Tag Archives: Coffin Hop Horror Web Tour

Halloween Giveaway & Coffin Hop

zombie-reaching-banner_coffin-hop

Ah, Halloween, how I love you so. Ghosts and ghouls free to roam the dark streets for a night, to remind us how it feels to be alive. The brisk windgusts and fallen leaves twirling at our capes as we hunt. There’s candy, of course. And other traditions as well: Nightmare before Christmas playing in loop, pumpkin everything, reading spooky stories by candlelight… and the COFFIN HOP!!

Axel Howerton’s brainchild to unite horror writers for a week has grown over the years, and the prizes get even more awesome! Here’s the link to all the amazing participants – there’s giveaways, books and gore at every stop!!

DSCF5244My rules are very simple: fill the form below to win paperbacks of Girls & Monsters and Hunter’s Trap, and a Skellie (either be a vampire, a zombie or a spider), but you have to either follow this blog, follow me on twitter or follow my facebook page – your name or alias will suffice, as proof. And if you want to tell me your best Halloween secret, it’ll  make me a happy girl♥ The contest ends on Halloween night, at midnight, and the lucky winner’s name will be drawn in a hat the next morning.

Good luck, and don’t forget that Hunter’s Trap is on sale at 0.99$ for a very limited time!!

 

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Giveaway Winners & Other Important Things

Halloween has come and gone, but there’s still a few skeletons in my closet:) First, we have giveaway winners: ZADA KENT wins the Girls & Monsters signed copy + The Monster Collection Skellies, and LAUREN GOFF is the winner for the Deaths by Drive-In ecopy anthology!!!

Laughing your head offNow, on other important things. I was lucky enough to be a contributor in THE CARNIVAL 13 collective novel and up until now had to keep my mouth shut about it… it nearly killed me, I was so excited! The proceeds go to Scares That Care, you get spooked by 13 authors writing each a chapter and you discover new favorites amongst the creepy clowns and wolfboys;)

Intrigued? Here’s more about it…

 

The Carnival 13

Come one, come all! Step right up and join thirteen masters of macabre literature as they take you on a journey unlike anything you’ve ever traveled. We’ve got freaks, fantasy and fear; all lined up waiting to take your breath away.

Will you be tempted by the Freaks of the Flesh? Astounded by the Freaks of Fantasy? Baffled by the Freaks of the Mind? All this and more await you for just the small price of three tickets… and your soul.

Featuring all-new and exclusive chapters from John Everson; Jason Darrick; Dan Dillard; Charles Colyott; Dale Eldon; James Garcia Jr.; Matt Schiariti; Anne Michaud; Rebecca Besser; Armand Rosamilia; Jon Olson; Brent Abell; and Julianne Snow – this twisted tale will leave you gasping until your last breath.

All proceeds to benefit Scares That Cares!

Available at:

Amazon: US, UK, Canada, Germany, Spain, Italy, France, Brazil, Japan, India, Mexico

CreateSpace

Smashwords

 

The Carnival 13 Excerpt:

From Chapter One – John Everson

“I hate fuckin’ carnivals,” Brian said to a captive audience of clothes. They hung silently on their hangers, steadfastly refusing to comment. He absolutely did not want to go to the carnival. His clothes weren’t going to argue. But that didn’t change the fact he had to get dressed.

The colorful B & S Enterprises trucks had started unloading and setting up the tilt-a-whirl, Pirate’s Delight, and Bumble-Bee Bop rides in the Blackburn Mall parking lot on Wednesday. Polly had seen them on her drive to work after school. As much as Brian hated the damn things, he wasn’t going to let her see that, not after Polly had asked – with big gosh honey please eyes – if they could go. He was sure his face had lost all expression when he’d realized what she was begging for, but he’d gained control before letting her see his game-losing stare.

“Uh, sure!” he’d somehow managed. And Polly, excited about the idea of cotton candy and watergun balloon games, had managed to ignore or completely miss the look of frightened, anxious “Oh God, please no!” on her boyfriend’s face for the second it had appeared.

He rolled his eyes in the silence of his room and pulled his American Idiot concert t-shirt from the hanger. Somehow it seemed appropriate.

Fifteen minutes later, he was forcing a smile on the doorstep of Polly’s place. When she came to the door, light brown hair perfectly tousled over her shoulder, wearing a tight pink t-shirt and blue cut-off jean shorts, Brian’s forced smile changed from false to full-on for-real. She looked delicious.

“Don’t be too late,” her mom called from inside the house.

Polly turned and flashed an “oh puh-leez” look behind her. “I won’t,” she promised. Then she took his elbow and pulled him toward the driveway. “C’mon,” she said. “I want to get there before dark!”

Brian took another look at her glowing smile and even brighter eyes and decided that as much as he hated carnivals, this was going to be an amazing night.

***

The mall parking lot was already packed when they pulled in and were directed off the asphalt to an impromptu lot in the neighboring field. The carnival itself straddled both the asphalt and the long, normally empty grass to the west of the mall. It was the first real heat of summer, and everyone in town was ready for a party. The visiting carnival gave them a good excuse, and they didn’t pass it up. It looked as if everyone in Blackburn had turned out. The buzz of the crowd was already loud above the festive music of the midway. Brian and Polly stood in a long line at the ticket counter for 10 minutes before a ticket-taker – oddly garbed in clown makeup, with pitch-black fingernails – snapped up their money and slapped down two generic red rectangles that said ‘Ticket’, proving they should have entrance.

“Can we get cotton candy?” Polly asked, as soon as they stepped past the ticket booth.

“Sure,” Brian agreed, and led her across the asphalt to an electric pink cart just a few steps away. A man in a white coat and hat was busy swiping a cardboard cone around the inside of the glass cart, gathering up strands of spun sugar to create a hive of sweet cotton for someone waiting just on the other side of the window. The air around them throbbed, alive with tinkling bells, calliope music, and the screams and laughs of people diving and soaring not far away on one of the big oval rides that took you up into the air almost to the moon before suddenly dropping down to the earth in a pendulum arc that looked guaranteed to end in a crash to the pavement. Lights caught them, blinded them in hazy yellows, reds and blues and then were momentarily gone.

They were in the center of it all, and Brian knew that his trepidation, no, alienation about the carnival, was not going to find a receptive ear here. All around them people were having a blast.

They eventually made it to the concessions cart’s window and as the white-clad man spun sugar onto a paper cone for his girlfriend, the hair on the back of Brian’s neck stood up straight as a voice from behind yelled out, “Polly! What is up, girl?”

It was Francis Blellingfield. Brian knew that without looking….

 


Halloween + Coffin Hop = Girls & Monsters Giveaway♥

coffinhop

It’s no secret: autumn is my favorite time of year, especially because of Mother Nature lashing out her brightest colors before killing everything for winter. And then there’s Halloween, the celebration of the Dead and the Un-Dead. So pretty the skulls and spiders adorning the neighborhood, the pumpkin grins and the skeleton dances, so inspiring for future stories to come.

And so I want to spread the dark joy of scaring people, of making people squeal in disgust and hide in fright by giving away a signed copy of my collection of dark tales for young adult, Girls & Monsters, as well as The Monsters Collection of Skellies. Of course, I won’t be celebrating alone, so please visit my fellow Coffin Hoppers blogs and websites for other scares and goodies by clicking the sexy zombies, up above.

Coffinhopgiveaway*Girls & Monsters Giveaway*

1st prize winner gets a signed copy of Girls & Monsters plus The Monsters Collection of Skellies, made by moi.

2nd prize winner gets a digital copy of Death By Drive-In, an anthology featuring short stories written by 24 horror authors/Coffin Hoppers.

To participate, click here: a Rafflecopter giveaway

Beginning on Octobre 24th and ending on Halloween at Midnight (east), the contest is international, the winners will be picked by ramdom.org, and the prizes shipped the next day. Good luck♥


Chatting with… Axel Howerton

The Trick: Axel is the brains behind the popular Coffin Hop for horror writers at Halloween. The Treat: his book hot Sinatra just came out and he’s talking inspiration. Enjoy, peeps ♥

 

“Where do you get your ideas from?”

“uhhhhhhhhh…”

It’s a dialogue transaction that every writer knows like the back of their QWERTY hand. Sometimes we hear it so often that the ol’ mental third round bell rings and we lunge out of the corner screaming “YO MOMMA GAVE ‘EM TO ME”. Sometimes we stuff our hands in corduroy pockets and mumble an apologetic “here and there”. And sometimes, someone as lovely, talented and congenial as Anne Michaud asks, and you dig deep and give honestly in the name of art and entertainment.

Hot_Sinatra_300dpi_2x3DSMy latest experiment in the fictional pursuits, Hot Sinatra, is a throwback to the pulp fiction of the 20’s and 30’s, typified by the likes of Hammett and Chandler, James M. Cain, Erle Stanley Gardner, Carroll John Daly, Raoul Whitfield and the like. Stories about hard men who used fists and guns to save endangered dames and foil the plans of nefarious millionaires and dangerous gangsters. The language was highly colloquial and tied to the time and place, most of it actually created by writers with no ties to the real nitty gritty of crime in the 30’s. More often than not, the criminals and gangbangers picked up their slang from the pulp mags, like Black Mask and Detective Story.  Today’s idea of “Detective Fiction”, and the archetype of the “square-jawed, two-fisted hero”, came directly from those pages of adventure and crime-fighting.

Chief among my own inspirations from the era was Chandler’s Phillip Marlowe, main man of most of Chandler’s oeuvre. Marlowe was smart, but tough, wily, but always just naïve enough to fall for the wrong girl, or the wrong explanation. I love the idea of an everyman hero who is actually a far sight beyond the everyman. Smarter, nobler, more loyal, and always letting his own morality hobble his potential. He never quite makes the big payoff. He always misses happiness and contentment by a hair’s breadth, and always because he tries to be a better kind of man. Maybe it’s my own struggles with the dreaded potential, or the idea that, maybe… just maybe, this will be the day that karma pays back. Whatever it is, the contradictions inherent to those characters intrigue me.

So I sat back, filled to the brim with hundreds of pulp detective stories, and thought about how to best approach such a story. I wanted to bring it into a modern setting, but without the lazy fallback of everyone wearing zoot suits and talking like bad Bogey impersonators. I didn’t want to pull a Romeo + Juliet and just throw archaic language in the mouths of modern characters.  I settled on making my protagonist a man-out-of-time, struggling to fulfill the expectations of a real-life Phillip Marlowe, personified in the ghost of a dead grandfather. It gave Mossimo Cole the background to act more like a stand-up guy of the 30’s and speak in the kind of rambling, self-reflecting narrative voice that Raymond Chandler perfected so many decades ago. It also gave me occasion to work in some of the reverence and respect I have for my own grandfathers, one who was a kind, but serious man, who led a very hard life. The other is one of the most generous, gregarious and charming storytellers I have ever known.

So many other inspirations fell out of me like surging rivers of pop-culture ephemera, everything from punk rock to tattoos, from Sinatra to my own horrible coffee addiction, and a liberal dose of my own misspent youth and experiences with alcohol abuse and self-destructive nihilism.

One last inspiration I really should mention is that of my dear departed friend, Ryan “Foxy” Fox. Much of that previously mentioned “misspent youth” was spent in the company of Foxy. He was that one dude in a million, who lit up every room he entered, and left with the friendship and goodwill of every single person present. Foxy was a whirlwind of energy, a constant source of mirth and merriment, and the best friend a guy could ask for. He was a rockabilly rebel, lead singer and guitar-slinger of The Nightstalkers, wild and unkempt and exploding into every corner of the world. His untimely death left everyone he knew with a hole in their hearts, and my own is still scarred and empty in that spot. I didn’t plan on writing him into the story, but he came out, loud and strong and alive as ever. I like to think Foxy is the real heart of the story, and the one person Mossimo Cole could never live without.

In the end, I think my little novel has come out pretty damn well. It has been lauded for its voice, for its ability to invoke the Phillip Marlowe’s and Sam Spades of yesterday, while remaining a thoroughly modern story of love and violence, crime and comedy. I like that. I’m proud of that, and I sure hope you’ll give it a chance.

Hot Sinatra is available now in paperback and eBook formats from most online retailers and retail outlets including Amazon.com and Barnes & Noble

 

twilight oneAxel Howerton is the author of the quirky neo-noir novel Hot Sinatra, the mini-anthology Living Dead at Zigfreidt & Roy, and a bevy of short stories and hidden gems. Axel is the co-creator of the annual Coffin Hop author extravaganza and the long-time editor of http://www.eyecrave.net. His work has recently appeared in Big Pulp, Fires on the Plain, Steampunk Originals, A Career Guide To Your Job In Hell and the holiday anthology Let It Snow: Season’s Readings For A Super-Cool Yule. Axel is currently working on several projects, including a Steampunk novella for the Empires of Steam & Rust series, and a bottle of Irish whiskey.

He lives in Western Canada with his two brilliant young sons and a wife that is way out of his league. You can visit Axel online at http://www.axelhowerton.com


And the Skellies go to….

I’m very happy to announce my Marriage Cures Love couple of Skellies will be heading to Lauren McKay’s home on Halloween’s day ♥ Congrats, Lauren:)

For the sourpusses, I’ll be giving away a series of Monsters Skellies for my upcoming book launch, GIRLS & MONSTERS, so keep your eyes opened – and beware, they’re behind you….

And now for zombie fans, my very first anthology published short story BLOOD on the BEACH is now available to read for free on Tales of the Zombie War.

Halloween is my favorite time of year, it involves spooks, candy and tragic skies…but please enjoy safely, no one likes a *real* corpse ♥

 


Halloween Withdrawal: Coffin Hop Winners

I had a blast hopping from one blog to the next, participating to great contests and making my own. And then, after the trick and treating, comes the post sugar-rush: picking winners.

You ALL did such a great job, I found myself having a *slight* panic attack as to choose 3 stories that chilled my bones, since they all did. You guys are utterly original, unique, talented writers, and I feel honored you participated to my contest.

1st PLACE: REN WAROM

Glue

I’m standing here. And the rain falls. Gathers in puddles huge enough to drown a house. Swallow it whole. My hair, my clothes, plastered down like they’re glued to me. There’s a hollow ring as the downpour clatters across the top of a corrugated roof. Sounds like gunfire. Like the end of the world.

Lights pierce the shroud of rainfall. They watch me, giant yellow eyes. I hear tyres on gravel, crunching loud as the shatter of bones, and we’re illuminated. The door flies open, Gina stumbles out, mouth wide as a puddle. She runs to me, falls to her knees, arms out. And I hear myself shouting.

‘I tried to make her look right. I tried to fix her. But she wouldn’t stick together.’

2nd PLACE: MILO JAMES FOWLER

Clowns Don’t Really Smile

We
Just
Unhinge
Our slack jaws
And wait for you to
Accidentally make eye contact…

3rd PLACE: LAURI MARTIN

There’s a house like any other house, except for the bear skull hanging above the front door, and the knocker resembling a giant skinned knuckle.

On Halloween we’d skip this house, but one year a pack of us ran to the door. Buck, bolstered by his Superman costume, rang the bell. It sounded like a hornet swarm. I froze. The others ran off.

She’s clever, Mrs. Shyer. Made a wreath out of me. Used paint and shoe polish so my bones look fake. I hang outside year-round now. Sometimes at Christmas she puts a red bell between my teeth.

***A SPECIAL MENTION to JANICE NEWTON and her creepy three entries***


Coffin Hop Horror Contest (and cool prizes)

I ♥ Halloween. Cold and dark and spooky, the night of the dead is my favorite holiday, which is why the Coffin Hop Horror Web Tour is the perfect opportunity to celebrate it!

I’m holding a writing contest to test my fellow 96 hopping horror authors bloggers and friendly followers–I always ask for kids to sing when they trick or treat at my door, so here it goes…

RULES:

    • Scare me in 100 words or less! Fright me to no end with unique, non-rape/animal abuse/ torture horror in the comment section.
    • Subscribe by email to my blog
    • Tweet about the contest using @annecmichaud (Non-twitteroons can still participate, of course)
    • Contest starts on the 24th of October and ends on Halloween at midnight, winners will be announced the following week.
    • Have a spooky good time:)

Aleister is very sensitive about his vitamin B12 intakes

    PRIZES:

  • 1- A special vampire edition skeleton, handmade by moi
  • 2- A critique of 5k
  • 3- An interview or guest post on my blog

The first place winner gets to choose first, then the second and third, last. I wish you good luck and may the haunting Muse be with you!