Spotlight & Excerpt: River of Wrath + Giveaway

river-of-wrath-by-alexandrea-weis-lucas-astor--banner
River of Wrath by Alexandrea Weis & Lucas Astor
  • Title: River of Wrath
  • Series: St. Benedict series, Book 2
  • By: Alexandrea Weis & Lucas Astor
  • Genre: Mystery/Thriller/Suspense/Horror
  • Published by: Vesuvian Books
  • Publication Date: January 2023
  • Number of Pages: 270
  • ISBN: 9781645480174

Book Links: Amazon | Barnes & Noble | BookShop.org | Goodreads | Vesuvian Media Group


More secrets are about to be uncovered, beginning with the arrival of a handsome stranger, and the discovery of bones long buried beneath the river …

*

Leslie Moore is struggling to get through her last semester at St. Benedict High. Even her relationship with her boyfriend Derek is falling apart. But after receding floodwaters from the Bogue Falaya River expose the bones of a woman, Leslie becomes obsessed with tracking down the killer.

*

Sightings of an apparition haunting The Abbey send Leslie and her friends back to the scene of the horrors from last Halloween, but no one is prepared for what they find.

*

After a stranger—the handsome Luke Cross—arrives in town, another girl goes missing, and the sheriff suspects the newcomer is hiding something. Leslie believes the Devereaux family is connected to everything going wrong in St. Benedict. And she means to uncover the truth, no matter the cost.

*

Not all secrets can be kept silent. Some eventually find their way home.

Read an excerpt:

“Come not within the measure of my wrath.”
~William Shakespeare

CHAPTER ONE

Sweat gathered under the brim of Kent Davis’s Stetson as he walked the sandy beach along the Bogue Falaya River. He didn’t feel the brisk January breeze or pay attention to the mutterings of the forensic team. The unease burning in his gut shut out all distractions. He rested his hand on his belt, brushing against his Louisiana sheriff’s badge. The rub of metal reminded him of the oath he’d sworn to protect and serve, but on days like this, he hated his job. Dispatch had initially deemed the early morning call from a frantic jogger a hoax. After an officer confirmed there was a body, Kent arrived at the scene to confront his worst nightmare—another murder. He already had three unsolved deaths weighing heavily on his department. Two high school students and a woman from out of town had died there in a matter of months. City leaders had been breathing down his neck for answers. Kent studied the black body bag the technicians carried. This was only going to make his job harder. His crew combed the beach, where receding floodwaters had exposed a young woman’s grave. From the looks of her bleached bones, partially covered in the remnants of a red dress, she’d been there for quite some time. He doubted they’d find anything admissible. There would be trace evidence, but no footprints, no debris, no blood, and no signs of struggle. He climbed the steep hill from the beach to the parking area, scanning for any clues. Everywhere was a potential crime scene. After years of being in law enforcement, he doubted he could see the world in any other way. “I don’t like this one bit, Bill,” Kent said, approaching the heavyset coroner waiting by the open doors of his van. “What’s there to like. We got a dead girl who’s been buried here a long time.” Dr. Bill Broussard removed a pair of black-framed glasses from his egg-shaped head. “You might find a lead in old missing persons reports.” “I’ll access the St. Tammany Parish database when I get to the station. Until then, she’s a Jane Doe.” Kent eyed the coroner’s van. “How long will it take to know something?” Bill cleaned his glasses and moved out of the way while a technician slammed the doors closed. He waited until the man climbed into the driver’s side before responding. “You realize workin’ with old bones makes it harder to identify the cause of death. Let me get her to the lab, then we’ll see.” “I got enough going on with Beau Devereaux, Dawn Moore, and Andrea Harrison.” Kent tipped back his hat. “This makes four bodies and no leads.” “As soon as people catch wind of this, the gossip mill will run wild.” Bill motioned to the van. “We already got enough rumors flying around about serial killers and rapists on the loose.” “But at least we know this isn’t a serial killer.” “Do we?” Bill flipped through a few pictures on his phone and showed Kent the screen. Kent looked at the bloody mess that had comprised the remains of Beau Devereaux. The golden boy of St. Benedict had been a football star and heir to the Devereaux fortune. The day Kent found his mutilated body along the river had been one of the worst of his career. Beau’s death, on the heels of the rape and grisly murder of Dawn Moore, had shattered his faith in their small town. He squinted at the picture. “What am I missing?” Bill pointed at Beau’s bruised and bloody neck. “Trachea isn’t midline. It’s in two pieces. In the autopsy, I discovered his neck had been broken.” Kent thought of the murder cases that cluttered his desk. “Same as the Harrison girl. Her neck was broken. Any chance wild dogs could have done this?” Bill’s meaty lips thinned into a line. “Harrison had no bite marks. Only Beau suffered extensive puncture wounds. For a dog to snap someone’s neck, it would have to be big and have impressive jaw strength. Until your men find me an animal like that, I’m leaving Beau’s death a homicide.” He wiped his damp brow. “What worries me is this woman’s bones show there might be a break in her neck, too. If that’s the case, someone around here could have a long history of murder.” Kent grew irate. He’d left the turmoil of working for the New Orleans Police Department to get away from the steady dose of homicides. Ten years ago, St. Benedict had been the answer to a prayer for him, his wife, and their two boys. He didn’t want to think such horror could have remained hidden for so long in the idyllic town. “Send me the preliminary results of the autopsy as soon as you get them.” Kent pinched the bridge of his nose, fighting off a headache. “I want it in my hand when I tell Gage Devereaux what we found. He might recall someone who went missing. He’s lived here all his life and is bound to have heard something.” Bill swatted at a passing fly. “He won’t be happy to hear about another body. You know how protective he is of St. Benedict.” “Yep. I expect this will piss him off.” The patriarch and owner of the biggest employer, Benedict Brewery, Gage oversaw everything in the town. Some called him a control freak—a trait many had seen in his son, Beau—but to Kent, Gage was thorough, detail-oriented, and would have made a great detective if he hadn’t taken over the family business. “He’s gonna ask you if this has anything to do with the investigation into Beau’s death.” Bill frowned. “What’re you gonna tell him?” Kent clenched his jaw. “We don’t know if any of these deaths are related.” “Yet,” Bill added. “Seems like an awfully big coincidence to me.” Kent pulled keys from the front pocket of his jeans. “There’re too many coincidences going on around here, and they all seem to center on this damned river. When can you get me a DNA report?” “Might take a while.” Bill scratched his head. “Budget constraints and the backlog of cases clogging the system have slowed everything down.” “How long are we talking? A week?” Bill snorted. “More like weeks. A long-dead Jane Doe isn’t exactly a priority. Otherwise, we could get a rush on it.” “Then we’ll just have to wait and see what we get back,” Kent grumbled. Bill went to the driver’s side of the van and spoke to the technician. He then waved at Kent before walking away. The sheriff waited as the van slowly eased onto the main road, with Bill’s black SUV following close behind. Alone, Kent removed his hat and gazed up at the tall pines rimming the parking lot. Cresting above the tallest of the trees was The Abbey’s single charred limestone spire—its twin lost in the fire. The serene place had witnessed so many atrocities—suicide, fire, and Dawn Moore’s murder. Kent would never understand what the Benedictine monks who founded the seminary ever saw in that cursed land. Legends about the abandoned abbey and its wild dogs had floated around the community for as long as anyone could remember. When the dogs appear, death is near. He’d never believed any of the stories until now. Kent feared there might be some truth to the legend, after all. And the worst was yet to come. *** Excerpt from River of Wrath by Alexandrea Weis & Lucas Astor. Copyright 2023 by Alexandrea Weis & Lucas Astor. Reproduced with permission from Alexandrea Weis & Lucas Astor. All rights reserved.
 

Author Bios:

Alexandrea Weis:

Author Alexandrea Weis, RN-CS, PhD, is an award-winning author, advanced practice registered nurse, and wildlife rehabber who was born and raised in the French Quarter. She has taught at major universities and worked with victims of sexual assault, abuse, and mental illness in a clinical setting at many New Orleans area hospitals. She is a member of the International Thriller Writers Organization and Horror Writers Association.

Catch Up With Alexandrea: stbenedictseries.com Goodreads BookBub – @AlexandreaWeis Instagram – @st.benedictseries Twitter – @alexandreaweis Facebook – @StBenedictSeries

 

Lucas Astor:

Co-author Lucas Astor is an award-winning author and poet with a penchant for telling stories that delve into the dark side of the human psyche. He likes to explore the evil that exists, not just in the world, but next door behind a smiling face. Astor currently lives outside of Nashville, TN.

Catch Up With Lucas: Instagram – @lucasastorauthor

 

ENTER TO WIN:

This is a giveaway hosted by Partners in Crime Tours for Vesuvian Books, Alexandrea Weis & Lucas Astor. See the widget for entry terms and conditions. Void where prohibited.

Tour Participants:

Visit these other great hosts on this tour for more great reviews, excerpts, and giveaway entries!  

Get More Great Reads at Partners In Crime Tours

Spotlight, Interview & Giveaway- POIKO: Quests & Stuff, by Brian Middleton

WINTER WONDERBOUND

poiko-quests-stuff-9781638490715_hr

Title: POIKO: Quests & Stuff
Author: Brian Middleton, Rebecca Taylor (Editor)
Pub. Date: April 12, 2022
Publisher: Wonderbound
Formats: Paperback, eBook
Pages: 128
Find it: Goodreads, Books2Read

A new adorable anthropomorphic adventurer awaits, and his name is Poiko! Perfect for fans of Mouse Guard, Little Robot, and Hilda!

THERE IS NO SUCH THING AS AN “AVERAGE” DAY FOR POIKO!

Have you ever had to deliver a care package to a dragon with allergies? Have you ever been waylaid by a school of space fish? That’s just an average day for Poiko, the kingdom’s most reliable courier. The world can be a big, scary place, but it can also be wondrous. Sad things can happen, but there are always good friends to turn to, or new friends to make. And no matter what, there is always, always someone who could use your help. Poiko learns all these lessons and more every time he brushes his tail, pulls on his hoodie, and steps out into a new adventure. The philosophical whimsicality of Calvin & Hobbes meets the fantasy-scapes of Adventure Time in this modern-day classic.


Praise:

“In this sincere and exuberant fantasy adventure … Fanciful, visually engrossing backdrops and the sprawling cast of characters bring to mind classic Sunday comic aesthetics.”― PUBLISHERS WEEKLY

“Poiko: Quests and Stuff will delight young readers and drop them into a world that’s magical and interesting while reflecting something incredibly human in the way the characters interact with their community.” — Eliza Viera ― Gate Crashers

#1 Weekly pick from Good Comics for Kids!

Download DIGITAL ITEMS (Bookmarks, Digital Wallpapers, and Poster), HERE!


Holiday Interview with Brian Middleton:

The Winter Holidays and YOU!

What Winter holidays do you celebrate in December and January … and how do you celebrate them?

Christmas and New Years Eve. For Christmas, My wife and I wait for our daughters to wake up and then watch them as they open their gifts.. We hang out together for a little and then head to my in-laws for Lunch, Dinner and eventually more gifts! For New Years we gather at my sister-in-law’s house to play video games and ring in the new year together!

What traditions are old family traditions?

We don’t really have any old family traditions.

What traditions are ones that YOU’VE started?

My wife and I give the girls a new set of pajamas on Christmas Eve, then we make Hot Chocolate and watch a Christmas movie with them. It’s a good soft lead into the big day.

What sort of activities during the holidays are your favorites?

Just being with family. That “surrounded by family while turkey and sweet potatoes are just a reach away” feeling is one of my favorites.

What activities do you like the least?

Doing the dishes after all of that cooking!

What are your favorite holiday memories from childhood?

When I was young, my extended family would gather at my grandmother’s house. After we ate, some of us would go into the empty parking lot across the street and play “two-hand touch” football. I loved that so much.

What are your favorite holiday memories from adulthood?

Seeing my daughters experience Christmas is always a blessing. It makes the holiday feel fresh and new for me, while also drawing me back to my childhood memories.

What are your favorite holiday foods?

Turkey, Mashed Potatoes, Sweet Potatoes, Corn and Stuffing is my ideal meal, year round 🙂

 What makes these Winter holidays so special for you?

The idea of “Peace on Earth and good will towards men” is something that I love. You see a lot of charity and generosity at this time of year, which lifts my spirit. And again, I can’t say enough how much I love the big turkey dinners at this time of year!

Anything else you’d like to talk about that is holiday-related?

I hope it’s awesome for you lovely readers, and that your spirits are lifted!

The Winter Holidays and … your characters!

How do your book’s characters celebrate the holidays? Do they celebrate with family & friends?

I think Poiko and Kensie likely make the rounds to see all of the friends they have met through the year as they make their deliveries. They start early in the day and don’t get home until late. Kensie probably still has a schedule to keep them on track, but is a little more lax with how they keep to it.

  What do they eat?

Whatever they can get their hands on as they make their way around. I imagine that Poiko would eat at every house and Kensie would be a little more reserved. I feel like he is probably a shy eater.

 What do you think they’d like to do?

I think they end up playing music wherever and whenever the opportunity arises. I think there is a little bit of the Christmas Spirit in their day to day lives, so I don’t think they act much different during the actual holidays.

If your book’s characters visited during the holidays, how would you celebrate with them?

I would definitely get everyone together to play some punk rock Christmas carols! I can’t imagine how awesome it would be to hug my characters and tell them that I love them. That would be a great day!

Would your character like to say anything to readers for holiday cheer?

However you celebrate, I hope it’s awesome for you, and I hope your spirits are lifted!


About Brian Middleton:

brianBrian Middleton has been telling stories in one form or another for his whole life. His first comic book (published by his brother’s 4th grade teacher and the school’s copy machine) sold out at the distributor level. After that there was no looking back! He continued drawing as the years went on and wrote several short stories. Eventually he married the woman of his dreams and together they started a family. At this point his mind began to drift back to his first creative passion: comic books! After dipping his toe in the water with a handful of self-published and work-for-hire comics he decided to take the deep dive and create his first series, Wulfborne. The three issue mini-series, published by Scout Comics, released in February 2019 to rave reviews. The comics review site, Reading With A Flight Ring, called the book “an understated masterpiece of fiction” and called Brian “a madman, a fool and a genius”, which, as far as anyone knows, is all true. With the creation of Wulfborne complete Brian has turned his creative attention toward his next project, Poiko: Quests and Stuff. The rest of his attention is focused squarely on his one wonderful wife, two beautiful daughters and six (feel free, dear reader, to fill in here the adjective of your choice) cats.

Website | Twitter | Facebook | Instagram | Goodreads


 Giveaway Details:

1 winner will win finished copies of every book featured in the WALKING IN A WINTER WONDERBOUND from VAULT tour, US Only.

1 winner will win eBooks of every book featured in the WALKING IN A WINTER WONDERBOUND from VAULT tour from iBooks, International.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Ends January 17th, midnight EST.

Book Blitz: Accursed Son, by Eric Avedissan

Accursed Son Blitz Banner

Accursed Son
  The Martyr’s Vow Series, Book 1

by Eric Avedissan

Urban Fantasy / Horror

To Be Published: 12-12-2022

Publisher: Shadow Spark Publishing

photo add-to-goodreads-button_zpsc7b3c634.png

Armand Tarkanian is trapped in the ultimate dead-end job: embalming decedents under his abusive uncle’s watchful eye. Every day he goes through the motions, making death look beautiful while his life is anything but.

A car accident leaves him indebted to Berj, a mysterious man with rune carved gold teeth and a penchant for worshipping old gods. Blackmailed and desperate, Armand feels more trapped than he was under his uncle’s thumb. But the embalmer harbors his own dark secret, a bloodline curse that allows him to communicate with the dead.

When the spirits show him how they were murdered, Armand must choose between fealty to the sadistic and manipulative Berj, or joining the Legion of the Lamb, a monster-hunting biker gang with their own agenda. What began as a dangerous game between secret societies has led Armand on a frightening quest to save the only family he’s ever known and a chance to get closer to the rebellious misfits who saved him.

Heartfelt and provocative, Accursed Son is a story featuring generational clashes, found families, and the rewards of tempting fate.

Purchase Link

Amazon


About the Author

 

Eric Avedissian is an adjunct professor and speculative fiction author. He lives in New Jersey with his wife and a ridiculous number of books. When not chained to his writing desk, he hikes the Pinelands and wastes too much time on social media. Accursed Son is his first novel. Visit him online and on Twitter: @angryreporter.

Contact Links

Website / Instagram / Twitter / Goodreads


Giveaway:

RABT Book Tours & PR

Scroll Up