Showing posts with label The Butcher's Boy. Show all posts
Showing posts with label The Butcher's Boy. Show all posts

Wednesday, October 31, 2012

All Hallow's Eve


All Hallow's Read Giveaway Winners

As a part of Neil Gaiman's All Hallow's Read initiative, I am happy to announce the winners of Michael Robb Mathias' The Butcher's Boy. Congratulations!

Audio Book Grand Prize Winner: R. Doug Wicker

Kindle copies: TR Larson, Lucie, Kevin Eaton and Ray


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Who's up for a little classic horror on this Halloween? Ladies and Gentlemen, I give you "The Raven," by Edgar Allan Poe.




The Raven
By Edgar Allan Poe

 
Once upon a midnight dreary, while I pondered, weak and weary, 
Over many a quaint and curious volume of forgotten lore, 
While I nodded, nearly napping, suddenly there came a tapping, 
As of some one gently rapping, rapping at my chamber door. 
"'Tis some visitor," I muttered, "tapping at my chamber door- 
                Only this, and nothing more." 

Ah, distinctly I remember it was in the bleak December, 
And each separate dying ember wrought its ghost upon the floor. 
Eagerly I wished the morrow;- vainly I had sought to borrow 
From my books surcease of sorrow- sorrow for the lost Lenore- 
For the rare and radiant maiden whom the angels name Lenore- 
                Nameless here for evermore. 

And the silken, sad, uncertain rustling of each purple curtain 
Thrilled me- filled me with fantastic terrors never felt before; 
So that now, to still the beating of my heart, I stood repeating, 
"'Tis some visitor entreating entrance at my chamber door- 
Some late visitor entreating entrance at my chamber door;- 
                This it is, and nothing more." 

Presently my soul grew stronger; hesitating then no longer, 
"Sir," said I, "or Madam, truly your forgiveness I implore; 
But the fact is I was napping, and so gently you came rapping, 
And so faintly you came tapping, tapping at my chamber door, 
That I scarce was sure I heard you"- here I opened wide the door;- 
                Darkness there, and nothing more. 

Deep into that darkness peering, long I stood there wondering, fearing, 
Doubting, dreaming dreams no mortal ever dared to dream before; 
But the silence was unbroken, and the stillness gave no token, 
And the only word there spoken was the whispered word, "Lenore?" 
This I whispered, and an echo murmured back the word, "Lenore!"- 
                Merely this, and nothing more. 

Back into the chamber turning, all my soul within me burning, 
Soon again I heard a tapping somewhat louder than before. 
"Surely," said I, "surely that is something at my window lattice: 
Let me see, then, what thereat is, and this mystery explore- 
Let my heart be still a moment and this mystery explore;- 
                'Tis the wind and nothing more!" 

Open here I flung the shutter, when, with many a flirt and flutter, 
In there stepped a stately Raven of the saintly days of yore; 
Not the least obeisance made he; not a minute stopped or stayed he; 
But, with mien of lord or lady, perched above my chamber door- 
Perched upon a bust of Pallas just above my chamber door- 
                Perched, and sat, and nothing more. 

Then this ebony bird beguiling my sad fancy into smiling, 
By the grave and stern decorum of the countenance it wore. 
"Though thy crest be shorn and shaven, thou," I said, "art sure no craven, 
Ghastly grim and ancient Raven wandering from the Nightly shore- 
Tell me what thy lordly name is on the Night's Plutonian shore!" 
                Quoth the Raven, "Nevermore." 

Much I marvelled this ungainly fowl to hear discourse so plainly, 
Though its answer little meaning- little relevancy bore; 
For we cannot help agreeing that no living human being 
Ever yet was blessed with seeing bird above his chamber door- 
Bird or beast upon the sculptured bust above his chamber door, 
                With such name as "Nevermore." 

But the Raven, sitting lonely on the placid bust, spoke only 
That one word, as if his soul in that one word he did outpour. 
Nothing further then he uttered- not a feather then he fluttered- 
Till I scarcely more than muttered, "Other friends have flown before- 
On the morrow he will leave me, as my hopes have flown before." 
                Then the bird said, "Nevermore." 

Startled at the stillness broken by reply so aptly spoken, 
"Doubtless," said I, "what it utters is its only stock and store, 
Caught from some unhappy master whom unmerciful Disaster 
Followed fast and followed faster till his songs one burden bore- 
Till the dirges of his Hope that melancholy burden bore 
                Of 'Never- nevermore'." 

But the Raven still beguiling all my fancy into smiling, 
Straight I wheeled a cushioned seat in front of bird, and bust and door; 
Then upon the velvet sinking, I betook myself to linking 
Fancy unto fancy, thinking what this ominous bird of yore- 
What this grim, ungainly, ghastly, gaunt and ominous bird of yore 
                Meant in croaking "Nevermore." 

This I sat engaged in guessing, but no syllable expressing 
To the fowl whose fiery eyes now burned into my bosom's core; 
This and more I sat divining, with my head at ease reclining 
On the cushion's velvet lining that the lamp-light gloated o'er, 
But whose velvet violet lining with the lamp-light gloating o'er, 
                She shall press, ah, nevermore! 

Then methought the air grew denser, perfumed from an unseen censer 
Swung by Seraphim whose footfalls tinkled on the tufted floor. 
"Wretch," I cried, "thy God hath lent thee- by these angels he hath sent thee 
Respite- respite and nepenthe, from thy memories of Lenore! 
Quaff, oh quaff this kind nepenthe and forget this lost Lenore!" 
                Quoth the Raven, "Nevermore." 

"Prophet!" said I, "thing of evil! - prophet still, if bird or devil! - 
Whether Tempter sent, or whether tempest tossed thee here ashore, 
Desolate yet all undaunted, on this desert land enchanted- 
On this home by Horror haunted- tell me truly, I implore- 
Is there- is there balm in Gilead?- tell me- tell me, I implore!" 
                Quoth the Raven, "Nevermore." 

"Prophet!" said I, "thing of evil! - prophet still, if bird or devil! 
By that Heaven that bends above us- by that God we both adore- 
Tell this soul with sorrow laden if, within the distant Aidenn, 
It shall clasp a sainted maiden whom the angels name Lenore- 
Clasp a rare and radiant maiden whom the angels name Lenore." 
                Quoth the Raven, "Nevermore." 

"Be that word our sign in parting, bird or fiend," I shrieked, upstarting- 
"Get thee back into the tempest and the Night's Plutonian shore! 
Leave no black plume as a token of that lie thy soul hath spoken! 
Leave my loneliness unbroken!- quit the bust above my door! 
Take thy beak from out my heart, and take thy form from off my door!" 
                Quoth the Raven, "Nevermore." 

And the Raven, never flitting, still is sitting, still is sitting 
On the pallid bust of Pallas just above my chamber door; 
And his eyes have all the seeming of a demon's that is dreaming, 
And the lamp-light o'er him streaming throws his shadow on the floor; 
And my soul from out that shadow that lies floating on the floor 
                Shall be lifted- nevermore! 


Happy Halloween!



Monday, October 29, 2012

Monday Morning Business




Hello, dear readers.

I hope you had a good weekend. Here are a couple of reminders for the week.

Hurricane Sandy

First of all, to those of you on the eastern coast of the United States, I thinking of you and hoping you weather the storm. Be safe, my friends.

Giveaway

There is only one day left to enter the All Hallow's Read giveaway to win Michael Robb Mathias' The Butcher's Boy. Click here for more information. Winners will be announced on Wednesday. Good luck!

November Flash Fiction Fridays

I am looking for two more pieces for next month's Flash Fiction Fridays. If you are interested, please send your 1,000-word or less story to me at karen@karenberner.com.

Happy Eid!

Eid Mubarak to my Muslim friends as they wrap up their four-day celebration today.


A Bibliophile Christmas

My holiday digital short, "A Bibliophile Christmas," will be out November 5. It features Sarah and Annie from my first novel, A Whisper to a Scream (The Bibliophiles: Book One). More information to come.

As always, thanks so much for being a part of the Bibliophilic Blather community.




Friday, October 19, 2012

Flash Fiction Fridays: Horror Month Continues


Bibliophilic Blather is joining in on Neil Gaiman's All Hallow's Read this year by offering one audio copy and five  ebooks of Michael Robb Mathias' award-winning horror tale, The Butcher's Boy. To enter the giveaway, click on the contest widget at the end of this post.

The contest will run from today through October 30. Winner will be announced on Halloween.

Today on Flash Fiction Fridays, we present an excerpt from The Butcher's Boy.








The Butcher’s Boy
By Michael Robb Mathias

Maggie couldn’t agree with Michael on who they were going to try to contact. Michael wanted to question Billy, while Maggie was interested in what one of the Buxly women, particularly either of the older of them, had to say. They ended up flipping a coin. Heads Michael picked, tails it was Maggie’s choice. At some point, during all of this bickering, Lucy found a place between them on the floor under the coffee table.

The coin landed on heads and Michael, of course, chose Billy. He also appointed himself as the moderator of the conversation they hoped to elicit. Maggie decided that she wouldn’t argue. She was actually a bit relieved that she wouldn’t have to talk to the creepy ghosts this time. She was also glad that she could feel Lucy’s warm comforting fur against her leg.

Michael turned off the television with the remote, leaving the living room dimly lit by the dozen candles that were scattered about on either side of them.

“Here we go,” Maggie said, putting her hand on the planchette. Michael put his hand on hers, and they began.

They did the figure of eight movement for a few awkward moments, then the motion smoothed out and they began to chant together.

“Bill-lee, Bill-lee, Bill-lee.”

This went on for about five minutes, and Maggie could see that Michael was getting frustrated. Finally, he said, “It’s not working.”

“Don’t give up,” said Maggie, keeping the movement going.

Michael sighed and resumed the chant.

“Bill-lee, Bill-lee.”

They didn’t even get the rhythm of the planchette motion going before the candles flickered, and the room temperature dropped. It was suddenly so cold that they could see their breath billowing out from their mouths in foggy clouds.

“Say something,” Maggie whispered through her fear.

Michael blinked a few times and looked at her wide-eyed.

“Oh.Yeah. Billy? Billy, are you there?” His voice came out small, as if he were speaking to a large group of people for the very first time.

The pointer stopped midway through the curving loop of its pattern and moved straight to the “No” icon.


“Who is this?” asked Maggie. The power of the force holding the planchette in place was unnerving because, even had she tried, Maggie could not have moved it from its current position.

The pointer released from the “No” icon of its own accord and started back into the figure of eight movement for a moment before coming to rest on the letter “B.”

“Bee,” Michael and Maggie said in unison.

The pointer then went to “I.” Dutifully, they said the letter aloud as the pointer moved to “C.”

When the planchette came to rest on the letter “H,” Maggie said, “Bitch?”

A hiss resounded from somewhere beyond reality just as the planchette jerked up off the Ouija Board causing both Maggie and Michael to let go of it. It didn’t fall, but instead came to a hover between them.

Michael Robb Mathias is the author of the best-selling Wardstone Trilogy and the Dragoneer Saga. To learn more about Michael, please visit his website

Enter below for your chance to win a copy of The Butcher's Boy.



a Rafflecopter giveaway






Wednesday, October 17, 2012

All Hallow's Read




***To enter The Butcher's Boy giveway, click here. ***

Have you heard about Neil Gaiman’s new project? He is suggesting that everyone give an age-appropriate scary book to someone this Halloween to encourage reading horror stories. Not in lieu of candy for the kids, of course, but as an extra plus. And not just for children, but for anyone. Click here for more information.

I love this idea so much that I have a special treat for you, dear readers. I have teamed up with best-selling horror and fantasy author Michael Robb Mathias to bring you a unique All Hallow’s Read Giveaway.

Michael is offering one audio book and five Kindle copies of his terrifying novel, The Butcher’s Boy, winner of the 2011 Readers Favorite Award Silver Medal in Horror - Fiction.

Thirty-one years ago, Buxly the Butcher went to trial for killing his entire family. He was found guilty, and sentenced to die for those crimes. Now, Janet Hale, a recently divorced nurse, has purchased the house unaware of the brutal murders that took place there so long ago. 

From the moment she, her eleven-year-old son, and his overprotective Rottweiler move in, bad things start to happen. A strange man is caught lurking in the back yard, and the only neighbor turns out to be a crazy old widow. But not everything is going wrong. During the move, Janet meets a handsome charmer. She likes him enough to start dating again, leaving a sitter to watch over her son. 

When Michael, and his dog, Lucy-Fur, learn firsthand that their home is haunted by one of the victims of the Butcher's grisly act, Michael scours the internet and the local library to find out what happened back then. Maggie, the sitter, brings over a Ouija board and they soon find out that there is more than one dark spirit on the haunt.  

Can Lucy-Fur protect her boy from the angry ghost that wants to possess him? Can Michael fight through the madness and terror to find out what really happened? If he does, maybe the tormented souls can be put to rest, and his mom can keep the house that she seems to love. If he fails, he just might become one of them. With the help of Maggie, and a burned out house painter, Michael is going to try. The problem is, not everyone is who they seem...not even the dead.  

Here is what reviewers had to say about The Butcher’s Boy.

“This book is not your typical horror story. The author's work can be compared to Stephen King and Dean Koontz. Like their books, this plot takes you to unexpected places. There are twists and turns that keep the reader guessing: ghosts slipping in and out of bodies both living and dead, shadows and bumps in the night are the least of the main characters' worries in this book. Fans of horror will not want to miss this creepy story.” — Readers Favorite 2011 International Book Award Contest Review

“The novel is a suspenseful page-turner with well-developed characters. Even Lucy the Rottweiler is a round character. The specters, too, have solid personalities... renders them even scarier.” —ForeWord Magazine

Join us on Friday for a flash fiction excerpt of The Butcher’s Boy and the chance to win an audio book or Kindle copy. Winners will be announced on Halloween.

***To enter The Butcher's Boy giveway, click here. ***