be reading. But she accepts it, in that way moms love even the goofiest of their children. I love Halloween. She loves me. It's just the way it is.

I've dealt with anti-Halloween prejudice all my life. In high school, I owned a vampire cape, and I'm talking in the pre-Lost Boys eighties. Nobody got it. In college, I discovered Anne Rice and assumed a safe place for people like me existed, after all, since the Humanities Dept. pretty much sanctioned vampires, right? Wrong again.

By the time my kids were old enough to attend the local parochial elementary school, I had just decided I was going to let my vampire flag fly. Too bad for the kids on Halloween. They could Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtle all they wanted but the lady who ran the PTO Halloween party dressed like a vampire and wouldn't make them feel better by insisting it was a just costume. (I also had cultivated a rich throaty Mu-hahahahaha laugh that made first graders scurry out of the room real fast. It still makes me laugh all these years later. Mu-haha.) In fact, I still say they were lucky I limited it to Halloween. I could have dressed like that every Monday when I ran the school bookstore.

The teachers gave me a lot of side eye and probably thought, Oh well, she's a volunteer. Buy cheap, get cheap.

But that was their anti-Halloween prejudice talking. If only they knew just how Catholic Halloween really was.

Halloween's Nativity
Many people associate Halloween with pagan practices, but that's really not where it all started. In fact, the connection people make between Samhain and Halloween is actually an historically recent development.)

Halloween began way back before the ninth century as an association to All Saint's Day, which Catholics observe on November 1. It is a Holy Day of Obligation which remembers all those who have been blessed in Heaven.

Way back then, they used the word hallow for saint. November 1 was, accordingly, referred to as All Hallows. That made the evening before, October 31, All Hallows Even… or, you guessed it…hallowe'en, for short.

November 2 was celebrated as All Souls Day, a day to remember those in purgatory (a time-out for those souls who hadn't behaved enough to go directly to Heaven.) But what about those not in Heaven or Purgatory? If there is to be a Day of the Damned, it needs to find a different spot on the calendar because one thing's for sure: it's not Halloween.

Oooh, Spooky
What about all the occult aspects of the holiday?

The idea of the occult is Catholic, too, as it's based on our belief in the afterlife. During Hallowtide (October 31-November 2) it's thought that the boundary between the living and the dead was thinned, and ghosts or other communications from the "other side" were more likely to occur. Whether we want to admit it or not, we Catholics are a massively superstitious bunch. Those beliefs may have led to the practice of dressing up like ghoulies on Halloween.

Culture may have grown to associate Halloween with scary, dark, or even evil things but it's really just a way to observe and recognize our own mortality. Consider the Danse Macabre: an ages-old artistic rendering of the truth that beggars and Kings, and all between are united by Death. Danse art decorated cemeteries and churches, and was performed in verse and in dramatic performances. Writings from the fifteenth century proclaimed:

Wer war der Tor, wer der Weise,
Wer der Bettler oder Kaiser?
Ob arm, ob reich, im Tode gleich.

Whether foolish or wise, beggar or king, rich or poor, all are equal in death.

Perhaps modern man lives too lush and comfortable a life to believe we are conquerable by Death. Maybe we all believe we're a little bit immortal. Reminders of the inevitable end are considered an interruption to our lifestyles, a thing to be abhorred.

But let's face it: there is a skeleton walking around inside each and every single one of us. Where is the evil in that? It's just life.

So, to all the holy Hallow-haters, I say: relax. Halloween is an expression of my Catholic faith. I don't need a novena to save me from the dark side, even if I do wish every day was Halloween.

My stories are a reflection of my beliefs. Yes, I write about vampires and demons and the fight between Light and Dark, good and evil. I believe that fight is real, and is present in each of our lives to some degree. But I also explore the element of faith and the hope of redemption. Art imitates life, right?

And, while I may not wear my cape much these days (thanks, pharmacy day job, you party pooper, you) the sweet shadows and macabre poetics will always fill the corners of my heart.

Don't be afraid to let them fill yours, too.


Ash Krafton (@ashkrafton) is an author of speculative fiction. She's an unrepentant Ultimate Sinner who once guest-hosted a radio show on Sirius XM Radio channel Ozzy's Boneyard (and proclaimed Alice Cooper to be "dead sexy.") She also writes urban fantasy and paranormal romance, stories that seek to find redemption for her characters. Vampires, demons, reincarnation…you name it, she writes it. Currently, she's celebrating the release of the first in a new series of magic and mayhem: CHARM CITY (The Demon Whisperer #1) is available on Kindle Unlimited now.

I'm giving away three print proofs of CHARM CITY (The Demon Whisperer #1), each with a unique handmade charmed bookblade. (She loves the shiny things!) Want to try your luck? Enter now!

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Tuesday, October 18, 2016

Bewitching Haunted Halloween Spooktacular! Oct 19-20





Welcome to the Bewitching Book Tours Haunted Halloween Spooktacular! Tomorrow our Facebook Party kicks off at 10 AM EST...with you-know-who!

(Okay, not You-Know-Who...Voldemort's been destroyed. Duh. I mean me.)

Join us for Halloween fun and games. Enter to win tons of prizes.

Be prepared to show off your Halloween and cosplay costumes for the costume contest.

We have over 20 authors participating, they'll be here to discuss their love of Halloween, talk about their books and offer fun and games to all who drop by.

You have to participate to win, so come by often.

There's also a special giveaway below...so make sure you go all the way to the end of the post.

Here's the author schedule, times are listed in EST...
...
Wednesday October 19th

10-11am Ash Krafton1am-12pm Sam Baltrusis
12-1pm Natalie Nicole Bates
1-2pm Catherine Winters
2-3pm Jill Archer
3-4pm Rayna Noire
4-5pm Laura Diamond
5-6pm Jennifer Windrow
6-7pm Kelex
7-8pm BA Tortuga
8-9pm Constance Burris
9-10pm Jamie K. Schmidt
10-11pm Lexxie Couper
11pm-12am Vanta Black

Thursday October 20th

10-11am Erzabet Bishop
11am-12pm Sam Crescent
12-1pm Roxanne Rhoads
1-2pm Lily Harlem
2-3pm Marcella Burnard
3-4pm Traci Douglass
4-5pm Catherine Stine
5-6pm Krista Carlson
6-7pm ND Jones
7-8pm Kirsten Weiss
8-9pm Marsha A. Moore
9-10pm Julia Talbot
10-11pm Angelique Voisen
11pm-12am JC Andrijeski



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Sunday, October 16, 2016

#OctoberFrights Blog Hop 2016 Wrap-up!

Well, we survived another year's #OctoberFrights blog hop. Well done, everyone!



Thanks to everyone who stopped by this week...which was absolutely crazy. Several of the participating authors--myself included--celebrated book releases so GOOD LUCK! Break a leg, kids (and a spine or two. Yes, I'm one of those people...)

And we have winners to announce so...without further ado:

The Rafflecopter winners...!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

AF Stewart's new book release contest winners...Debbie Christiana and Michelle Wilms!

The Scariest Thing winner...Wendy Howard!

Rafflecopter allowed me to email the first winners straight away but Debbie, Michelle, and Wendy...hit me up :) Find me on Facebook or use my contact form at www.ashkrafton.com

The Halloween fun doesn't end here, either. The Haunted Halloween Spooktacular Facebook Party kicks off Wed at 10 am. I'll be up first to start things off so I really hope you'll stop by! Lots of book stuff and prizes so...

Later this month I'll be one of the hosts of A Magickal Samhain. Check out the link to see how you can join in the celebration.

Til then, stay spooky...






Thursday, October 13, 2016

#OctoberFrights: The Scariest Thing an Author Will Do

Welcome to Day Four of the the annual October Frights Blog Hop, organized by Clarissa Johal.

Each year, all styles of dark writers get together to rattle their cages and talk about what makes them howl. It's October, after all. This is the time of year we can get away with it...

It's a chance to talk about the scary things. So far on this tour, I've visited many of the other blogs and found witches, zombies, lurchers (sounds scary but dang it, if they ain't loveable!) and every dark chunk of human nature you can imagine.

I adore monsters. They don't scare me. They make me grin and say things like, "Aw, that's sweet. Look at those fangs!" It's not my fault. It's probably a psychological defense mechanism.

In fact, if anything scare me, it's psychological horror. The idea that something very real and very scary exists. It worms its way into my head and digs and digs and digs--  

Oooh. That was an actual shiver.

I did something very scary today, something that any author no matter their genre would agree is the scariest part of our life. I hit the "publish" button.

Doesn't sound like a big deal to a lot of people, I know. But it's the build up to the button that makes it a breath-holding moment.

It all started with an email...

Earlier this year, I completed the contract on the third book in one of my trilogies and I asked for my rights back on my series. That was a little scary in itself--this was my first publisher, my first contract. I've been with this press longer than anyone else, and they've been wonderful. However, my ideas and plans for this trilogy were far more complex than a backlist status could muster. I decided to take the reins. Big, scary moment.
The Publishing Feels

The last three months were full of cover designs, formatting for print and ebooks, and the edits--lots of tension when Photoshop or Word decided not to cooperate. As the closer I got to the circled date on my calendar, the more tense and scary things got.

I think I tweaked those files more times in the last 48 hours than I have in 48 days. And when I woke up this morning, and saw that I had no more days to X off on my calendar...

I could almost hear the shrieking violins and the dun-it-dun-it-dun-it and that "Publish Now" button just seemed to pulse under my hovering finger.

What if I made a mistake? What if Kindle doofs up my files and my reviews don't transfer? What if the new covers aren't as great as people assured me they were (and I asked everyone. Even complete strangers. A/B testing should never be reserved for only the nearest and dearest.)

WHAT IF? WHAT IF? WHAT IF?

I ask that question all the time. I'm a spec fic writer so it's kind of an occupational hazard. So, I did the logical thing. I put myself out of misery. I hit the LAUNCH button.

Hmm. That wasn't so bad, I thought, and went to pour a fresh cup of tea, waiting for my pulse to return to normal...

But it's only until the next scene in this psychological thriller...The Reviewers! *shrieking violins*

Tell me, folks...what is the scariest real life thing you do, the thing that leaves you clutching your chest, gasping for breath, amazed you survived?
Leave a comment and one of you will win something grand.

But for now, it's time to get back to work on my Amazon files. I've got book listings to write! Wish us both luck...

If this is your first time joining us, catch up with this list of the links for the week...
Day One: Intro
Day Two: Author Spotlight and Review, AF Stewart
Day Three: Putting the Ick in Magick


Enter my October Frights giveaway here:


See who else is playing in the dark...
click on the link below to get hopping!




And don't miss the other giveaways you'll find when you click on the October Giveaways tab up above or click here for a handy shortcut :)


Wednesday, October 12, 2016

#OctoberFrights in #CharmCity: Putting the Ick in Magick

Happy October Frights Blog Hopping!

Today I'll be sharing an excerpt from my latest urban fantasy, CHARM CITY: The Demon Whisperer #1.

Simon Alliant is a mage exorcist who's doing his share to clean up the streets of Baltimore. Only thing is, it's a mess not too many people get to see...

Demons. Demonic possessions. The darkness, rising.

He's got the Light on his side: Mack, an Angelic Watcher, has become his handler, more or less. But when it comes down to pushing up his sleeves and digging into the actual work, he's on his own.

Until he meets Chiara...

EXCERPT from CHARM CITY: The Demon Whisperer #1

Chiara pushed her drink away. "Look, it’s been a long day. My correction may have looked like a bunch of simple whispering but I’m drained. Thanks for the drinks."

"I insist. Look, if I have to bind you here…" He reached into his pocket and pulled out a fistful of charms, picking through them.

She narrowed her eyes.

"If I have to try to bind you…" he amended, feeling a bit sheepish.

She exhaled through stiff lips as if she were trying to push away a strong impulse. "Fine. Just—put those away before someone gets hurt."

He grinned and put his gear away, hands up to show his surrender. "Better?"

"A little. But I'm going to ask the first question. What business to you have with that angel?"

Eh. Of course, she'd go right for the million dollar question. He scratched his head and felt his way around an answer.

A child of the Light has one foot in the darkness. Mack's words echoed through his memory, a replay of a previous heraldic message. Vague enough, but he couldn't tell it to her. Not that he wouldn't, but honestly couldn't.

When he tried, a sudden alien force gripped his voice, restraining the words. The ward was a condition of the message. Kind of a divine need-to-know. And as far as Simon knew, he was the only one who needed to know.

Finally, he got something to come out of his mouth.

"It's complicated," he said.

"That much is universally understood. No? Don't want to 'talk' so much, huh?"

"It's not that. Dealing with angels can be…tricky. I don't talk to people much, either. Sometimes I forget what I can or can't say."

"A ward?" She glanced at him and nodded. "Makes sense. No worries. I know the rules. But it's not just that angel lolloping about that concerns me. It's his lolloping about a man like you."

A man like him? Comments like that were always a bit double-sided. He was more or less programed to see the dark side of things. He frowned, immediately on the defense.

But then the wall crashed in.

Literally.

His reply was lost in the barrage of glass and stone and wood that flew in all directions. He spread open his jacket, shielding Chiara and pushed her down, behind him, before scanning the scene.

The front end of a blue Ford F-150 had bellied up to the bar.

The bartended, Bobby, had taken the impact hard, knocked backward onto the center counter, dazed but alive. The dislodged cash register hit the floor with a clatter that was dwarfed in the shower of brick and debris pouring from the gaping hole in the wall.

A bearded man slumped out of the driver's side window, his neck bent at an ugly angle. Black smoke leaked out of his gaping mouth, his bloodied ears, and snaked its way over toward Bobby, who lay helplessly sprawled over the counter.

"No. No, no. Bobby!" Simon reached into his inside pocket, feeling for a soul-lock charm. Not there. It must have fallen out.

He boosted himself up and rolled over the bar, digging through the upset garnish tubs. Lime. Cocktail onions. Perfect for protection spells. All gone, lost in the mess of ice and glass and splintered bar.

"Simon!" Chiara was on her feet. "Get out of there before you get tagged!"

He ducked out of the way of the black vapors, stepping a wide berth around them.

The smoke curled into Bobby's nose and mouth and the man rolled his head, rousing. His eyes blinked open. His pupils glowed a sullen red that spread and quickly engulfed the entire eye.

The voice that came out of Bobby's mouth was not Bobby's.

ALLIANT. The voice was like a screech of metal under the roar of a massive waterfall. I'VE BEEN LOOKING FOR YOU.


Read more of CHARM CITY...FREE on Kindle Unlimited!
The first in a new Urban Fantasy series...
Find it on

Ash Krafton is a speculative fiction writer from the coal region of Pennsylvania. She's the author of numerous urban fantasy and paranormal romance novels, as well as collections of poetry and short fiction. Must be something magic in the water there in PA...after all, those folks can actually *set rocks on fire*. If that ain't magic, we don't know what is. Visit her at www.AshKrafton.com to see what laws of reality she'll be bending next.

Find Ash Krafton

Enter my October Frights giveaway here:


See who else is playing in the dark...
click on the link below to get hopping!




And don't miss the other giveaways you'll find when you click on the October Giveaways tab up above or click here for a handy shortcut :)

Tuesday, October 11, 2016

Spotlight and #Review: AF Stewart "Horror #Haiku and Other Poems" #OctoberFrights #speculativepoetry

Welcome to another stop on the October Frights blog hop! Hope you are having a horrifying time :)

Today I'll be talking about dark poetry. Before we dig in, I just want to let you know what today's giveaway is...

Post a comment below to enter to win

Two winners will be randomly chosen to receive book prizes...
be sure to remember to enter!

Ok, into the darkness we go...

I enjoy reading and writing form poetry. Over the years, I've researched and tried my hand at several different types: villanelle, sestina, sonnet, ghazal, and haiku. I think I most enjoy seeing what happens to my initial poetic thought after writing it in more than one form. Something about the structure dictating the final outcome means the resulting poem may very well be a surprise, even to me. (I'm okay with that, though—as a novelist, my characters often hijack my plot and do things I didn't intend for them and the story takes on a life of its own.)

Haiku is a beautiful short form that holds an entire poetic thought in its brief wording. The original form demanded much from its language, with requirements of a "cutting word" and reference to nature. Most of us are familiar with the three-line, 5-7-5 syllable pattern. Haiku have evolved over time, slipping free of the mandated reference to nature and finding a welcome space in the world of speculative poetry.

My latest poetic obsession is scifaiku—science fiction/fantasy poetry in haiku form. I penned a few 'ku that I collectively called "Shakespeare in Space". Some appeared in Grievous Angel  and Star*Line magazines. I'm sure William Shakespeare would have been horrified. (Them's the breaks, Willie.)

I haven't tried to write horror haiku, but I do know someone who does, and does it with the chilling panache we've come to expect from her work.

AF Stewart is a poet and author from Nova Scotia. Over the years, I've gotten quite familiar with her and her work, so it's no wonder that when I hear the words "dark poetry" she immediately comes to mind. Stewart uses verse to paint in the colors of blood and blade and shadow, and her latest collection "Horror Haiku and Other Poems" is a spectacular canvas, indeed.

True to the spirit of haiku, her poems each have a reference to nature—the moonlit night, the cold depth of ocean, the dampness of earth and stone. Others offer a glimpse of a deeper, perhaps hidden (perhaps not-so-hidden) nature—the nature of man, of beast, of evil.

And cutting words! In some pieces they are quite literal (and so creepy they make me smile). In others, they are subtle but impactful. You feel the cut most sharply after you read it, absorb it, and process it.

My favorite poem of the collection is a great example of this:

Darkest deep, unvoiced
beneath cracked civility
until the blood spills

by AF Stewart, "Horror Haiku and Other Poems"

See the twist, the moment everything changes? That's what makes it haiku. The dread that seeps under your skin once you read it...that's what makes it horror.

The poems are accompanied by hauntingly beautiful photography and artwork, which add another layer to the splendor of the book. You can also find links to sites online that showcase Stewart's verses and accompanying artwork. I especially enjoyed learning about #HorrorHaikuesday and may have to start looking into that, myself!




Stewart's poetry has always taken me to dark, dark places. This collection does so with the swiftness of an unseen attack, the drop of a knife, the swipe of a claw. Powerful imagery entwined in haiku brevity, all wrapped up with deeply dark pretties. If you're looking for fine examples of horror haiku or are simply in the mood for a snippet of horror to get you through your day, I recommend you read this collection.

HORROR HAIKU AND OTHER POEMS by AF STEWART is available today!



From the murky recesses of social media (otherwise known as Twitter) and the blood-dripping delights of #HorrorHaikuesday, comes the inspiration for Horror Haiku and Other Poems. Thirty-eight haiku style poems and eighteen longer form poems grace the black innards of this book, screaming terror and shivering in dread.


AF Stewart A steadfast and proud sci-fi and fantasy geek, A. F. Stewart was born and raised in Nova Scotia, Canada and still calls it home. The youngest in a family of seven children, she always had an overly creative mind and an active imagination. She favours the dark and deadly when writing—her genres of choice being dark fantasy and horror—but she has been known to venture into the light on occasion. As an indie author she’s published novellas and story collections, with a few side trips into poetry and non-fiction.





Thanks for joining me. Hope you take a moment to check out Stewart's new book.
Happy reading, everyone.



Enter my October Frights giveaway here:


See who else is playing in the dark...
click on the link below to get hopping!




And don't miss the other giveaways you'll find when you click on the October Giveaways tab up above or click here for a handy shortcut :)

Monday, October 10, 2016

#OctoberFrights Blog Hop October 10-15, 2016!

This week kicks off the annual October Frights Blog Hop, organized by Clarissa Johal.

Two dozen authors will be bringing you deadly delights...

For my part, I'll be sharing AF Stewart's new book of poetry when she celebrates her launch tomorrow. Be sure to visit me on October 11 for a review and special giveaway.

I'll also be breaking big news this month and would love to share it with you. If you love urban fantasy books that are cover-to-cover-full of vampires, werewolves, witches, oracles, and long-past deities, then you won't want to miss it. All you have to do is sign up for my mailing list and you'll get the news fresh (as well as get access to special subscriber offers).

Sound good to you? Awesome! And here's a bonus: sign up by entering this Rafflecopter giveaway and I'll pick three of you to get a blog-hopping goodie. There's extra chances to win...just click away!

Enter my October Frights giveaway here:


See who else is playing in the dark...
click on the link below to get hopping!




And don't miss the other giveaways you'll find when you click on the October Giveaways tab up above or click here for a handy shortcut :)

Monday, October 3, 2016

Falling for Romance Giveaway!

Octobers are busy months for me...so many great giveaway and blog hops going on.

I'm participating in quite a few over the next few weeks, so I'll be sharing them with you. Lots of chances to win Amazon Gift Cards, fabulous books, Halloween swag...can't even name them all.

Let's get started with one for ROMANCE lovers. (And this one is super easy...one simple entry, loads of prizes!) How long has it been since you fell in love with a new story? Now's your chance to meet a group of new authors and see what kind of romance they're brewing.

Good luck, everyone...hope you find a new book to fall in love with when you meet these wonderful authors!




Fall has arrived!

Enter to win $1100 in Amazon Gift Cards!

One simple entry will subscribe you to 58 Romance Author Newsletters.

Unsubscribe any time, but please don't label us as spam. Better still, stick around and get to know us.

Participating Authors:

Abbie Roads | Alexa Brookes | Alexis Noelle | Allie Cooke | Amy L Gale | Amy Lamont | Anne Stone | Asa Marie Bradley | Ash Krafton | Brandy Dorsch | C.E. Wilson | Christa Cervone | Christine Ardigo | Demelza Carlton | Eden Ashe | Elianne Adams | Em Petrova | Emma Nichols | Erin Cawood | Heather C. Myers | JB Duvane | Jennifer L. Allen | Jessica Linden | Joanna Mazurkiewicz | Joanne Dannon | Jordan Ford | Kellie Mc Allen | Kelly Moore | KN Lee | Laxmi Hariharan | Lena Bourne | Lena Mae Hill | Linda Joyce | Lindsay Cross | Liz Gavin | Lola Jamieson | Mary Abshire | Mary Jane | Melissa Pearl | Melissa Storm | Monica Corwin | N.W. Moors | Noelle Greene | Piper Rayne | Robyn Roze | Seven Steps | Skye Jordan | Susanne Bellamy | Sydney Aaliyah Michelle | Talina Perkins | Teagan Kade | Tiffani Lynn | Tina Moss | Tracey Pedersen | Tracy A. Ball | Tracy Ellen | Victoria Pinder


Enter to win here: