Thursday, 29 January 2009

Death of a Furby

The following is a small piece of fiction, presented for your reading pleasure:


I killed my Furby. I didn’t want to, but it was self-defence. Once it became possessed it was either me or the fuzzy toy.

I didn’t mean to raise a demon, and I certainly never wanted that annoying, furry toy to morph into a curse spitting, blood-thirsty hell spawn. I was just trying to finish the assignment for my class on Dark Spectral Magic. I needed to conjure a shadow hound, plus document the process, so I tried to book a workroom at school, but they were all in use. In order to finish before the deadline I decided to work out of my dorm room; I swear I didn’t think it would cause a potential disaster.

I set up my equipment and the spellbook, and that yappy little Furby was sitting on my shelf, looking innocent. I hadn’t even bought the thing; it was a joke Christmas gift from my girlfriend. I don’t know where she got the stupid relic, but it never shut up, constantly spewing its nonsensical noise. That’s part of the reason I made the mistake.

It was just one word, one inane word. I was in the middle of the spell, and I accidentally repeated some silly phrase that daft Furby said. The minute the word left my lips I knew I was in trouble; it turned out that infuriating piece of fluff was spouting Ancient Daemon! That was a shock to be sure; I didn’t expect dark magic to be involved with a toy! (Although it does explain quite a bit about that particular toy).

As you might expect, uttering a word in Ancient Daemon transformed the whole spell. It opened a freaking portal to the underworld, drew a demon straight into my little furball. In a blink, an inanimate object twisted into a small, pointy-eared, fanged, slavering fiend. The nasty little beast was fast, springing forward to clamp its teeth on my arm, trying to chew on my flesh. I screamed, (that thing had sharp teeth), but I still managed to zap it with a fire spell. It let go of my arm, but I think it liked being set on fire; it appeared to eat the flames!

That kind of freaked me. I don’t really remember picking up the baseball bat, but I do remember beating the crap out of that possessed toy. By the time I was done, there was just an oozing pool of fur, guts and rather ominous dark blood spread over the floor (not to mention the sticky splatters over the walls and my clothes).

Now my assignment is ruined, my room is in shambles, and I don’t know how I’m going to justify this incident to my professors.

I just hope it won’t influence my grade.


Copyright© 2009 A. F. Stewart

Saturday, 24 January 2009

Book Review: The Devil Can Wait

My Review of The Devil Can Wait by Marta Stephens

I was impressed by Marta Stephens’ first novel Silenced Cry, and was looking forward to her next book. I was not disappointed, finding The Devil Can Wait even more enjoyable. Again, as with her first book, I was drawn in by the realistic character interplay, especially the portrayal of the often frustrating work of a homicide detective.

The book begins in the middle of a messy crime spree, with the discovery of the latest teenage body in a string of possibly related murders. Short-handed and overworked, Sam Harper and his partner have no leads and a workload of aggravation. Throw in several more strange murders, a homicidal Colombian, a cursed ring that could bring the apocalypse, an attractive, vibrant reporter slated to become a damsel in distress, and Sam Harper is up against the clock to save lives by solving the case.

“He didn’t need one of Jack’s lectures on viable evidence. Not now. What he wanted was a neon sign pointing straight to the killer. As it was, there were as many possibilities for how that tiny bruise got on the boy’s finger as there were reasons to keep digging for answers.”

Marta Stephens does an admirable job of blending a solid crime mystery with an exotic supernatural touch and the undertone of religious beliefs. She never veers into the outrageous or unbelievable, but still manages to keep that small air of “what if”, integrating it all into a fabulous whole.

“The urgency that prodded him two minutes ago was suddenly gone. It’s nothing but hogwash, he told himself. A wives’ tale told to scare the shit out of weak men and innocent children.”

I am fast becoming a rabid fan of Ms. Stephens, appreciating her reliable plot work and her memorable characters. Her superb protagonist, Sam Harper, is a genuine, somewhat imperfect, thoroughly human personality. From his dedication to the job to his rather messy personal life, it is this character that breathes vivid life into the pages of her books.

A definite recommend for all fans of crime/mystery fiction.


Book Link on Amazon.com: The Devil Can Wait
Book Link on Amazon.ca: The Devil Can Wait

About the Author:

Marta Stephens is a native of Argentina who has made Indiana her home since the age of four. This mild-manner lady turned to crime with the publication of the first in her Sam Harper Crime Mystery series, SILENCED CRY (2007) which went on to receive honorable mention at the 2008 New York Book Festival and top ten in the 2007 Preditors & Editors Reader Poll.

Stephens holds a Bachelor of Arts degree in Journalism/Public Relations from Ball State University (IN) where she is employed in human resources. She is a member of Sisters in Crime International, Sisters in Crime Speed City Indiana Chapter, and the Midwest Writer's Workshop.


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Friday, 9 January 2009

A Review: Ghost to Coast Tours and Haunted Places by Rhetta Akamatsu

A review of the book Ghost to Coast Tours and Haunted Places


This supernatural travel tour guide brings new meaning to the phrase “your favourite haunts”.
The essence of Ghost to Coast Tours and Haunted Places functions as a handbook for ghost tours and suspected haunted locations across the United States. It succeeds admirably, tantalising with intriguing accounts of apparitions, while supplying a nice directory of where to find the best places to go ghost hunting.
The book is laid out alphabetically by state, listing each state’s available ghost tours as well as some of the details of these colourful and fascinating tales. Several of the accompanying articles are by guest writers, giving them varying results of appeal, but nevertheless they all retain a certain entertainment value.
You’ll read short tidbits about famous ghosts, obscure ghosts, odd phenomenon, famous places and not so famous places. I especially found the references to Deadwood and Lawrence, Kansas interesting (for all you Supernatural and HBO fans out there). You will travel state by state through a whirlwind of ghostly phenomenon, your curiosity captivated by alluring tidbits of a spectral afterlife. The only complaint I can offer is that these otherworldly teasers were too brief; I ended up wishing for far more details and additional facts.
Ghost to Coast Tours and Haunted Places is a wonderful little paranormal manual, and would make an excellent companion for any would be paranormal enthusiast. The book has been well researched, is easy to read and always engaging. If you are looking for an atypical travel guide, or a thorough introduction to unexplained phenomenon, this is definitely the book for you.

Book Link: Ghost to Coast Tours and Haunted Places

Rhetta Akamatsu is a freelance writer, and an assistant editor of the ParaNexus Journal of Paranormal Research.
She has also penned the wonderful book, T’ain’t Nobody’s Business if I Do: Women Blues Singers Old and New and the craft recipe book for kids called Crafty Kids: Make Your Own Craft Recipes. You can find more information on all of her books at the website: http://www.rhettaakamatsu.com/

Thursday, 1 January 2009

Free Book Excerpt- Chronicles of the Undead

For the entire month of January you can download a free PDF excerpt of
Chronicles of the Undead from my website:

Family Secrets.
Three generations of one family share their intimacies with the world
of the vampire. Unveil the revelations and the horror of the Undead.
Chronicles of the Undead is narrated as the personal journals of
Samuel, Edmund, and Charlotte Harrington; this novella tells three
stories of temptation, vengeance, and redemption.



There is also a free download of a short story available, as well as
one of my poems.

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