Final Day of Breathe. Breathe. In This Format: Its Journey and My Thoughts

Happy Halloween! I hope you’re enjoying your weekend. We are pumpkin carving, eating candy and fun foods, and going to a drive thru pumpkin glow tonight!

I’ve been writing since I was in junior high, maybe before, and pretty seriously since high school/college. That’s over 25 years! It was such a dream come true to have my debut collection of dark fiction and poetry called Breathe. Breathe. come to life with Unnerving publishers three years ago – but they flew by!

I’ve written so much more since then, much published already in various places, but a good bulk of it you’ll see starting next year. Having this published really gave me the catalyst to go further and stop putting my writing last. I will forever be grateful to the words on these pages for helping to heal me and allow me to grow as a person and a writer. Don’t be fooled by this cover for inside it’s dark, sometimes dreary, sprinkled with light and life, but also loss and darkness. The cover art is an ode to my story within “Dandelion Yellow,” which as I’m told, broke many a heart.

Photo Credit: Erin Al-Mehairi
Bookmark: A Stranger Thing
Art direction & plant: Emma Al-Mehairi

Until the end of the day Saturday (Oct 31) it’s marked down to .99c in e-book and just $6 paperback, and after that, this debut version will be gone from purchase. I’m not sure when I’ll bring it back! If you order a paperback and want it signed let me know and I’ll send you a signed insert.

I want to thank everyone who has supported my writing and this book, and those who keep doing it. Trust me you’re going to see BIG things from me in 2021! Publishing has given me some punches lately, but don’t think I was knocked down. Nothing is better for what life is in 2020 than some of the words on these pages – dark, deep, but with hope. And also, I’m proud it’s closing this chapter of its journey during domestic violence awareness month, since this book holds that issue close to it. I’d be honored if you’d breathe with me and buy a copy or share the word!

Thank you for being on this writing and reading journey with me!

To purchase on sale today only (Edit: looks like a few of the print only still available though e-book is gone), head to AMAZON and get it print.

You’ll also find a copy at several Barnes and Noble locations in Ohio and Florida (can be shipped from there or picked up if local) and Macs Backs on Coventry (independent bookstore near Cleveland, Ohio) if you’d like a print copy but can’t buy it today. Ask me for more info when interested.

Erin

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RDSP and Artist Steven Archer to Publish Illustrated “The Masque of the Red Death” #Poe #Art

A few days ago we celebrated national dark poetry day, which is also the anniversary of the day of Edgar Allan Poe’s death. I posted about Poe and my trip to Baltimore to see his home and grave. He’s been such an inspiration to me as a writer. But he’s been an inspiration to so many hasn’t he? Writers, authors, screenwriters for film and tv, artists… they all are inspired by his storytelling.

One of his most famous works, “The Masque of the Red Death,” is a short story about a kingdom and the plague, and how the rich folly during times of great distress and the poverty caused. It sounds parallel in some ways to today and the world, and leaders, we are living with as the Coronovirus rages on.

Because of that, and this announcement I’m about to tell you about coinciding with it, I’m writing this post to inform all book and art fans and collectors of something very exciting!

Raw Dog Screaming Press announced yesterday that they will be releasing an e-book and print version of an illustrated “The Masque of the Red Death” created by Steven Archer.

Artist Steven Archer, who studied art at the Cochran School of Art in Washington D.C., has his own sense of style when it comes to his work. His work is becoming so iconic, I can usually look at a piece and suggest it might be his. It’s hauntingly fluid and rich in color.

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From their announcement:

“Edgar Allan Poe wrote “The Masque of the Red Death” nearly 180 years ago, yet its narrative and characters continue to mystify and captivate. The short story is driven by Prince Prospero’s attempt to evade the “Red Death” a fatal plague infecting his kingdom, by hiding in his abbey, where he indulges in pleasures and delights with other nobles. He soon finds out that no one can escape their end.

Steven Archer has recast the characters of The Masque and illuminated the narrative in a novel and perhaps more visceral light, that remains true to the raw darkness and decadence of the tale. His modern take on the classic story brings it into our new infected world. Perhaps it was prescience that drove him to create the illustrations in 2018 only to have them see the plague-filled light of day in 2020. Even now in our enlightened and modern world, “Darkness and Decay and the Red Death holds illimitable dominion over all.”

With a foreword by John Langan (The Wide Carnivorous Sky), this is an immersive visual feast that breathes new life into this classic memento mori tale of disease, decadence, and inevitable mortality.”

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RDSP bring such unique publications to the horror, fantasy, and sci-fi genres, and are always looking for the inspired and unique. They breathe life into the ideas of artists and authors alike. Huge kudos for Jennifer Barnes, the editor and co-owner of RDSP, for working with Archer to bring his beautiful representation of Poe’s work to light.

Order Info –

ebook coming December 9 • paperback January 13

Pre-order price includes a $2 discount, all copies shipped in the US will come SIGNED! Pre-order HERE direct from RDSP.

Illustration Sample from Steven Archer’s artwork in “The Masque of the Red Death”

Praise –

Steven Archer is an aspiring artist of great talent and skill.”—Neil Gaiman, New York Times Best Selling Author of American Gods

“Ravishing illustrations, seductive and scarlet; a hideous bit of morbidity: exactly what I look for every time I look. Archer is on fire here. A classic reborn.”Josh Malerman, New York Times Best Selling Author of Bird Box and Malorie

“Beautiful horrors! Archer’s expressionist ironies breath new life into Poe’s schoolbook tale. It’s like experiencing a plague for the very first time!”Nick Mamatas, author of Move Under Ground and Sabbath

“I can think of no better combination than Poe and Archer. A vibrant, temporal, visceral re-imagining. To die for.” —Lee Murray, author of Grotesque: Monster Stories

“This is The Masque of the Red Death for our times. Faithful to Poe’s vision, Archer’s artwork expands and enriches the text with surreal elements of lust and debauchery only hinted at in the original. Thanks to Archer, ‘Darkness and Decay and the Red Death will continue to hold illimitable dominion over all.’”— Chris Semtner, Curator Edgar Allan Poe Museum

“Steven Archer’s style has the perfect sense of dreamlike chaos for The Masque of the Red Death. A refreshing take on a tale that in many ways is very relevant for the world today.”Abigail Larson, Artist, DC/ Dark Horse

About Artist Steven Archer –

Steven Archer is an artist and musician living in Baltimore, MD. When not recording, DJing, or producing art, he and his wife, author Donna Lynch, tour with their dark electronic rock band Ego Likeness. He has a BFA from the Corcoran School of Art in Washington DC and has shown his work at galleries and other venues throughout the east coast.  His work has also been shown internationally in the form of album art and magazine illustrations. Luna Maris is his first book. He has also collaborated as illustrator on two books of poems by Donna Lynch; Witches and Daughters of Lilith.

For more information about Ego Likeness, please visit www.egolikeness.com. Stevens solo electronic project can be found at www.hopefulmachines.net

To learn more about this title or other RDSP titles, visit their website. Often, ordering direct from RDSP will ensure you get the books much faster. As always please consider also shopping through your local indie bookstores, ask them to carry, and also don’t forget to tell your librarians about it too!

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Dark Poet’s Day, Trip Down Poe Lane in Baltimore, and Writer’s Inspiration

On October 7, 1849 Edgar Allan Poe died in Baltimore, Maryland at the hospital. Poe is one of the most well-known American writers to have lived: writer, poet, editor, critic. And yet, though he was financially unstable, he is still said to have given birth to the detective novel with his cultivation of mystery and horror storytelling. We all know his two most famous poems, but his poetry is certainly underrated.

Portrait of Poe by William Abbot Pratt from September 1849, a month before his death / Credit Wiki Commons

A few years ago, the Horror Writer’s Association (HWA) declared October 7 as Dark Poetry Day in memory of his death and to honor all dark poets (thank you!) like myself.

Poe started my general interest in the macabre at a young age. I wasn’t allowed to read much horror, but Poe’s short stories were on the list since many times they were a school requirement. I devoured stories like “The Pit and the Pendulum,” “The Tell-Tale Heart,” the poem “The Raven,” “The Fall of the House of Usher,” “The Cask of Amontillado,” The Black Cat,” and many more. I don’t think I ever stopped thinking about them, even to this day, as they helped me learn and decipher a dark side of humantity and loss and gave me the bug for suspense and thrills.

In fact, Poe (along with few others) gave me the inspiration to write poetry; he, of course, the main inspiration for the dark ones later in life. I still tended to write lighter poetry in my early years overall, but his art with cadence and flow was still in my mind, as well as his emotional presence with words and imagery. His true catalyst in my writing was his short stories and I love them to this day. He was my first foray into the art of the short story and for which I’ll forever be grateful. Often times you’ll see some of my short stories and poetry still show shards of him today.

I know that writers these day tell fellow writers and readers to quit talking about the classics and old, dead writers. I won’t. I talk up new and diverse groups of writers every day. If I want to talk about Poe and how he influenced me, well… it’s my truth, so I’ll keep telling it. I’m a history fanatic and somehow liking these forebearers keeps their candle lit to me. From reading him, I forged a love for more classic, gothic lit. Furthermore, to appreciate writing and reading horror at all.

You can see why I was estatic when my son surprised me with a trip to one of Poe’s homes. We were taking my son back to school in January 2020 (I had to double check that because seems like two million years ago since Covid hit!) and took a diffent route so we could visit Baltimore, then head the hour into D.C. and George Washington University.

Photo credit: Erin Sweet Al-Mehairi / Jan 2020

We went to visit the small home where Poe lived with his young wife and her mother for a time, which was turned into an even smaller museum. It was cool to see where his bedroom was – though it was such a tiny space, and the stairs so tight, I barely made it back down. We saw his telescope and writing desk and learned about his time there. We went to the library in Baltimore too, hoping to see their Poe Room, but it seems no one knew what we were talking about or that it had a tuft of his hair locked inside it! We found it upstairs and I peered in the window while the conference attendees glared back. They probably thought I wanted their donuts.

Photo Credit: Erin Sweet Al-Mehairi / Jan 2020

We headed down to visit his gravesite, which was a really neat experience. He’s buried at Westminster Hall and Burial Ground, as is his wife and mother-in-law with him (well… now they are) and his grandfather before him. No one is still sure what he died of even to this day, just that he was found delirious and taken to the hospital. He died at age 40. It felt so surreal to me to walk around his grave and I had a chuckle that even in death for him or his wife, there was drama!

Photo Credit Erin Sweet Al-Mehairi / Jan 2020

We also visited a really cool statue of Poe outside of a law school, but it sure does need some care. I feel sad that so much memorializing Poe is damaged or decaying in Baltimore. However, it was still really fun to make this trip (and maybe I’ll share more about it in the future) and I hope to go to museums and statues in Philadelphia, Richmond, and places in NYC and Boston too. Plus next time I have to go to the tavern!

Photo Credit Erin Sweet Al-Mehairi / Jan 2020

Not all, but some of the work in my debut dark poetry and short story collection, BREATHE. BREATHE., is inspired by him. One of those is my story “The Madness of the Woodpecker” which is its own ode to a portion of “A Tell-Tale Heart.” Some of my poetry is reminiscent of his style as well.

This collection, published three years ago by Unnerving Press, is going out of print for a bit at the end of October 2020. It’s a sad day, especially as I feel I was just announcing its publication! But that’s sometimes how it works in publishing; the revolving door. I will endeavor to have it re-published in 2021 with a new cover as well as several more publications as well. Stay tuned to more poetry and short story work from me.

If you’d like to get Breathe. Breathe. in digital or print format in this edition, I’d grab it now. It’s on sale for .99 c for Kindle and $8 for print. I would like to thank everyone over the years who has supported all my poetry and writing, as well as this particular collection, in which I bear my soul and surround it with fantastical as well as real.

Also something that’s a must-have for Poe collectors, is an illustrated “The Mask of the Red Death” by the stellar artist Steven Archer! You can pre-order now from Raw Dog Screaming Press (e-book comes in December and print in January)!

Share with me in the comments your favorite Poe anything or some of your favorite dark poets, classic or current. Let’s spread poetry!

Happy Dark Poet’s Day and RIP Edgar Allan Poe!

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Guest Article: “The Last Convicted Witch” by Catherine Cavendish + mini-review of The Malan Witch @cat_cavendish #themalanwitch #witches #horror

Today, one of my favorite gothic and witch lore authors Catherine Cavendish, joins us! For many years Cat’s books have always been a go-to when I just need to be absorbed in a really good story. I’m a fan of the gothic and witch subgenres, so they usually fit the bill. She writes really atmospheric supernatural and ghost stories as well.

The Malan Witch was a fast read for me, broken up between an hour or so each night before bed. Probably not the best idea in retrospect to be reading in the dark, but I’ve made sure my horseshoe is in proper form above my doorframe and salt is sprinkled on my windowsills. The Malan Witch is such a fast read because Cat writes with a pace that propels you through the page, and though uses superb descriptions, also creates a story not bogged down by them. The ending really ignited some scary action and twists and turns, leaving me perplexed, but then easily wrapped it up for me in satisfying fashion. And it also opened the door for a child character to be a fully formed character in a series of books. I sure hope that’s in the works!

Check out her guest article today about a real life famous UK medium – what a story – who for conducting seances was tried with the witchcraft act!!

Then check out the details for her next book about two scary witches, burned in the Tudor times, and how they’re spirits have come back to haunt a grieving widow in the modern times who goes to spend time in the cottage on the site in which it occurred.

The Last Convicted Witch
by Catherine Cavendish, Author of The Malan Witch

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To many, she was just another Scottish housewife, but Helen Duncan was regarded as a notorious charlatan by some and a martyr by others. So who was this unprepossessing lady who had Parliament in a spin right in the middle of World War II?

Helen Duncan was born in Callender, in Scotland on 25th November 1897 and, from an early age, was noted for her apparent ability to connect to the spirit world and, through the act of mediumship, convey their messages. She was also noted for her apparent ability to emit vast quantities of ectoplasm – an ability that later led to much ridicule and condemnation.

She married young – at the age of 20 – and her twelve pregnancies resulted in just six surviving children. Her husband, who was a cabinet maker, had been injured in World War I, so Helen was a much-needed breadwinner. She worked at the local bleach factory during the day and conducted Spiritualist sittings by night, earning a small amount of cash in the process. It is reported that she would often use these funds to help her friends and neighbours – who were in similar dire financial circumstances to herself – by paying their medical bills.

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Helen gained a reputation for her accuracy and, by 1931, she was making her living conducting seances up and down the country. She was a minister to a number of Spiritualist churches. But things began to go badly wrong. She was publicly denounced as a fraud by the Morning Post and the London Psychic Laboratory. Then, in 1934, Helen was prosecuted by the Edinburgh Sheriff’s Court as a ‘fraudulent medium,’ for which she received a £10 fine and a month’s prison sentence.

Undeterred by this unpleasant experience, Helen continued to practice, but chose to transfer herself to Portsmouth during World War II. This was where the Royal Navy was based, and it led directly to trial at the Old Bailey.

During a seance, through her spirit guide Albert, she claimed to pick up the spirit of a sailor who announced that he had just gone down with HMS Barham.

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The only problem here was that the sinking of that ship wasn’t made public until many months later and certainly wasn’t in the public domain at the time of her séance. Whether this was a product of genuine mediumship, or something more sinister (as some alleged), it was certainly enough to bring her to the attention of the authorities. On 19th January 1944, one of her séances was raided by police. She and three members of her audience were arrested.

Eventually, she was prosecuted under section 4 of the archaic Witchcraft Act of 1735, which carried a maximum twelve month prison sentence. At that trial, her supporters rallied round and raised funds to bring witnesses from all over the country – many of them pillars of the community – all prepared to testify to the authenticity of her séances. As to whether she produced ectoplasm, (or cheesecloth, as had been alleged by the prosecution), one witness stated that the substance could not possibly be cloth as, if so, its colour would have changed under the red light of a séance room. Far from it, attested Hannen Swaffer, respected journalist and co-founder of the Psychic News. In Helen Duncan’s case, the manifestations remained uniformly white.

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The trial resulted in daily, sensational newspaper headlines and, it was even proposed (by the defence) to put Helen into a trance and let the jury see for themselves what transpired. This caused a furore among the prosecution lawyers. Supposing, somehow, she managed to pull it off? Or worse, if she didn’t, the whole British legal system would be held up to ridicule. They declined.

Helen was found guilty and, after some debate, her sentence was set to nine months incarceration under the Witchcraft Act, for pretending ‘to exercise or use human conjuration that through the agency of Helen Duncan spirits of deceased persons should appear to be present.’ She was also charged with offences under the Larceny Act for taking money ‘by falsely pretending that she was in a position to bring about the appearances of the spirits of deceased persons.’ She served her sentence in the notorious Holloway women’s prison.

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So, she became the last person in Britain to be jailed under the Witchcraft Act of 1735, but not the last to be convicted under it. That dubious privilege was left to the septuagenarian Sara Rebecca Yorke, who was tried in late 1944, but was bound over and received a fine, in view of her advancing years.

Although she is often called ‘the last witch,’ Helen was never specifically tried as a witch. The Act of 1735 had done away with the barbaric practices of the past that had resulted in such travesties of justice as the Lancaster Witch Trials of 1612 (aped by those in Salem, Massachusetts eighty years later).

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Helen’s infamous trial did, however, provide a catalyst for much needed change. A political campaign was begun, supported by Winston Churchill, who had described the charges against Helen Duncan as, ‘obsolete tomfoolery.’ Churchill himself had long held a serious interest in spiritualism, inherited from his American mother, the charismatic Jennie Jerome (who became Lady Randolph Churchill on her marriage to Winston’s father). Finally, the campaigners succeeded and the Act was repealed in 1951, to be replaced by the Fraudulent Mediums Act, which is still in place today.

As for Helen, she was released from prison in September 1944, but never managed to slip entirely under the police radar. In 1956, they raided a séance when she was in mid-trance. Generally regarded as a spectacularly dangerous thing to do, they manhandled her while in this trance-state and took her away. She was said to exhibit second degree burns and was bleeding from her mouth. As a diabetic, with a heart condition, she was sent back home but was later rushed to hospital.

Helen Duncan died thirty-six days later.

So was she – as some have alleged – a spy? Was she a genuine medium? Or was she a most accomplished clever fake? Opinions were, are, and will always be, divided. Those who believe will believe and those who do not, will never be convinced.

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Read Cat’s latest work now!

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‘Naught remained of their bodies to be buried, for the crows took back what was theirs.’

 An idyllic coastal cottage near a sleepy village. What could be more perfect? For Robyn Crowe, borrowing her sister’s recently renovated holiday home for the summer seems just what she needs to deal with the grief of losing her beloved husband.

But behind those pretty walls lie many secrets, and legends of a malevolent sisterhood – two witches burned for their evil centuries earlier. Once, both their vile spirits were trapped there. Now, one has been released. One who is determined to find her sister. Only Robyn stands in her way.

And the crow has returned.

You can order The Malan Witch here:

Amazon

pic 8Catherine Cavendish, Biography –

Following a varied career in sales, advertising and career guidance, Catherine Cavendish is now the full-time author of a number of paranormal, ghostly and Gothic horror novels, novellas and short stories. Cat’s novels include The Garden of Bewitchment. The Haunting of Henderson Close, the Nemesis of the Gods trilogy – Wrath of the Ancients, Waking the Ancients and Damned by the Ancients, plus The Devil’s Serenade, The Pendle Curse and Saving Grace Devine.

In addition to The Malan Witch, her novellas include The Darkest Veil, Linden Manor, Cold Revenge, Miss Abigail’s Room, The Demons of Cambian Street, Dark Avenging Angel, The Devil Inside Her, and The Second Wife

Her short stories have appeared in a number of anthologies including Silver Shamrock’s Midnight in the Graveyard, and her story The Oubliette of Élie Loyd will appear in their forthcoming Midnight in the Pentagram, to be published in October this year.

She lives by the sea in Southport, England with her long-suffering husband, and a black cat called Serafina who has never forgotten that her species used to be worshipped in ancient Egypt. She sees no reason why that practice should not continue.

You can connect with Cat here:

Catherine Cavendish

Facebook

Twitter

Goodreads

MeWe

Editor’s Note: All photographs were supplied by the author.

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Cover Reveal: Kate Quinn’s Cover for The Rose Gold, Historical Fiction on Women Code Breakers in WWII. #histfic #histnov

New York Times Best-selling author Kate Quinn, a woman I admire and adore as a person just about as much as her amazing books, has revealed the beautiful new cover for her forthcoming historical fiction novel, THE ROSE CODE. It’s lovely isn’t it!? I can’t wait to read this one!!

kate I really like everything Kate writes, but The Alice Network has a special place in my heart. Seeing how this newest book brings more women powerhouse to light within my favorite world of SPY DRAMA – especially learning about women code breakers – I’m sold.

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Pre-orders are important to authors and are open now!!

* Pre-order: https://bit.ly/3k4t8o5
* Add to your Goodreads list: https://bit.ly/2XBJgUD
* Sign up for Kate’s newsletter: https://bit.ly/2DfrgIz

About The Rose Code – 

The New York Times and USA Today bestselling author of The Huntress and The Alice Network returns with another heart-stopping World War II story of three female code breakers at Bletchley Park and the spy they must root out after the war is over.

1940. As England prepares to fight the Nazis, three very different women answer the call to mysterious country estate Bletchley Park, where the best minds in Britain train to break German military codes. Vivacious debutante Osla is the girl who has everything—beauty, wealth, and the dashing Prince Philip of Greece sending her roses—but she burns to prove herself as more than a society girl, and puts her fluent German to use as a translator of decoded enemy secrets. Imperious self-made Mab, product of east-end London poverty, works the legendary codebreaking machines as she conceals old wounds and looks for a socially advantageous husband. Both Osla and Mab are quick to see the potential in local village spinster Beth, whose shyness conceals a brilliant facility with puzzles, and soon Beth spreads her wings as one of the Park’s few female cryptanalysts. But war, loss, and the impossible pressure of secrecy will tear the three apart.

1947. As the royal wedding of Princess Elizabeth and Prince Philip whips post-war Britain into a fever, three friends-turned-enemies are reunited by a mysterious encrypted letter–the key to which lies buried in the long-ago betrayal that destroyed their friendship and left one of them confined to an asylum. A mysterious traitor has emerged from the shadows of their Bletchley Park past, and now Osla, Mab, and Beth must resurrect their old alliance and crack one last code together. But each petal they remove from the rose code brings danger–and their true enemy–closer…

Rose code graphic

Kate Quinn, Biography –

Low-Res-KQ-Author-Photo-267x400Kate Quinn is the New York Times and USA Today bestselling author of historical fiction. A native of southern California, she attended Boston University where she earned a Bachelor’s and Master’s degree in Classical Voice.

She has written four novels in the Empress of Rome Saga, and two books in the Italian Renaissance, before turning to the 20th century with “The Alice Network” and “The Huntress.”

All have been translated into multiple languages. Kate and her husband now live in San Diego with two rescue dogs.

Find more information on the book and Kate at her website.

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Cover Reveal & Giveaway for Halloween Season by Lucy A. Snyder. Trick-or-Treat with Us for Cool Gifts! RT pls. #halloween #halloweenseason #RDSP

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Every Day is Halloween

Halloween decor is in select stores, and though we are still “enjoying” summer, October is just around the corner. Today I have a cool cover reveal of a new Halloween story collection and giveaway as part of Trick-or-Treating adventure, which means some of you may be dropping by from social media or another site, but let me give a little background for my subscribers as well.

Raw Dog Screaming Press (RDSP) is an award-winning indie press of horror, fantasy, sci-fi, crime, and more that I’ve worked with in regards to PR and publicity for several years via my business Hook of a Book. One of the exciting authors I get to work with published by them is a fellow Ohio author, the multi award-winning Lucy A. Snyder. On Oct. 5, 2020 we are excited to say that RDSP is releasing a collection of stories by Snyder for Halloween called…. you guessed it, Halloween Season!

Whether Halloween in person festivities are canceled this year due to Covid (so do your duty so we can all have fun this Fall, will you?) or not, you can always partake in some online escapades. For instance, let’s start a bit early with RDSP in a digital rounds of trick-or- treating to celebrate the reveal of the seasonal cover created by artist Lynne Hansen of Halloween Season!

How Trick-or-Treating Works – 

There are five houses to visit on this block: author Lucy A. Snyder, cover designer Lynne Hansen, mine here at Hook of a Book, co-owner of RDSP and author John Edward Lawson, and Raw Dog Screaming Press. Visit any of them first and feast your eyes on the amazing cover created by Hansen, then pick up a different “treat” (or giveaway) from each post also featuring the cover reveal. Keep reading to check out my giveaway and the other stops below…. after we meet the artist and see the cool cover.

But first….

Meet the artist, Lynne Hansen – 

RDSP was looking for a cover that captured all things Halloween and turned to artist Lynne Hansen. “I have over fifteen years of experience in marketing and promotions including art and design,” Hansen said. “I started creating book covers when my husband Jeff Strand decided to make his humorous horror novel The Sinister Mr. Corpse available as an e-book. Once people saw Jeff’s next e-book Wolf Hunt, I started to receive requests to design covers for other authors. Now I get to tell other people’s stories through the art of the book cover and I love every minute of it.” For more info about Lynne head over to LynneHansenArt.com and make sure to browse her gallery.

So without further ado, here’s the cover!

HalloweenSeasonByLucyASnyderlowres

Cool and festive, right? Excited as much as I am now?

Halloween Season launches October 5th but you can preorder now!

Order from RDSPOrder from Barnes & NobleOrder from Amazon

Media Requests – 

If you are a member of the media or reviewer, I’m also happy to put you on the list for e-arcs or print copies, just let me know! I’ll also be sending requests, but do feel free to let me know also either in the comments or to my e-mail. Also, I’m scheduling Lucy for select interviews as well.

Now look at this FULL SPREAD! 

Adobe Photoshop PDF

About Halloween Season – 

Halloween is the most wonderful part of the year for many of us. For dedicated fans, the season begins when the leaves start turning autumn colors and doesn’t finish until Hallowtide ends in November. With it comes a whole lot of fun: scary movies and stories, haunted houses, seasonal sweets, spooky decorations, costume parties, and of course trick or treat. But Halloween is also a deeply spiritual time for some; it’s an opportunity to remember and honor loved ones who have passed on.

Master storyteller Lucy A. Snyder has filled her cauldron with everything that Halloween means to her and distilled it into a spell-binding volume of stories. Within these pages you’ll find thrills and chills, hilarity and horrors, the sweet and the naughty.

One of the best things about Halloween is you don’t have to be yourself. So go ahead and try on a new mask or two … you may discover hidden talents as a witch, a pirate, a space voyager, a zombie fighter, or even an elf. This is the perfect collection to celebrate the season of the dead or to summon those heady autumn vibes whenever you like. You may even find a couple of tales that evoke a certain winter holiday that keeps trying to crowd in on the fun.

In the worlds within this book, every day is Halloween!

Trick or Treat Giveaways – 

Now for the goodies! Thanks for participating in our trick-or-treat cover reveal!

My Giveaway –

1) I’m offering to one (1) US winner a copy of one of my favorite autumn poems I’ve written, previously published online at Spillwords Press, BUT this would be a hand-lettered original, probably with a little original art on the border to follow the theme. It will be signed. This is one of a kind! Please leave a comment below or e-mail me (hookofabook at hotmail dot com) to be entered.

2) For both US and international, if you e-mail me, I will send all who contact me a .pdf for you to download that you can print of the original mentioned above. It will have my digital signature.

This giveaway I open from July 23 to July 31, 2020. Entries after that won’t be considered but feel free to comment anytime.

Head to ALL the Stops –

Visit all the houses on the block to collect all the treats. Here are the current stops and treats:

  • Stop #1 Lucy A. Snyder (excerpt from Halloween Season)
  • Stop #2 Cover artist Lynne Hansen (printable bookmark)
  • Stop #3 Raw Dog Screaming Press (postcard promo pack)
  • Stop #4 Hook of Book publicist Erin Sweet Al Mehairi (that’s me! You’re here. See above about a signed, hand-lettered Halloween poem)
  • Stop #5 John Edward Lawson (Halloween card and story)

Lucy A. Snyder, Biography –

Lucy3Lucy A. Snyder is the five-time Bram Stoker Award-winning and Shirley Jackson Award-nominated author of over 100 published short stories and 14 books. Chaosium will release her novel The Girl With the Star-Stained Soulsometime in 2021. She also wrote the novels Spellbent, Shotgun Sorceress, and Switchblade Goddess, the nonfiction book Shooting Yourself in the Head for Fun and Profit: A Writer’s Survival Guide, and the collections Garden of Eldritch Delights, While the Black Stars Burn, Soft Apocalypses, Orchid Carousals, Sparks and Shadows, Chimeric Machines, and Installing Linux on a Dead Badger. Her writing has been translated into French, Russian, Italian, Spanish, Czech, and Japanese editions and has appeared in publications such as Asimov’s Science Fiction, Apex Magazine, Nightmare Magazine, Pseudopod, Strange Horizons, and Best Horror of the Year.

With Michael Bailey, Lucy also co-edited the critically-acclaimed collaborative dark fiction anthology Chiral Mad 4. When she’s not writing, she’s faculty in Seton Hill University’s MFA program in Writing Popular Fiction and also works as a freelance developmental editor in a suburb of Columbus, Ohio. You can learn more about her at www.lucysnyder.com and you can follow her on Twitter at @LucyASnyder.

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Thanks for stopping! Did you say TRICK-OR-TREAT!? Don’t forget to enter to win.

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Bastille Day Cover Reveal: NYT Best-Selling Author Stephanie Dray’s The Women of Chateau Lafayette #coverreveal #histfic @stephaniehdray

Today, July 14, marks Bastille Day, commemorating the major event that ushered in the French Revolution. It’s celebrated by the French as Fete nationale or the national day of France in which they celebrate their unity and peace. I read that this year, President Macron has also decided to celebrate all their frontline and essential workers during this Covid crisis, which is fantastic.

In celebration of Bastille day, I’m showcasing the cover reveal for New York Times best-selling author Stephanie Dray for her next book (coming in March 2021) called THE WOMEN OF CHATEAU LAFAYETTE. I’m very fond of Stephanie as a person and as an author so I’m pleased to do so, and as well, I’m very excited for this book! Isn’t the cover gorgeous? I love it. Check it out and read about the book below. I know if you’re not already excited, you will be now as well! Let us know what you think in the comments.

WomenofChateauLafayette_final cover

I’ve always loved reading about Marquis de Lafayette and we’d not quite be America without him! If by chance you don’t know of him, he fought with the American colonists against the British in the American Revolution. More than that, he was a mastermind and one of George Washington’s closest friends (Lafayette was very young when he came over to fight during the American Revolution, and an orphan, and so it was more like a father/son relationship). His idealism helped spark France into the French Revolution after he returned. There is a reason so many places in America are named after Lafayette, because he was a hero. In Lafayette Square, which is the beautiful park located in Washington D.C. at the White House, is a cool statue honoring his legacy here. My son, who goes to school at George Washington University nearby and studies American Revolution and Colonial History, often studied and ate lunch near it before Covid sent him home to us for safety. He is also a huge Lafayette fan, and truthfully, made me open my eyes to learn more about him myself. I loved hearing and seeing photos as he took in all around him, including all the inspired French architecture!

Now, with Stephanie’s book, I’m looking forward to reading and learning about the woman in Lafayette’s life, their time in France during the revolution, and the intertwining of generations of women experiencing wartime scenarios and the decisions they had to make as well. I will never tire of reading these women’s stories because to me, they are truly heroes as well.

THE WOMEN OF CHATEAU LAFAYETTE

About the book – 

An epic saga from New York Times bestselling author Stephanie Dray based on the true story of an extraordinary castle in the heart of France and the remarkable women bound by its legacy in three of humanity’s darkest hours.

 Most castles are protected by powerful men. This one by women…

A founding mother…

1774. Gently-bred noblewoman Adrienne Lafayette becomes her husband’s political partner in the fight for American independence. But when their idealism sparks revolution in France and the guillotine threatens everything she holds dear, Adrienne must choose to renounce the complicated man she loves, or risk her life for a legacy that will inspire generations to come.

A daring visionary…

1914. Glittering New York socialite Beatrice Astor Chanler is a force of nature, daunted by nothing – not her humble beginnings, her crumbling marriage, or the outbreak of war. But after witnessing the devastation in France and delivering war-relief over dangerous seas, Beatrice takes on the challenge of a lifetime: convincing America to fight for what’s right.

A reluctant resistor…

1940. French school-teacher and aspiring artist Marthe Simone has an orphan’s self-reliance and wants nothing to do with war. But as the realities of Nazi occupation transform her life in the isolated castle where she came of age, she makes a discovery that calls into question who she is, and more importantly, who she is willing to become.

Intricately woven and beautifully told, The Women of Chateau Lafayette is a sweeping novel about duty and hope, love and courage, and the strength we find from standing together in honor of those who came before us.

THE WOMEN OF CHATEAU LAFAYETTE by New York Times bestselling author Stephanie Dray (Berkley hardcover; on-sale March 30, 2021).

Pre-Order Link

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Q & A with Stephanie Dray –

This of course is not one of my original interviews but upon reading it from the Berkley publicist, I decided I must include it for my readers as Stephanie’s answers give you such a good point of view of where the book is coming from. Hopefully, I’ll have a lengthier interview with her next year!

What made you fall in love with Adrienne Lafayette and why do you think readers will fall for her as you did?

Thanks to a popular musical, the Marquis de Lafayette is known to a new generation as “America’s Favorite Fighting Frenchman”- and there’s good reason for that. He’s easily the most lovable of our Founding Fathers, and his wife, whom he called his dear heart, is just as lovable if not more so. Adrienne was our French Founding Mother, so right up my alley as a heroine, but at first I worried she was too sweet, devoted, and forgiving. In short, too gentle for a novel. Little did I realize that more than any other historical heroine I’ve ever written, Adrienne fought and sacrificed for her principles, courageously threw herself into danger, confronted tyrants, and endured trials that would have broken lesser mortals. She truly humbles me, and when I talk about the Lafayette legacy, I think of it as every bit as much hers as it is his.

 How long did it take you to write this book? Did the story evolve as you researched, or did you always know you wanted to take on the lives of these particular women?

I was always interested in Lafayette – an interest that grew as Laura Kamoie and I co-authored America’s First Daughter and My Dear Hamilton. I think I had the germ of the idea for a Lafayette novel at least seven years ago, but I had other projects in the way. And I was always in search of an angle that would be fresh and unique. That came to me when I discovered that Lafayette’s castle in Auvergne, which had been purchased and renovated by Americans, served to shelter Jewish children from the Nazis. Knowing how deeply the Lafayettes both felt about religious freedom, I knew this would have pleased them, and it touched me. I was then determined to know which Americans had purchased the chateau, and when I found out, yet another glorious chapter in the Lafayette legacy was born. That’s when the story took shape for me about one special place on this earth where, generation after generation, faith has been kept with principles of liberty and humanity. I find that very inspirational, now more than ever.

 The book is centered around Lafayette’s castle, the Château de Chavaniac, and the pivotal role it played during three of history’s darkest hours—the French Revolution and both World Wars. If you could have dinner with any three people (dead or alive) at Chavaniac, who would you choose and why?

Believe it or not, this is actually a difficult choice because so many incredible men and women passed through those doors. I’d have to start with the Lafayettes–though I hope they would not serve me pigeons, which were a favorite at their wedding banquet. To join us for dinner, I’d choose the colorful stage-star of the Belle Epoque, Beatrice Chanler, because she was a force of nature without whom Chavaniac might not still be standing. Actress, artist, philanthropist, decorated war-relief worker and so-called Queen of the Social Register, she was as mysterious as she was wonderful, and even after all the startling discoveries I made researching her larger-than-life existence, I have a million questions about the early life she tried so hard to hide. I can’t wait for readers to meet her!

Keep in touch –

I highly recommend signing up for her newsletter below. It’s full of historical info, book news from her and other authors she highlights, giveaways, book club news, and more!

Sign up for Stephanie’s newsletter

Enter to win –

You may enter to win an advance reading copy of this book using this sweepstakes link at https://bit.ly/SDCoverSweeps!

NO PURCHASE NECESSARY. US Residents, 18+. Ends 7/19. See official rules at official website.

Stephanie Dray, Biography –

Author pic- Stephanie DraySTEPHANIE DRAY is a New York Times, Wall Street Journal & USA Today bestselling author of historical women’s fiction.

Her award-winning work has been translated into eight languages and tops lists for the most anticipated reads of the year.

Now she lives near the nation’s capital with her husband, cats, and history books.

Newsletter | Website | Twitter | Facebook

 

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#HookedOnPoetry: A Poem by Steve Stred for Father’s Day Weekend #poetry #fathersday @stevestred

Today I have for you a second posting in the #HookedOnPoetry project for the week. If you missed the news, after a few weeks hiatus I started up the postings again earlier this week with a review by Sonora Taylor of The Place of Broken Things poetry collection by Linda Addison and Alessandro Manzetti.

I chose to feature Steve’s poem today (and I had held this one all along for this reason) as it’s the weekend before Father’s Day and this poem deals, somewhat, with growing up into fatherhood. And Steve is a wonderful dad! Steve told me he wrote this poem in 1998 on Father’s Day when he was in the eleventh grade and gave it to some family members. I find it only fitting to feature it for everyone to read this weekend. It’s not Steve’s normal dark fiction, but I think you’ll enjoy it all the same.

HookedOnPoetry

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Untitled
by Steve Stred

As I walk into the hidden unknown,
I hold my bag, ticket to my throne,
I can be whatever I want to be,
But to get to that place, it won’t be easy.
Many hurdles come up from out of nowhere,
And I hit my shins and bruises form there.
But I pick myself up and continue my pace,
Because getting to the top is now a race.
The stones that tumble away behind me,
Will leave me with scars, there to remind me,
Of all the bends in the road, and the corners ahead,
And someday at the top, when a kid calls me dad,
I’ll tell him my story of how life really is,
And he won’t believe me, ‘til he tells his kids.

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Steve Stred, Biography –

steve-stredSteve Stred is a dark horror author. He’s the author of the novel Invisible, the novellas Wagon Buddy, Yuri, and Jane: the 816 Chronicles, and two collections of short stories—Frostbitten: 12 Hymns of Misery and Left Hand Path: 13 More Tales of Black Magick. He’s also released the dark poetry collection Dim the Sun.

Steve also loves reading and reviewing and is part of the team at Kendall Reviews. Steve has a number of works on the go and enjoys all things horror, occult, supernatural, and paranormal and is based in Edmonton, AB, Canada, where he lives with his wife, his son, and their dog OJ.

Find him online at his website.

Twitter

Facebook

Instagram – stevestred

Dim the Sun, Poetry Collection

Dim the sunDim the Sun is a collection of 14 dark poems and one bleak horror short story.  Focusing on pain, fear, anger, depression and anxiety Steve Stred brings you deep into his mind to share some truly unnerving moments.

This is Steve Stred’s first collection of poetry.

Purchase  or Add –

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Thank you, Steve! And thank you readers for joining us! Be sure to join us back next week here, and hopefully at Kendall Reviews, for more poetry.

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#HookedOnPoetry: Sonora Taylor Reviews The Place of Broken Things by Linda Addison & Alessandro Manzetti + Update @sonorawrites @nytebird45 #poetry

First Some Updates on the Project –

I’m going to give a little update here on the status of the project, and then Sonora Taylor has a poetry collection review for us! The last week of April I started the #HookedOnPoetry project to highlight poetry for National Poetry Month in April and carry it through May and June. I ran it through four or five weeks in May with three to four posts a week both here and on Kendall Reviews, then I took a break before starting up again this week. I’ll be continuing the project throughout the rest of the year with a #HookedOnPoetry posts twice a month (more if I decide).

If you’re a poet interested in being featured, contact me anytime.

HookedOnPoetry

I apologize for all this website house cleaning in front of this week’s post, but I feel it needed to be said. I’m super excited for you to read this review and essay submitted by author Sonora Taylor today. I chose this one to feature first coming off the break as the collection she is reviewing here is co-written by one of the greatest black voices across several genres, five-time Bram Stoker Award winner Linda Addison. Sonora wrote this back in mid-April, and since then, the collection itself won a Bram Stoker Award for superior achievement in a poetry collection, we’ve been quarantined (or at least most of us have) for two to three months more, and life and the world seems to have HIT THE FAN. Amazing how much can change in so little time.

Without me rambling more, I’ll let Sonora take it away… enjoy!

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Broken Things in a Broken Time
by Sonora Taylor, author of Little Paranoias

When my brain is troubled, I find it comforting to dive into prose and verse that connects with its scattered fragments. After our current president was elected, I went through my days in a blur, one finally broken by a book called Among Strange Victims by Daniel Saldana Paris. I laughed at a passage where the protagonist observes, “It’s unnecessary to start by describing the actions that make up my routine. That tedious list will come later. First, I’d like to state that my head floats about two inches above the top of my neck, detached from me. From that position, it’s easier for me to observe the irritating texture of the days.” I felt both amused and comforted to see my state of mind described so well.

It’s April 18, 2020; a little more than a month since we were asked to social distance and flatten the curve — meaning keep the number of infected and subsequent dead from COVID-19 as low as possible. My husband and I are safe. We have many blessings: both our jobs, a comfortable home, ample supplies, and the means to safely get supplies when we run low. Still, a day-to-day defined by doing our best to not die is one that takes a subtle toll on the brain. It can crack our psyches and make us lose sense of what day it is, what time it is, what’s safe and what’s not, who’s well and who’s not. We can only hope for the best when we text our parents or talk to our coworkers on Zoom.

 

place-of-broken-things

 

When I began reading The Place of Broken Things, the Stoker-nominated (upon reading) book of poetry from Linda D. Addison and Alessandro Manzetti, I thought of it as a piece to add to the books of poetry I’ve focused on throughout April, aka National Poetry Month. The first few poems were very good, but I found myself reading them with broken focus. I floated two inches above the book’s verses much like the protagonist’s head above his own thoughts in Among Strange Victims. My mind was also on today’s news, today’s Zoom hangouts, things I could bake, if the weather would be good for a walk, if I’d have more dreams like the one I had the night before, which included images of 9/11 as well as a fight with my husband.

Soon, the poems in the book — all about broken people — began to ground me, both in their stories as well as in my own mind. My thoughts stilled and my fragments stopped trembling. I found comfort in the quiet agony of the characters. In “Facing Olympia,” a man sees all kinds of women when he sees one woman, before realizing he sees no one, only his memories. In “A Clockwork Lemon Resucked,” the poets analyze what we sacrifice in order to not have to feel. “What We Have Become” asks the titular question in the context of minds and souls battered by fear. It closes with, “who remembers Before …” — a question many of us ask when we wake up each morning as of late.

As sad and broken as the individuals in every poem were, I still found The Place of Broken Things a comfort to read. Addison and Manzetti put into beautiful words and imagery what I’ve been feeling to varying degrees since this started — hell, since even before this started. I’d feel it in pebbles rolling throughout my life from rocks of anxiety, and situations like this pandemic have been a rock slide leaving me numb and stuck. The Place of Broken Things proves to be a beam of light shining between the cracks of those rocks, saying with its warmth, “I understand. I feel it too.” It’s a warmth that is very much needed, and I’m grateful for this book and the work of both Addison and Manzetti.

You can find The Place of Broken Things online at many retailers including BookShop.org.

The Place of Broken Things Summary –

place-of-broken-thingsBram Stoker Award winners Linda D. Addison and Alessandro Manzetti use their unique voices to create a dark, surrealistic poetry collection exploring the many ways shattered bodies, minds, and souls endure.

They created poems of visionary imagery encompassing death, gods, goddesses and shadowy, Kafkaesque futures by inspiring each other, along with inspiration from others (Allen Ginsberg, Pablo Neruda, Phillis Wheatley, etc.).

Construction of The Place started with the first bitten apple dropped in the Garden. The foundation defined by the crushed, forgotten, and rejected. Filled with timeless space, its walls weep with the blood of brutality, the tears of the innocent, and predatory desire. Enter and let it whisper dark secrets to you.

“Addison and Manzetti appear, here, as a songwriting team, certain tunes attributed to one, then the other, but regularly meeting, so that not only do we get to know where each great poet is coming from, but their electric union to boot. At turns gritty and aqueous, this book is totally alive. Addison and Manzetti have written a volume in which literally every line is worthy of being that book’s title.”–Josh Malerman, author of BIRD BOX

“There is no book of poetry quite like THE PLACE OF BROKEN THINGS! Linda Addison and Alessandro Manzetti spin dark magic! Highly recommended!”–Jonathan Maberry, New York Times bestselling author of V-WARS and GLIMPSE

Linda Addison, Biography – 

Linda AddisonLinda D. Addison born in Philadelphia, PA is an American poet and writer of horror, fantasy, and science fiction. Addison is the first African-American winner of the HWA Bram Stoker Award®, which she won five times for her collections Consumed, Reduced to Beautiful Grey Ashes (2001) and Being Full of Light, Insubstantial (2007) and How To Recognize A Demon Has Become Your Friend (2011), Four Elements (2014), and The Place of Broken Things, written with Alessandro Manzetti (2019). In 2016 Addison received the HWA Mentor of the Year Award and in 2018 she received the HWA Lifetime Achievement Award.

She has published over 350 poems, stories and articles and is one of the editors of Sycorax’s Daughters (Cedar Grove Publishing), an anthology of horror fiction/poetry by African-American women (HWA Bram Stoker finalist). Catch her latest work in The Place of Broken Things, written with Alessandro Manzetti (Crystal Lake Publishing) and anthologies Cosmic Underground (Cedar Grove Publishing) and Scary Out There (Simon Schuster). Addison is a founding member of the writer’s group Circles in the Hair (CITH), and a member of HWA, SFWA and SFPA.

Find Linda’s Amazon Page HERE.

Alessandro Manzetti, Biography –

AlessandroAlessandro Manzetti lives in Rome, Italy and is a three-time Bram Stoker Award-winning author, editor, and translator of horror fiction and dark poetry whose work has been published extensively in Italian, including novels, short and long fiction, poetry, essays, graphic novels and collections.

English publications include his novels Shanti – The Sadist Heaven (2019) and Naraka – The Ultimate Human Breeding (2018), the novella The Keeper of Chernobyl (2019), the collections The Radioactive Bride (2020), The Garden of Delight (2017), The Monster, the Bad and the Ugly (2016, with Paolo Di Orazio), and The Massacre of the Mermaids (2015), the poetry collections The Place of Broken Things (2019, with Linda D. Addison), War (2018, with Marge Simon), No Mercy (2017), Sacrificial Nights (2016, with Bruce Boston) Eden Underground (2015), Venus Intervention (2014, with Corrine de Winter), and the graphic novel Calcutta Horror (2019)

He edited the anthologies The Beauty of Death (2016), The Beauty of Death Vol. 2 – Death by Water (2017, with Jodi Renee Lester) and Monsters of Any Kind (2018, with Daniele Bonfanti). His stories and poems have appeared in multiple Italian, USA, and UK magazines as well.

He is the Founder & CEO of Independent Legions Publishing, an HWA Active member, and a former HWA Board of Trustees member.

Find him on his website HERE.

Thanks to Sonora for her wonderful review of the collection.

Sonora Taylor, Biography –

sonora-taylor-2019-headshot (1)Sonora Taylor is the author of Without Condition, The Crow’s Gift and Other Tales, Please Give, and Wither and Other Stories. Her short story, “Hearts are Just ‘Likes,’” was published in Camden Park Press’s Quoth the Raven, an anthology of stories and poems that put a contemporary twist on the works of Edgar Allan Poe. Taylor’s short stories frequently appear in The Sirens Call.

Her work has also appeared in Frozen Wavelets, Mercurial Stories, Tales to Terrify, and the Ladies of Horror fiction podcast.

Her third short story collection, Little Paranoias, is available on Amazon. Her next book, Seeing Things, will be available June 23, 2020. She lives in Arlington, Virginia, with her husband.

Find out more about Sonora on her website.

Seeing-Things-Cover-Art-FrontSeeing Things  –

Featuring cover art by Doug Puller, the book will be available in e-book and paperback on June 23, 2020, on Amazon.

It will also be available in paperback through Bookshop.org and IndieBound.

Link to Pre-order (e-book only) on Amazon.

More on #HookedOnPoetry –

Thank you to everyone who stopped by and read about these wonderful artists and their work. If you are curious about the rest of the the poetry posts already featured this year, or in years past, you can find them all in one place on the POETRY page here on my site.

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#HookedOnPoetry: Author Patrick Tumblety Shares Three Beautiful Ocean Inspired Poems @peak37pt #poetry #ocean

How is it Friday already? I’m here to introduce you to Patrick Tumblety as the last feature of this week on #HookedOnPoetry. If you missed the first two, hosted here on Tuesday and on Kendall Reviews on Wednesday, you can find the links on the Poetry page. 

I’m excited for you to meet Patrick today and read his original poetry. I’m so very happy to publish them here for you to read. Patrick has a big heart, is a wonderful supporter of other writers in the community as well as charities, and is a talented writer and poet. He’s been published in a variety of anthologies, including Tales of Jack The Ripper by Word Horde Press, Flame Tree Publishing’s Gothic Fantasy series, Fossil Lake, edited by Christine Morgan, and the historic Weirdbook Magazine.

During October of 2019, Patrick released The October Children, an audio series of seasonal poetry and prose to celebrate Autumn and Halloween. He is currently producing a 2020 season.

I hope you enjoy! If you do, please share and use #HookedOnPoetry hashtag! Have a wonderful weekend. See you back here next week, mostly likely on Wednesday.

Erin

HookedOnPoetry

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A foreword from Patrick
(note: it’s from the day he submitted the poetry almost a month ago)

Day 25: Quarantine.

I need poetry now more than ever. The fear and frustration is building and the best way I can release it is to throw myself onto the page. My body can’t leave the house, but my heart can still travel. So I reach into the sand and pull out the pieces of myself that dreams of fresh air, without a virus, without uncertainty. Where we can congregate, soak in the sun, and look toward the horizon for a healthier tomorrow.

Patrick

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Mobile-Ocean-Wallpapers-HD-768x480

Undertow
by Patrick Tumblety

I belong on the shore, amongst the sand and the sun.

Where my skin sizzles in harmony with water against sand.

My soul knows I’m right on the edge and implores me to take the plunge,

let the waves roll me out and the undertow drag me away.

 

The concrete sirens sing with voices as dry as dust.

Still, I close my eyes and hear the sea maiden’s song.

She will be waiting for me when my work is done,

and I can return to the place where I belong.

 

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beach-philippines-red-sky-744531

Brined
by Patrick Tumblety

Sun burnt and salt scraped

we live by the sea,

and sail by old wood and new skin,

foam-tossed and free!

 

We believe in gods and monsters,

for the ocean can swallow us whole.

If a leviathan breaches, we look toward the reaches,

splashes of stars shall guide our way home!

 

Threading the blue line between oblivions-

the depths of hell and sky-

we bounce the curved horizon, gently,

and through the squall we ride!

 

The horizon is a cursive flourish;

a signature of a God who knows no time.

We ride the loops and connections, willingly.

On capsized letters we are prepared to die!

 

With cured muscle and calloused hands

we fight against the raging sea.

If the sails tear and the ship sinks, so be it,

we have always been blue-bound and free!

 

At pink sky’s end we return to the beaches,

and tend to our families on shore.

In morning we return to the reaches,

salty dogs to a great blue lure…

 

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Sam Chang / Unsplash

A Blank Page
by Patrick Tumblety

My Greek Goddess,

singed by the sun; her skin

is punctuation at the end of her Odyssey.

Now, she births a new sentence

and begins a legacy.

 

My little Odessa,

has yet to see the light of day.

Her snowy canvas

awaits the color of history.

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Patrick Tumblety’s Biography –

PTumblety Bio PicPatrick Tumblety has been published in a variety of anthologies, including Tales of JackThe Ripper by Word Horde Press, Flame Tree Publishing’s Gothic Fantasy series, Fossil Lake, edited by Christine Morgan, and the historic Weirdbook Magazine. His work has been described as being able to deliver both “genuine fear and genuine hope.” (Amy H. Sturgis – Award Winning Author and Professor of Narrative Studies).

In October of 2019, he released an audio series comprised of poetry and prose to celebrate the autumn season, titled The October Children. The project received positive feedback and encouraged him to do a 2020 season. The pieces are all original and range from the nostalgic to the macabre, all in fun for Halloween.

During the holidays of 2019, he released a creepy Christmas poem (illustrated by artist Thomas Boatwright). He donated a dollar for every like/retweet/post about the poem to the Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia.

He has been featured in various other publications including Dark Moon Digest and Siren’s Call Magazine (most recently issue 45 in 2019 published two of his poems). He uses poetry not only to be nostalgic about the holidays but to write about love, family, and life. He’s currently working on a collection of poetry.

Follow Patrick on Twitter: @peak37pt

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Thanks again for joining in. Let’s keep talking about poetry, shall we?

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Note: The first two photos have no attribution as they are free images from common areas.
 

 

 

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