Mini Book Tour: Owen’s Terrarium by Julie Hiner @RRBookTours1 #RRBookTours #HorrorBooks #Horror

Welcome to the mini launch tour for Owen’s Terrarium by Julie Hiner. Ugh, just the name gives us chills!

Owen's Terrariuam - EBOOK Cover

Owen’s Terrarium

Publication Date: October 28th, 2021

Genre: Horror/ Nostalgic 80’s Slasher Flicks

This is the way that Owen’s life takes a drastic turn: with a forced surfacing from the basement of the Elm Film House, and an unexpected guest at Friday Fright Night.

Owen loves classic horror films, his exotic pets, and a beautiful cheese and wine pairing. Driven by an upward spike of pain as he fights the urges spawned by his sickness, he hides from the world.

At home, he relishes in the beauty of his carefully acquired exotic pets, works on the new, sterile terrarium in the basement, or devours a wheel of cheese while viewing a horror delight on the big screen in his film room. At the Elm Film House, he hides in the basement, examining reel after reel for flaws. He only surfaces to run a double horror feature at Friday Fright Night.

He is destined to fight the evil within, alone, except for his pets. Until a milky-skinned, chocolate-haired goddess enters the stage of his troubled life. New feelings emerge. Old ones boil beneath the surface. What path will Owen be destined to follow?

One of happiness? Or one drenched in blood?

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Goodbye Butterfly

April 12, 1980

Owen narrowed his eyes, staring down at the butterfly pinned to a square of white oak. Its wings, the colour of an ocean, spread out around its body. The sickness swirled through his veins, searing him with pokers of sharp pain. The butterfly twitched. The only way to end his suffering was to end the butterfly’s.

He pulled the hood of his hoodie over his head, tucking his dark locks behind his ears. A shiver crept down his spine. There wasn’t enough meat on his wiry frame to fend off the chill of the basement.

He pushed on the flat top of the pin. The butterfly fluttered its wings in a desperate attempt to escape its fate. The silver weapon slid deeper into its body. Black-purple oozed with a painful slowness from the tiny hole piercing its flesh.

The ocean wings fluttered wildly, slapping against the white oak, pieces tearing from the delicate paper-like flying contraptions. Owen pushed harder. The pin pierced through the other side of the body. As the wings slowed to a twitch, Owen’s shoulders relaxed. Minimal damage had been done by the butterfly’s frantic flapping. The butterfly wasn’t going anywhere. It twitched again, and this time the tremor caused a convulsion to ripple through its entire insect body.

With a final push, the pin hit the white oak. The thick inner fluid of the arthropod trickled down both sides of the cylindrical body, staining the wood. Not for long. Owen knew from experience that white oak didn’t stain permanently, and that with a dab of his homemade concoction on a cloth, he’d be able to clean up the backdrop of the butterfly’s forever home.

It was best. To be able to secure the insect to its permanent afterlife dwelling while it still breathed. To be able to watch it twitch slowly to its end, the last few breaths dissipating from its body as it finally lay still.

Owen licked his lips. He picked up a pair of tweezers and clamped them to the bottom end of the butterfly’s tubular physique. With deliberate precision, he guided the pin, still piercing the creature, up toward the butterfly’s head, causing a gush of innards to escape in a thin line of black-purple sludge.

Ocean wings twitched. Once. Twice. The body convulsed three times. The butterfly lay still, accepting its fate.

Owen’s shoulders relaxed. He removed the pin, myrtle hemolymph oozing down the thin, silver weapon. He removed the tweezers, purple-black chunks of insect flesh sticking to the open prongs. He wiped the pin, placed it on the wooden table, then wiped the tweezers, placing them next to the pin.

Placing his hands in his lap, he stared at his work. Nothing moved. The silence in the room deepened, as if the entire space had taken a deep breath and exhaled slowly into a meditative state.

The dim lightbulb hanging from the centre of the wooden rafters flickered, then went out.

Owen stared into the dark basement, the shapes of forgotten sheet-covered furniture loomed around the perimeter of the musty space. It was the only place Owen could find any peace. He was the oldest of the dozen children Agnes—Mrs. Harden— had collected. She was like the old lady in the weather-beaten house who collected cats. Only, Agnes collected children. Unwanted

orphans abandoned by their mothers, or thrown into the evil core of the earth by tragic events that took away the few parents who actually wanted their spawn. Agnes loved lonely orphans. Owen had been the last one added to her collection. At sixteen years old, he’d been shocked at the news that he’d be leaving the wet basement of the dark convent.

The bulb flickered back on, casting long shadows from the furniture over the cold, concrete floor.

Owen stared at the butterfly’s body. Dead. The long, bulbous black cylinder bleeding out, even after the twitching had stopped. Owen’s mind spun. Hot blood pumped through his veins, boiling his skin. Sweat sprouted over his forehead, trickling down his face.

Its body morphed, the dark tube contorting into a naked, small figure. A human figure.

Owen blinked several times. The butterfly face turned up toward him, two dark bulbs peering, questioning. Pale pink flesh pushed through the black skin casing, ripping a fissure, splitting the face between the round, black eyes.

Fleshy salmon cheeks burst through the insect skin. The beady insect eyes fell away as the casing that housed the insect body split open. Bright-blue eyes stared back at him—innocent, fresh, unharmed by the evil of the world.

The young boy’s flesh was moist with the fluids that kept it safe inside its mother’s womb. An innocent young being birthed into a world of evil. Its cheeks were wet with mucus, the bright-blue eyes exploring his, seeking him.

Owen stared at the spitting image of himself. His own eyes, his own body, the day he was born. The day he was pure. The day he was clean from the filth of the world. Owen’s bottom lip

quivered. A tear escaped from the corner of his eye, trickling down his sweat-soaked cheek, mixing with his stinky sweat.

The slimy pink lips of the newborn child moved, releasing a tiny mewl.

Owen watched the infant lips as they released coo after coo. The soft sound slithered into the pits of his ears, soothing the flesh that had been burned by the evil words of a woman who, instead of loving him, had hated him. The bright-blue eyes sparkled under the fluttering blinks of the newborn’s delicate eyelids. The baby cooed again, the fragile sounds wrapping soothing hands over Owen’s hardened ears.

The hot sweat pouring over Owen’s face, his body, sticking his shirt to his back, cooled to a cold, running river, soaking him in an ice bath. He shivered.

Owen shivered. His lips trembled.

Available on Amazon!

About the Author

ME w Blasters

Julie Hiner is an author, storyteller, and blogger. She has independently published an inspirational work of non-fiction and two dark crime novels. Several of Julie’s short horror stories have been published, and she has collaboratively released a horror anthology. Julie’s home-base is KillersAndDemons.com where she serves up toxic cocktails of 80s metal, ritualistic murder, and raw horror.

Julie lives in her home-town in Canada, nestled near the rocky mountains. A hardcore 80s rocker at heart, Julie’s writing is infused with music of all eras. Her dark crime novels are a fusion of 80s metal, 70s acid rock and dark story telling. Obsessed with the dark mind of the serial killer, Julie’s characters are based on bits and pieces of some of the most terrifying monsters to roam the earth.

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Book Release Blitz: DeadSteam II by Various Authors, Edited by Bryce Raffle @bryceraffle @RRBookTours1 #RRBookTours

It’s release day for DeadSteam II, the terrifying follow up to anthology DeadSteam: A Chilling Collection of Dreadpunk Tales of the Dark and Supernatural. This collection would be perfect to curl up with tomorrow evening, though you may want to leave a light on!

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DeadSteam II: More Dreadpunk Tales of the Dark and Supernatural

Publication Date: October 30th (Today 🎃)

Genre: Anthology/ Dreadpunk/ Dark Steampunk/ Horror

Just when you thought the nightmare was over, what was dead comes crawling back from the beyond. We warned you not to open that fateful tome. But you just couldn’t resist, could you?

Back with more chilling tales of the dark and supernatural, the anthology of dreadpunk, gaslamp, and dark steampunk returns to haunt you with mummies, witches, vampires, gorgons, ghosts. The second installment in the DeadSteam series from Grimmer & Grimmer Books, DeadSteam II promises an even darker, grimmer gothic than the first offering.

DeadSteam II includes stories by DeadSteam alumni David Lee Summers (Owl DanceThe Brazen Shark), Karen J Carlisle (The Adventures of Viola Stewart), Bryce Raffle, Ross Smeltzer, C.C. Adams, E. Seneca, and Rob Francis, while also introducing newcomers to the DeadSteam series.

If you should sense someone lurking down by the river, some thing creeping through the forest, a sound from the attic, a strange pattern in the wallpaper that shouldn’t be there, a cold gust of wind on your neck…don’t look back. Just run. Run as far as you can.

But know this…we’re still here.

Purchase your copy on Amazon today!

About the Authors

Edited By: Bryce Raffle

Stories By: DeadSteam alumni David Lee Summers (Owl Dance, The Brazen Shark), Karen J Carlisle (The Adventures of Viola Stewart), Bryce Raffle, Ross Smeltzer, C.C. Adams, E. Seneca, and Rob Francis, while also introducing newcomers to the DeadSteam Series: Artoria Sahnow, Renee MPT Kray, Melanie Cossey, RE McAuliffe, and Macy Harrison

DeadSteam

 

 

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Book Blitz: The Resurrectionist by A.R. Meyering @PRBookPro @RRBookTours1 #RRBookTours #Books

If you enjoy gothic tales, then look no further than The Resurrectionist by A.R. Meyering. A chilling tale inspired by real events!

Resurrectionist Cover (2)

The Resurrectionist “Inspired by the true story of the Burke and Hare murders”

Publication Date: July 3rd, 2020

Genre: Supernatural/ Horror/ Fantasy/ Based on Real Life Characters

Synopsis:

Scotland, 1854

On a skinny, forgotten road in Edinburgh stood a shop without a name—a shop that could be found only if one had previously been led to its door. William, who was blind, rapped his knuckles on the door. The shop owner opens the door and says, “I recognize you. You’re the thief who slithered away while your partner swung by his neck.”

William begs the woman to break the curse that has been set on him that prevents him from dying. The curse, says the woman, cannot be broken, but it can be displaced. Is your death so precious to you that you would destroy one more innocent life to get it? The life of your own child?”

London 1895

In 19th century Scotland surgeon Edgar Price has only days to live. He has become host to a revenant that will corrode both his body and soul. Edgar’s fatal mistake has not only doomed him, but also released six more of these malignant wraiths onto the world. In his remaining time, he has vowed to stop the revenants from claiming other victims. His perilous travels lead him to the Witches’ Wood, a haven for a sisterhood of powerful enchantresses. There he meets Ainsley, who is also racing against the clock to save her life and will go to any lengths to spare the life of her lover Colleen from the grief of losing her. Despite their mutual dislike, Edgar and Ainsley find that the only way to traverse the twisted, otherworldly labyrinths that the revenants have created is to work together. Their mission becomes further complicated when Edgar begins to develop feelings for Fana, the guardian goddess of the Wood in spite of Ainsley’s forbidding warnings to stay far away from her.

Though THE RESURRECTIONIST is a work of fantasy, many of the settings and elements are based on fact. Horror and fantasy intermingle in this novel inspired by the true story of the Burke and Hare murders.

From 1828-29, Irish immigrants William Burke and William Hare were responsible for the murders of sixteen people in Edinburgh. Their methods generally involved luring a victim to Hare’s boardinghouse, where they plied them heavily with alcohol before suffocating them. They were motivated by greed, selling the corpses of their victims to a local surgeon, Robert Knox. Each victim was publicly dissected, and Dr. Knox is largely thought to have been complicit in the crimes.

During their ten-month killing spree, William Hare’s common-law wife, Margaret Laird, was pregnant with their child. Hare was pardoned for his crimes due to his confession and condemnation of his accomplice Burke, who was hanged and publicly dissected as punishment.

After being pardoned, Hare, Margaret, and their infant are thought to have escaped to Ireland. It also has been rumored that William Hare was thrown into a lime pit and subsequently suffered blindness before becoming a beggar. The victims in THE RESURRECTIONIST are also based on real life people.

Reminiscent of Tess Gerritsen’s The Bone Garden, THE RESURRECTIONIST explores a real-life horror story through a riveting supernatural thriller that is guaranteed to hook readers from the very first page.

Available on Amazon

About the Author

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A.R. Meyering was a graduate student studying philosophy. She has worked as an English teacher in a small town in Kumamoto Prefecture, Japan. Her dark fantasy novel, Unreal City, won a Literary Classics International Book Award gold medal for YA horror and a Moonbeam Award bronze medal in YA horror. While doing her undergrad in English she studied abroad in Edinburgh, focusing on Scottish occult literature and folklore.

Sadly, A.R. Meyering passed away in 2021.

A.R. Meyering

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Book Tour & Giveaway: Ékleipsis: the Abyss by Tamel Wino @RRBookTours1 #RRBookTours #Books #Horror

Welcome to the book tour for Ékleipsis: The Abyss by Tamel Wino. We cannot think of a better book to read for Halloween! Read on for details and a chance to win signed copies of both installments of the Ékleipsis anthologies!

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Ékleipsis: the Abyss

Expected Publication Date: October 29th, 2021

Genre: Horror/ Anthology

Ékleipsis: The Abyss is the second short story collection by the award-winning author.

Tales of depravation and insanity are woven together with unrelenting style and depth, scrutinizing human nature’s degeneration when compromised by tragic, vicious circumstances.

These complex, wretched individuals and the irremediable conditions they are desperate to claw out of—or into—invoke the unfathomable question: What devastation are we truly capable of when left with no way out but down . . . into the obscurity of the abyss?

 It is at times appalling, strange and outright frightening, but Wino’s way with character development is outstanding. The display of artistic creativity and character creation really sets “Èkleipsis: The Abyss” apart in the field of short story collections.”
― Reader Views

“The stories are well-packaged and generally have the feel of watching a syndicated crime drama. Fans of this form of entertainment will likely enjoy these well-crafted stories about everyday people whose lives are shattered by lunatics.”
― The US Review of Books

“Wino’s writing is vivid, unsettling and filled with brilliant hints that contribute to the exhilaration of its pacing. Ékleipsis: The Abyss is a clever and creative horror offering worth checking out.”

Independent Book Review

” Tamel really captured that essence of society and the dark side of people. Readers will appreciate the dark undertones of this horror anthology. Ekleipsis: the Abyss will surprise you more that you can imagine.”

Literary Titan

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Available on Amazon

About the Author

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Tamel Wino is a Canadian fiction writer from the resplendent British Columbia whose works focus largely on degeneration of sanity and morality. He studied Health Sciences and Psychology, which only furthered his interest in human nature.

With inspirations including Alice Munro, Joe Hill, Stephen King, Margaret Atwood and Edgar Allan Poe; Tamel’s expositions are strongly grounded in traditions of dark fiction. Yet, with his bold narrative voice and incisive plot construction, Wino is paving a new movement within the space.

When he’s not reading or scribbling away on his laptop, Tamel loves listening to jazz, rewatching good ol’ classic shows and traveling.

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Giveaway: Signed copies of Ékleipsis and Ékleipsis: The Abyss

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Book Tour Schedule

October 25th

Reads & Reels (Spotlight) http://readsandreels.com

Liliyana Shadowlyn (Spotlight) https://lshadowlynauthor.com/

The Faerie Review (Review) http://www.thefaeriereview.com

Latisha’s Low-Key Life (Spotlight) https://latishaslowkeylife.com/

 October 26th

Rambling Mads (Review) http://ramblingmads.com

Phoebe’s Randoms (Spotlight) https://phoebesrandoms.wordpress.com/

Stine Writing (Spotlight) https://christinebialczak.com/

October 27th

 @tiny.bibliophile (Review) https://www.instagram.com/tiny.bibliophile/

@bookaholic__reviews (Review) https://www.instagram.com/bookaholic__reviews/

B is for Book Review (Spotlight) https://bforbookreview.wordpress.com

Sophril Reads (Spotlight) http://sophrilreads.wordpress.com

Misty’s Book Space (Spotlight) http://mistysbookspace.wordpress.com

 October 28th

Tranquil Dreams (Review) https://klling.wordpress.com/

PoptheButterfly (Spotlight) https://popthebutterfly.wordpress.com

Sadie’s Spotlight (Spotlight) http://sadiesspotlight.com/

I Smell Sheep (Spotlight) http://www.ismellsheep.com

Gryffindor Bookish Nerd (Review) http://gryffindorbookishnerd.simplesite.com/

 October 29th

        @rosyreadz (Review) https://www.instagram.com/RosyReadz/

Nesie’s Place (Spotlight) https://nesiesplace.wordpress.com

@authormalmccartney (Review) https://www.instagram.com/authormalmccartney/

Haddie’s Haven (Spotlight) https://haddieshaven.blogspot.com

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Blog Tour: Sand and Shadow by Laurisa Reyes White @RRBookTours1 #RRBookTours #Books

Welcome to the blog tour for sci-fi/ horror, Sand and Shadow by Laurisa White Reyes! Read on for more details and a chance to win a $20 Amazon e-gift card!

SandandShadowEbook2Sand and Shadow

Publication Date: September 6th, 2021

Genre: Sci-Fi/ Horror

Seven Survivors.

One Monster.

Nowhere to hide.

Mission Specialist Adán Fuentes awakes from cryo-hibernation to discover that most of his fellow crewmates are dead and the shuttle Carpathia is not where it’s supposed to be. Surrounded by a vast barren landscape, he and the other survivors wonder how they can accomplish their mission, to establish a home for future colonists.

When an unseen creature attacks them, the Carpathia’s crew must turn their attention to surviving and solving the true purpose behind their mission.

Inspired by the 50’s sci-fi flick FORBIDDEN PLANET, SAND AND SHADOW plumbs the depths of the human psyche and the power of its influence. As the Carpathia’s crew’s secrets and flaws are revealed, readers may find themselves compelled to examine their own dark places.

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Excerpt

“Hold it here!” Adán jabbed a finger at the corner of the tent still attached. Tink obeyed, gripping the fabric with his gloved hands. Adán grasped the canvas several feet above Tink. Then he began to pull it, gradually drawing the fabric toward him. It was like trying to haul an anchor up from the ocean floor, the effort requiring every ounce of strength he could muster. He wasn’t sure his plan would work. He was battling a storm that at any moment could snatch him up and carry him off.

“Get me down!” Scott screamed, his voice piercing through Adán’s comm.

“I’m trying! Just hold on!” Adán kept pulling, but he made little headway with the wind pulling so hard in the opposite direction. “Scott, use your hands! Try to climb down!”

Scott started hand-over-hand down the column of living canvas. The distance between Scott and Adán slowly began to shrink. The sand pelted Adán so hard now that he could feel it through his gear.

“The rest of you get inside!” he called out. “It’s too dangerous out here!”

Fess grabbed the heating unit that Scott had dropped and made his way toward the shuttle. Tink held tight to the tent behind Adán.

“Tink! I’ve got it! Go on!”

“You don’t have it,” said Tink. “I’m not leaving!”

“But you have to—” Suddenly, a powerful gust tried to rip the silver tarp from Adán’s hands. The knuckle in his pinky finger snapped in a stabbing flare of excruciating pain, but he did not let go. Scott flipped around in the air, as helpless as a marionette on strings, though he was a good eight feet closer to the ground than he had been minutes before.

Adán tried to hold tighter to the fabric, but the pain in his hand throbbed ruthlessly and had robbed it of its strength.

“Scott! You’re going to have to let go!”

“Let go? Are you insane? This wind will blow me away like a kite!”

“Curl up into a ball! Wrap your arms around your knees and drop to the ground!”

Adán heard Tink’s voice. “This strap is tearing! When it rips all the way, that tarp is taking you with it, Scott!”

“Scott, you’ve got to let go now!”

He did. Scott released the fabric and pulled his knees to his chest. He fell like a stone to the sand below. He hit the ground, his limbs sprawling out in every direction. Then, getting to his hands and knees, he scurried away like a bug just as the tarp tore free from its strap. The silver snake curled and whipped like a flag in a hurricane and then vanished into the darkening sky.

Adán, his back to the wind, dropped to his knees beside Scott. “You all right?” he asked. “Can you get up?”

Scott collapsed into the sand, moaning. Adán felt a wave of relief. Their commander was dazed, possibly even hurt, but he was alive. A few yards off, Tink fought against the storm’s assault. He clutched the transmitter case to his chest and staggered forward one step at a time. The sky was so dark now and the sand so thick that the shuttle looked like nothing more than a broad mass of shadow.

Adán slid one of his arms beneath Scott’s shoulder and hoisted the barely conscious commander into a sitting position. “Dryker, listen to me! We’ve got to get back to the shuttle or we’ll die out here! Get up, Commander! On your feet!”

Scott moaned again, but Adán felt his muscles stiffen as he attempted to get his legs under him. With a bit of effort on both their parts, Scott was soon standing, though he leaned much of his weight against Adán. Adán looked back at Tink, who hadn’t made as much progress as he’d hoped.

“Tink, drop it!” Adán shouted.

Tink shook his head furiously. “We need it to communicate with the other shuttles! They’ll never find us without it!”

Tink’s words came back to Adán broken and staccato. He tapped on his earpiece. The storm had damaged his comm. “Tink? Can you hear me?”

This time Adán heard only static. He looked back to the shuttle, a mere ten yards away. Dema and Fess, clinging to each other, were scrabbling for the hatch lever. Adán looked back at Tink, half that distance behind him. He’d get Scott to safety, he decided, and come back for Tink.

“I’ll be back to help you in a second!” he said, though he couldn’t be sure if Tink had heard him, then he trudged forward with Scott in tow.

The two minutes or so that it took for him to hand Scott over to Dema and Fess felt like hours. He was exhausted and in pain, but Adán turned and headed back out for Tink, now on his knees hunched over the transmitter just four or five yards away.

He had just reached him when Adán saw it—a dark mass rising up from the ground behind Tink. “What the hell is that?” he said more to himself than to anyone else.

Dema’s voice crackled over the comm. “Adán, do you read me? Scott’s okay. A bit stunned but okay. Fess is with him in the common room now. Do you have Tink and Lainie?”

Lainie. Adán had forgotten all about her. But Tink. . .

“There’s something out here!” said Adán.

There was a pause before Dema’s voice returned. “Adán, get out of there. The sensors are picking up something solid, something big!”

He reached Tink and pulled him to his feet. Together, with the transmitter still clutched in Tink’s arms, they staggered toward the shuttle, which they could now barely make out through the thick haze of sand.

“Lainie!” Adán waited a moment for a reply. “Lainie, do you read me?” He shook his head. “The storm’s interfering with the frequency!”

“She was carrying the generator,” said Dema, her words nearly impossible to make out through the static. “She was closer to the shuttle than we were. You should see her!”

Adán and Tink continued trudging forward. Then just to right of the shuttle hatch, they spotted something square and black half buried in the sand at their feet. It was the generator tipped onto its side, but there was no sign of Lainie.

Available on Amazon

About the Author
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Laurisa White Reyes is the author of the SCBWI Spark Award winning novel The Storytellers and the Spark Honor recipient Petals. She is also the Senior Editor at Skyrocket Press and an English instructor at College of the Canyons in Southern California.

Laurisa White Reyes | Skyrocket Press | Facebook | BookBub

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Blog Tour Schedule

September 6th

Reads & Reels (Spotlight) http://readsandreels.com

Nesie’s Place (Spotlight) https://nesiesplace.wordpress.com

Lunarian Press (Spotlight) https://www.lunarianpress.com/

September 7th

B is for Book Review (Spotlight) https://bforbookreview.wordpress.com

Breakeven Books (Spotlight) https://breakevenbooks.com

Misty’s Book Space (Spotlight) http://mistysbookspace.wordpress.com

September 8th

Liliyana Shadowlyn (Spotlight) https://lshadowlynauthor.com/

@bookaholic__reviews (Review) https://www.instagram.com/bookaholic__reviews/

Musings of a Final Girl (Review) https://musingsofafinalgirl.wordpress.com/

September 9th

Jessica Belmont (Review) https://jessicabelmont.com/

Rambling Mads (Review) http://ramblingmads.com

@dreaminginpages (Review) https://www.instagram.com/dreaminginpages/

September 10th

PoptheButterfly (Spotlight) https://popthebutterfly.wordpress.com

The Magic of Wor(l)ds (Spotlight) http://themagicofworlds.wordpress.com

The Faerie Review (Review) http://www.thefaeriereview.com

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What Remains: An Anthology by Various Talented Authors! @inkedingraypub @RRBookTours1 @RABusby1 @AndyDibble2 @Ltward2 @LawrenceWriting @sharonframegay @Tim_The_Writer @develoff #RRBookTours

If you’re not into warm and fuzzy beach reads, What Remains is a great book for you this Summer! Check out this amazing anthology by several talented authors. Guaranteed to bring a chill to your hot days!

What RemainsWhat Remains: An Anthology by Inked in Gray

Publication Date: July 26th, 2021

Genre: Anthology/ Short Stories/ Fantasy/ Sci-Fi/ Horror

Publisher: Inked in Gray

Victory at all costs. Even at the price of our own life, the desire to survive transcends all rational thought.

What Remains brings together fifteen tales of horror, fantasy, and science fiction. From sacrificing loved ones or oneself, to doing what it takes to keep them alive, these stories shake the soul, rip out its insecurities and flay them on the page.

Careful who you trust. Some quandaries have no right answer when we cannot save what we love most—or when isolation, desperation, and betrayal leave you no choice.

Take the journey with us to see What Remains when civility, decency, and sanity have all but fled.

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Excerpt

Among Tall Trees Excerpt

The young boy races for the ridge, a good twenty feet ahead of Jeff. With every painful breath, the distance between them grows. If the boy wanted to, he could already be out of his sight, halfway up the mountain that rises ahead of them, a blue-gray bulk topped with first snow, deep into the thick evergreens. But the child is holding back, glancing over his shoulder every now and then without missing a beat, without interrupting the purposeful elegance of his stride.

Save yourself. Go.

Jeff shouts none of this to the boy, whose thin arms are pumping up and down, skinny legs effortlessly swallowing the punishing grade of the mountain as if unfettered by gravity. Jeff is too busy wheezing, hauling in lungfuls of frosty air, trying to hear his own frenetic thoughts over the pounding of his out-of-shape heart and the tidal roar of blood in his ears. Trying to keep his burning lungs from falling out and keep his feet, clumsy in heavy boots, trudging one in front of the other. Every misstep, every stumble and pause for breath, erodes their already thin lead on the men who hunt them.

They are slow, too, these others: some weighed down with age, like Judge Crenshaw, who is eighty if a day. Some by sloth and neglect, like Big Mike Bragg, who weighs well north of three hundred pounds. Fear herds them together, and a mob is only as fast as its slowest man. But determination drives them, a remorseless singularity of purpose.

Although Jeff can’t see them, they aren’t far behind, marching through the leafless, scattered hardwoods down by the road, fanning out in a rough semicircle to cover as much killing ground as possible. So after a too-brief break, the boy catches Jeff’s eye—he has an uncanny way of looking up at just the right time, or somehow making Jeff do so—and flicks his head.

He doesn’t speak, but Jeff understands. Up. Up the mountain, into the pines. Their mad scramble resumes. Down here there are gaps in the treeline, patches of open ground between thickets and dense scrub, and open ground spells trouble.

Not that the boy seems concerned. Or what to all intents and purposes resembles a boy: a pale, scrawny slip of a kid, eight- or nine-years-old, maybe a small ten. Scabbed knees and elbows and bright green eyes, dirty blond hair cut in an unfashionable bowl around a pinched face. He bounds up the slope in easy strides, each as long as two of Jeff’s faltering steps, looking to the rest of the world—if there was anyone up here to see him—like any one of hundreds of identical, small-town American kids indulging in a bit of horseplay before going inside for dinner.

Except Jeff has seen those arms lock around Clyde Garver. Good old Clyde who Jeff had played high school football with and who fixed cars at Dan Laurie’s garage in town. The boy had grabbed Clyde and wrenched his head clean off his shoulders like a papier-mâché piñata, with no more effort than Jeff twisting a cap off a bottle of Miller High Life.

Except it’s late November in the Great Smoky Mountains. Snow weighs over the town like a judgement, but the boy’s wearing nothing but pants and a thin T-shirt and his feet are bare, and he’s giving no sign of feeling the cold.

Except the horseplay they’re indulging in will end in death. They can cheat it for a while, draw out the inevitable, but the men behind them aren’t about to give up. Good men, or so Jeff used to think. Men he’s known all his life—fathers and husbands and brothers. Men who piled into their trucks and four-wheel-drives without hesitation to hunt Jeff and the child. Men who are not going back down without their prize.

There’s only one end Jeff can see. But he keeps running, up toward the trees under the lowering sky.

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Whatremains

Blog Tour Schedule

July 26th

Reads & Reels (Spotlight) http://readsandreels.com

Sue’s Musings (Spotlight) https://suelbavey.wordpress.com/

I Smell Sheep (Review) http://www.ismellsheep.com/

July 27th

Breakeven Books (Spotlight) https://breakevenbooks.com

Nesie’s Place (Spotlight) https://nesiesplace.wordpress.com

Scarlett Readz & Runz (Spotlight) https://scarlettreadzandrunz.com/

Behind the Paged (Spotlight)  https://www.behindthepages.org/

July 28th

Lecari’s Live Journal (Spotlight) http://www.lecari.co.uk

Auto.Erraticism (Spotlight) https://www.autoerraticism.com/

Cats Luv Coffee (Spotlight) https://catsluvcoffeez.blogspot.com

Stine Writing (Review) https://christinebialczak.com/

July 29th

Ashley Loves Books and Stuff (Spotlight) https://ilovebooksandstuffblog.wordpress.com

Rambling Mads (Spotlight) http://ramblingmads.com

@dreaminginpages (Review)  https://www.instagram.com/dreaminginpages/

July 30th

Misty’s Book Space (Spotlight) http://mistysbookspace.wordpress.com

@mischiefmanaged_04 (Review) https://www.instagram.com/mischiefmanaged_04/

Liliyana Shadowlyn (Review) https://lshadowlynauthor.com/

Authors:

R.A. Busby 

About the Author: An award-winning literature teacher and die-hard horror fan, R. A. Busby is also the author of “Bits” (Short Sharp Shocks #45), “Street View” (Collective Realms #2), “Not the Man I Married” (Black Petals #93), “Holes” (Graveyard Smash, Women of Horror Anthology, Vol. 2), and “Cactusland” (34 Orchard, forthcoming).

“I was always instructed to write about what I know,” she states, “and I know what scares me.”  In her spare time, R.A. Busby watches cheesy Gothic movies and goes running in the desert with her dog.

She can be found on Twitter and at RABusbybooks.weebly.com

David-Christopher Harris

About the Author: David-Christopher Harris’ fantasy publications include “Olam Ha-Ba” in speculative fiction and poetry magazine Arsenika, “Last Call”  in The Arcanist Magazine, “Falselight”  on PageHabit, and “Children of Ozymandias” in 50WordStories,  among others. He received his M.A. in Medieval Literature, which he uses exclusively to teach his cat Latin. He is currently querying.

He can be found on Twitter and at www.dcharriswriting.com

Andy Dibble

About the Author: Andy Dibble is a healthcare IT consultant who lives in Madison, Wisconsin. He has supported the electronic medical record of healthcare systems in six countries.  His work appears or is forthcoming in Writers of the Future, Star*Line, Sci Phi Journal, and others.  He is Articles Editor for Speculative North magazine.

He can be found on TwitterFacebook, and andydibble.com.

LT Ward 

About the Author: LT writes mostly speculative fiction shorts and novels while spending her days raising her children and satisfying her never-ending thirst for knowledge through reading, meeting people, and first-hand life experiences. She has short story publications with Dancing Lemur Press, Me First Magazine, Jazz House Press, and forthcoming with Black Hare Press and Cardigan Press. She currently volunteers with WriteHive, a nonprofit literary organization.

She can be found on TwitterInstagram, and at ltwardwriter.com.

Ben Armstrong

About the Author: Ben is a young author who has been writing stories for over six years now. Recently he has been published in his town’s newspaper.

Maxwell I Gold

About the Author: Maxwell I. Gold is a Rhysling Award nominated prose poet, focusing on weird and cosmic fiction. He is a regular contributor to Spectral Realms, edited by Lovecraft scholar S.T. Joshi and his work has also appeared in Weirdbook Magazine, Space and Time MagazineStartling StoriesBaffling Magazine, and many others.

His debut prose poetry collection, Oblivion in Flux: A Collection of Cyber Prose is forthcoming this August from Crystal Lake Publishing.

Maxwell can be found on Facebook, Instagram, Amazon, and at www.thewellsoftheweird.com

Damir Salkovic

About the Author: Damir Salkovic is the author of novels Kill Zone and Always Beside You. His shorter work has been featured in the Lovecraft eZine, Dimension6 Annual Collection 2020, and in multiple horror, science and speculative fiction anthologies.

Find him on Goodreads and at his blog, Darker Realities.

Lawrence West

About the Author: Lawrence J West has been on his writing journey since he was fourteen years old and has always been drawn to fantasy, sci-fi, and horror because of the way these genres allow for the exploration of human experience in unique ways. Since becoming a husband and father he has also found that his writing has a greater degree of empathy and insight.

Lawrence can be found on Twitter.

Sharon Frame Gay

About the Author: Sharon Frame Gay is an award winning author whose work has appeared in many anthologies and magazines, including Chicken Soup For The Soul, Typehouse, Fiction on the Web, Literally Stories, Lowestoft Chronicle, Thrice Fiction, Saddlebag Dispatches, Crannog, and others. She is a Pushcart Prize nominee.

A collection of her short stories, Song of the Highway, was released in August, 2020.

Sharon can be found on Twitter and Amazon.

Timothy Johnson

About the Author: Timothy Johnson is a writer and editor living outside of Washington, D.C. His published work includes the novels The Pillars of Dawn and Carrier as well as short fiction appearing in various professional and semi-professional markets. He is an MFA candidate in George Mason University’s creative writing program and an affiliate member of the HWA.

Find Timothy on Twitter and at timothyjohnsonfiction.com.

DL Shirey

About the Author: DL Shirey lives in Portland, Oregon, where it’s probably raining. Luckily, water is beer’s primary ingredient. His stories and non-fiction appear in 60 publications, including Confingo, Page & Spine, Zetetic and Wild Musette.

You can find more of DL Shirey on Twitter and at www.dlshirey.com.

Dan Eveloff

About the Author: Dan Eveloff is a lawyer and sports agent living in Chicago, Illinois with his dog, Reuben. He studied accounting at the University of Kansas, and subsequently earned his law degree from Northwestern University. His short fiction “The Price of Recompense” has appeared in AHF Magazine, “Shakespearean Justice” in Aphelion Webzine, and “Prevenge” can be found in Close to the Bone Magazine.

His social media presence can be found on Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter

Valerie Hunter

About the Author: Valerie Hunter teaches high school English and has an MFA in writing for children and young adults from Vermont College of Fine Arts. Her stories and poems have appeared in publications including Cicada, Storyteller, Edison Literary ReviewOther VoicesRoom, and Wizards in Space.

Find Valerie on Instagram.

Nicholas Barner

About the Author: Nicholas Barner has farmed, cooked, and written variously in Oakland, Chicago, Maine, and Los Angeles. He lives with his partner, Shelby, and their Dog, Nuni.

He can be found online at nicholasbarner.com.

Thomas Canfield

About the Author: Thomas Canfield lives in the mountains of North Carolina. His phobias run to politicians, lawyers and TV pitchmen. He is still trying to plumb the logic of the sales pitch; The more you buy, the more you save. It never quite seems to work out that way in the real world. Canfield occasionally reviews books on Goodreads.

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