Piece of Me – Coming December 15th!

Hello! Happy Friday, friends!!

Hope this week has been going well.

As you may have previously seen – I’d had planned for ‘Piece of Me‘ to come out on December 1st. Due to some happenings (which I wish I could say more of – but can’t just yet!) I’m pushing it back to the 15th. You’ll know exactly why in the next weekish here and it’s a great reason!

So let’s chat a bit more about ‘Piece of Me.’

Piece of Me

Prepare to return to the world that first appeared in ‘For Balder Walks.’

I had an idea pestering me for some time after writing Balder. I wanted to expand upon the world that I’d created and bring some life to the ‘other things’ that might inhabit that world.

I also found that as time went on, I wasn’t really writing any strong female characters. Maybe it’s my comfort level of writing male based stuff, but the only female based characters I’d really created were Rose, Jane & Penny from ‘Jane: the 816 Chronicles,’ and a lot of people seem to really love those characters.

So, I took some time and created my character first. I jotted out Kari in as complete form as I could. What her childhood had been like, her family, her life arc. Then I started to fill in the details. Then, in true Steve fashion, I took some time to create something devastating for her. And thus the path was laid before her about what this story would be about.

There has been some really stunning pre-release reviews from people already. I have to say – it’s made me pretty emotional seeing this one come together and then finding out other people are getting just what I’ve attempted.

“This story is akin to an adult fairy tale that melds horror with wonder, sparing no details of violence or trickery. Ultimately, it forces the main character to face irreversible hard choices, which she confronts with aplomb. Reading this book is like watching an epic movie in your head.” – Janie C – Goodreads review.

At it’s heart – Piece of Me is a story that follows a woman who will do absolutely anything to be reunited with her family. A decade ago, her husband and son left on a hunting trip – wanting to pad their food supplies before the winter arrived. They never came home.

So, now Kari waits for them.

This is a dark, epic fantasy with hard horror leanings. There are creatures that live in the dark, there are predators that hunt humans and there are other humans who want to stay alive when food is dwindling in such a harsh climate.

“Stred not only wove this beautiful, harrowing story of friendship and deception and sacrifice, he also built an entire world full of desolate landscapes, terrifying and hideous beasts, this world, the world beyond, and the realms between. He crafted his story so we, the readers, do not just read the feelings and emotions of the characters, of the world.” – Lauren, Goodreads review.

Before I’d wrapped up ‘Piece of Me,’ I’d actually written another short story set in the same world.

‘Poppa?’ was something I’d had in a short form for some time, trying to execute into a longer narrative. I ended up editing and modifying it for feature during last year’s Christmas Celebration at Kendall Reviews.

You can read it here;

Christmas At Kendall Reviews: ‘The Girl Who Hid In The Trees’ Author Steve Stred delivers a wonderful ‘festive’ short entitled ‘Poppa?’

Both ‘For Balder Walks,’ and ‘Poppa?’ will be included with the release of ‘Piece of Me’ as a bonus. For Christmas at Kendall Reviews this year, a third short that takes place in that world will also be available, one that tells us a bit about a character in ‘Piece of Me’ that we never find out what happens to them. See keep an eye out for that.

“The world that MC Kari lives in is a brutal, frozen, cold and unforgiving place! The landscape is filled with valleys, hills, mountains, rivers and forests that during the winter months are frozen, windswept and covered in snow measured by the foot! Creatures inhabit these forests, creatures of the night!” – Valerie, Goodreads review.

As for the release of ‘Piece of Me’ – it will be available in ebook and paperback again. At this point, I’ll only be doing these two versions, but will absolutely be doing a limited hardcover at some point. The cover is gorgeous.

This was created by my usual artist Mason McDonald. My father in law – Peter Lush took a stunning photo of his fire pit for me in Fort McMurray, which I then had Mason modify and adjust to be used.

PIECEOFME-COVER

“Piece of Me is a tale of the all consuming darkness of grief and what it does to the person or persons it touches. Stred has done a fabulous job in showcasing this without pandering to stereotypes or being overly sympathetic – this is not a pity party. But due to his fresh and bold approach at detailing grief, Stred has created a tale that is unlike anything you would have read before.” – Ross Jeffery, Author of Juniper

The ebook will be a last celebration for you all. This year has been an absolutely outstanding year for me both on the writing side and on the reviewing side – but more importantly – on the personal side. I’ve connected with so many great people and forged fantastic friendships. I love helping to support everyone and build folks up – and to everyone who does that to my stuff – thank you!

I never want price to be a barrier to enjoying my stuff. Yes, I need to be paid for my work – all artists should, but as things grow and expand, I can still offer some discounts where and when I can.

So for the first two months – from December 15th, 2019 until February 15th, 2020 – the Piece of Me ebook will be $0.99 US as a thanks. After that it will return to the usually $2.99 rate that I usually have all of my ebooks set at!

“Kari is a great protagonist: pitted against a largely male cast of men and monsters, all of whom harbor their own plans for her, she knows and relies on her own beliefs and talents.” – BP Gregory, Author of Flora & Jim

“While I’ve given you a starting point of the plot, this piece has depth I can’t begin to describe without spoilers. You will enjoy the pull of magic, a trip into other realms and planes of existence, and more wonderful, hideous creatures than you know what to do with.” – Zen Bookworm, Goodreads review

As for the paperback, I’m not sure on the pricing yet. I always try and keep them fair and low, but with this cover, I may need to a gloss finish (like Invisible) and let it pop!

“I’m ever amazed by this authors huge imagination to bring stories to life, characters you cry over and the emotional response he brings to you.” – Kim Napolitano, Goodreads review

A lot of the mythology in ‘Piece of Me’ was inspired by Norse and Scandinavian history. I did use my author imagination to modify and adjust as needed – so apologies, no offence is meant to anyone from those regions.

To say I’m excited for this release is an understatement. It’s a story that I absolutely adore and I think the character of Kari may become my all time fave character – both a character I’ve created, but anyone who enjoys my stuff will fall for her.

I hope you all will enjoy.

Ritual

I just want to touch on Ritual a bit, because it’s the little train that could. This thing is still chugging along and I’m really surprised and pleased with the response. I’ve said it a few times – but I expected a lot of 1 and 2 star reviews for this one because of the depraved content. That most seem to think it was a fun read, says a lot about just how diverse the horror reading world is!

So thank you!

Remember – it’s always a $0.99US ebook!

 

Lastly – I want to touch on some music I’m digging and what’s up in life!

Music;

If you’ve read my blog or followed my tweets or even enjoyed my Tunes From the Crypt feature on Kendall Reviews – you’ll know I love Hardcore.

Well – the godfathers of Hardcore have a number album coming out and they’ve just released a new song – and it crushes.

Agnostic Front – Spray Painted Walls

 

Gatecreeper – Everlasting

These guys just pummel and the new album is ferocious. Would love to see them live!

 

Dimmu Borgir – Mourning Palace (Live)

One of my fave Borgir tunes, this band was played in heavy rotation while writing Piece of Me. One thing I love about this video is the one orchestra member who is clearly a Dimmu fan!

 

Cradle of Filth – Blackest Magick in Practice.

Another stunning song from a band I love. This was also in heavy rotation during the writing. Dig it!

 

To wrap this longer post up – life has been great, if not hectic. I’m still getting over the remnants of a head cold and we’ve been hit with snow! Mr. Man is now getting excited for Christmas stuff – the lights, Frosty and Reindeer, so I think this holiday season will be really neat.

Hope all is well with you and your’s!

Take care and chat soon

Steve

My horrible-erotic-Santa-porn-poem

So, yesterday over on our Kendall Reviews group Twitter message, we were brainstorming about Christmas content ideas for the blog.

I was bored, in between stuff to do at work, so I jokingly said I’d submit an erotic poem instead of a story. If you know me, I don’t really stop unless told to with ideas I run on with, so no one said otherwise.

So I wrote a 300+ erotic Santa poem on my phone while standing by our one orthotic grinder.

I’m posting it here for two reasons;

1 – I ran a poll on Twitter asking if people would want to read it. An amazing 86% of respondents said – Yes, ya perv – they wanted to read it.

2 – The second is that this gives you the specific choice if you actually want to read it. If you don’t that’s fine – it’s highly inappropriate, juvenile and best left on the wall of a washroom stall at a rest stop. But I didn’t want to share it as a tweet on Twitter and randomly offend someone who was scrolling and came across it.

*I did change a few random words from the original, simply to make it more readable ie matter versus mattered etc. It was written off the cuff so I wasn’t worried about spelling errors etc. Fixed those here as well.

SO YOU’VE BEEN FOREWARNED!

TURN BACK NOW OR FACE CERTAIN DEATH

FOR THE PATH BEFORE YOU… AH HELL, IF YOU DON’T WANT TO READ IT – STOP NOW!

 

20191113_102653

Last chance!

Ok – here’s my highly inappropriate Santa Clause erotic porn poem

Enjoy.

XXX-Mas Poem

 

It was the 24th of December and all was not well

Santa’s candy cane shaft was swollen as hell

Mrs. Clause had him refused any relief

So Santa went searching for an elf under a tree

 

The halls had been decked

The cookies did crumble

When Santa’s sack finally exploded

The entire earth – it did rumble

 

The reindeer waited, nibbling on carrots

Hoping the elf wouldn’t come out and share it

They’d been at the receiving end one too many times

The last, poor Rudolph nearly lost his good eye

 

When Santa returned he had a pep in his step

The elf’s face showed he was out of his depth

But the people of earth all received quite a gift

Cuz instead of semen that poor elf swallowed piss.

So gifts in his bag and the sled onward home

I sat on the couch waiting for Santa’s foam.

 

My mom had just made a Costco trip

An industrial sized vat of lube was top of my list

So towels laid out and my pants ‘round my ankles

I scooped out the goop and prepared to be mangled

 

I heard some noise near the chimney – oh yes,

So I got into position, my ass waiting for the best

Some soot and dust sprinkled the air

As the big man arrived and forcefully took a fistful of hair

 

“On knees, on fours, on Christmas eve,” he shouted

I saw a red hat thrown before me as I was mounted

Then from the stairs there came such a clatter

It was my mother and her friends who did matter

 

They all laughed and giggled at my predicament

You see, from their angle they could view my little friend

 

But before the man could finish and dash off into the night

My brother yelled “got ya!” and turned on the light

It wasn’t no big man delivering the goods

But our dog Brutus all slobbery, howling for food.

END

 

 

Positive Week Wrap Up!

Hey all! Happy Friday! Out here, today we have freezing rain and a snow fall warning in surrounding areas! So Halloween left and things have gone all Pete Tong on us.

This week has been a tough one in the horror world. From an Edmonton Nazi being exposed after he threatened a female reviewer and then told her she should end her life, to the ChiZine explosion – it’s been horrible.

So – let’s be positive here, yeah?

I’m gonna run through a few things, but will try and keep it brief!

Exclusive Drabbles

Gonna share two drabbles here for you! Drabbles are exactly 100 word stories, not counting the title.

Father Time.

The man lay down on the ground, before the village elder and their council.

He lay there as the sands of time swallowed him whole.

Years went by, then decades. Eventually centuries had buried the man, his memory and the why of him being covered in the first place.

It wasn’t until the gnomes were digging out a new tunnel system, looking for their precious gems that a pick-axe did strike the man’s feet.

He let out a yell and struggled to sit up.

The gnomes helped him to get free.

“Thank you my friends,” he said with a smile.

 

Leprechaun

Dave had wanted to kiss Shannon since he was five years old.

Now it was just the two of them, here in the cemetery, watching the stars above.

“Shannon,” he started before a noise behind them caught their attention.

“What was that?”

They both stood, squinting into the dark.

Dave pictured a mad man rushing them then, chainsaw raised high, engine noise cutting through the silence of the night.

Instead, they heard another noise behind them. Whirling around, they saw a small, ugly creature standing on top of a tombstone.

“Boo,” it said before laughing and pouncing onto the two.

 

Ritual

Ritual is the novella that keeps on repulsing! Thank you to everyone who has checked it out, read it and reviewed it. Currently on Goodreads it has 50 ratings and 34 reviews! That’s insanity for me. It came out only six weeks ago!! Thank you thank you thank you!

If you haven’t grabbed it yet – it’s always gonna be $0.99US for the ebook!

 

Daisy’s House – Kendall Reviews Exclusive Halloween Fiction.

If you missed it, during the Halloween week, Kendall Reviews had a stunning array of features – from a fantastic short story by Andrew Cull, to amazing tales from Aiden Merchant and A.S MacKenzie, and really great offerings from Jen Sullivan and Miranda Crites. To finish it off we even got new fiction from Michelle Enelen and Tarn Richardson! There were great interviews, reviews etc. Gavin was also kind enough to let me offer up my story Daisy’s House. This is a really twisted Haunted House story. As it is almost 3000 words exactly, I asked if he’d prefer it split into three parts, which he felt would work great. So if you missed it;

Part One;

{Halloween Feature} Daisy’s House – Part 1: Steve Stred (Exclusive Fiction)

Part Two;

{Halloween Feature} Daisy’s House – Part 2: Steve Stred (Exclusive Fiction)

Part Three;

{Halloween Feature} Daisy’s House – Part 3: Steve Stred (Exclusive Fiction)

If you are looking for the complete Halloween wrap up on Kendall Reviews – look no further!

Halloween 2019 Archive

Lastly on the Halloween front – my short story ‘The Next Taste’ was kindly accepted and featured in Aphotic Realm’s Halloween Edition!

https://www.amazon.com/Halloween-Aphotic-Realm-Magazine/dp/1704153662/

What I’m Working On;

I’ve recently entered the Annihilation Radiation Short Story Competition hosted by Storgy.  When you sign up, you will be emailed when your story is occuring; before, during, or after. I was assigned ‘during’ and am pretty pleased where this short is taking me.

For more details;

ANNIHILATION RADIATION: Short Story Competition

I’m also working on a short story for a fellow author as part of his newsletter promo. My story relates to his biggest hit and takes place within the shared universe for it. There is myself and 3 other authors all contributing to this anthology, which will eventually come out as an ebook and paperback as well. Really exciting and I look forward to sharing more details as I’m allowed!

Acceptance!

Recently, I shared on Twitter that I had received an acceptance from one of my top 5 places I was always hoping to work with. I can’t wait to fully announce this! This group puts out some stunning stuff and I’m very proud to have a release included with the stable of authors they’ve worked with so far.

 

Giveaways!

Ok – I’ll wrap this up with notes on two giveaways!

The first – Kendall Reviews. The details have been finalized, now I’m just waiting for Gavin to host it. I recently passed 1500 Twitter followers (insane!) and had my 150th review hosted on KR (insanity!). So we’ll be giving away a US Walmart exclusive Hellraiser Chatterer Funko! Pop. Really exciting! Keep an eye on that.

 

Miranda Crites Giveaway!

Directly related to the above paragraph, when I passed 1500 my friend Miranda congratulated me. Miranda posts a ton of great stuff; shorts, poems, and amazing amazing artwork and photos. She’s even kindly helped out with some artwork for next years release ‘The Boy Whose Room Was Outside.’

I said we should get her to 1000 followers! She’s one of the most supportive Twitter friends out there!

So we’re doing a giveaway!

For full details, check out her blog post here!

https://mirandacritesreadsandwrites.wordpress.com/2019/11/06/giveaway-time/

 

All right! That’s it.

Be kind out there folks, the world needs to smile.

Steve

Book Review – The Twenty-Ninth Day by Alex Messenger

45884981._SY475_

Thank you to Netgalley, the publisher and the author for letting me check this one out.
If you’ve followed any of my reviews, or even read any of my work – you’ll know I have a soft spot for woods based thrillers/horror.
I grew up in a small town in the middle of nowhere in BC, Canada. Hunting was a part of life and my grandfather had a trap line for many, many years. It was a way for him to bring in some extra money when he was laid off from logging. The wild has always been something that I’ve been told to respect. Things can change in an instant, no matter how well prepared you are.

This is the case for Alex and his group. Part of a wilderness survival type group – Alex and the other’s head off far north, into the Canadian tundra, on a journey of a lifetime. Essentially 30 days of back country survival, living off of the land and testing their personal boundaries.

On day 29 – disaster. Alex is mauled by a grizzly bear. Now it’s a fight against time – against infection, the possibility of rabies as well as the land itself.

The book itself flows along nicely. We get some fantastic wilderness descriptions and the accompanying photos were a nice touch.

Some people might be put off that the ‘attack’ part isn’t a long section, but this is real life, not a movie. Grizzlies work to kill their prey quick, exerting as little energy as possible. Why Alex survived, who knows? But he did.

I really enjoyed the portion after the attack. We get to see the group band together and do what it takes to make sure their partner and friend makes it out alive.

I liked hearing the follow up at the end, how he was doing post attack. And while this may sound morbid – my only gripe were there were no photos of the attack damage. I think this would have really solidified just how phenomenal of an ordeal this was.

Really great read, made my heart hammer my chest when the bear arrived, but kudos on telling a very level survival story.

5/5

Friday Friend Boost! BUT ON A MONDAY!

Hey, hey!

So technically this is part 2 to my Friday Friend Boost! As I said when I posted that first blog post – I knew I’d totally miss some folks!

So here’s another list of great folks that are always super kind and supportive!

In no particular order;

1 – The Stranger – Steve Stred

2 – Dreaming At the Top of My Lungs – Israel Finn

3 – The Hag Witch of Tripp Creek – Somer Canon

4 – Let There Be Dark – Tim McWhorter

5 – The Switch House – Tim Meyer

6 – The Silence – Tim Lebbon

7 – The Faithful – Matt Hayward

8 – Weeping Season – Sean O’Connor

9 – Master of the Forest – Artyom Dereschuk

10 – Little Black Spots – John FD Taff

11 – Will Haunt You – Brian Kirk

12 – To Be Devoured – Sara Tantlinger

13 – Cruel Works of Nature – Gemma Amor

14 – Howl – Renee Miller

15 – Netherkind – Greg Chapman

16 – Devouring Dark – Alan Baxter

17 – Whispers in the Dark – Laurel Hightower

18 – Hellsworld Hotel – Matthew Vaughn

19 – The Auld Mither – William Meikle

20 – Every Twisted Thought – Andrew Lennon

21 – Doorbells At Dusk – Edited by Evans Light

22 – Old Leather – Don Gillette

23 – The Haunting of Henderson Close – Catherine Cavendish

24 – The Daylight Will Not Save You – Mark Allan Gunnells

25 – Fountain Dead – Theresa Braun

26 – Fear – Ronald Kelly

27 – Flora & Jim – BP Gregory

28 – Body of Christ – Mark Matthews

29 – The Wicked – James Newman

30 – The Hunted – Tarn Richardson

31 – Jimmy the Freak – Mark Steensland & Charles Colyott

32 – Now Comes the Darkness – Joe Zito

33 – Dead As Soon As Born – Aiden Merchant

34 – The Sea Was a Fair Master – Calvin Demmer

35 – Darkest Hours – Mike Thorn

36 – Into the Mist – Lee Murray

Ok – there we go! Anyone I missed – my sincerest apologies!

I’ll be back with a regular blog post next week – this week I’ll be gone on Friday. Watch for a three part story to feature on Kendall Reviews!

Cheers!

Friday Friend Boost!

Hey guys! Hope all is well!

Today’s post is going to be a 360 from where I was originally going. Originally I was going to do a “where I’m at in life” post with the start of a new sliding season beginning and stemming from some recent convo’s I’ve had with friends.

After starting to write it out, I realized I’d need to really sit down and write it. Take the time and see where my mind takes me. So – you’ll see that post maybe next week or the week after.

Instead – I’m bringing you a Friday Friend Boost! I try and interact with a ton of folks and I’m always super appreciative of those who reciprocate and support me as well!

So – instead of just posting this on one social media platform – I’m sharing it here so that everyone gets the benefit.

I’ll 100% forget someone or miss someone. So fret not – if I missed you here, I’ll do a part two in the next few weeks and bump some of  you then!

Before we get into that – keep an eye on Kendall Reviews next week – I’ll have a three part short story to haunt you in time for Halloween featured!

So – without further ado and in no particular order;

1 – Ritual – Steve Stred Me! haha!

2 – Forest Underground – Lydian Faust

3 – Bad Pennies – John F. Leonard

4 – Shallow Creek Anthology from Storgy

5 – Gods of the Black Gate – Joseph Sale

6 – Maria the Wanted – V. Castro

7 – Little Paranoias: Stories – Sonora Taylor

8 – Army of Skin – Morgan K. Tanner

9 – The Forgotten Island – David Sodergren

10 – Tamer Animals – Justin M. Woodward

11 – Masks – Mason McDonald

12 – Girls Best Friend – RJ Roles

13 – Train Thoughts – Jay Sigler

14 – Siphon – A.A. Medina

16 – Lords of Eden – M.R. Tapia

17 – The Festering Ones – S.H. Cooper

18 – The Resurrectionists – Michael Patrick Hicks

19 – Video Nasties: A Collection – Duncan Ralston

20 – Breathe, Breathe – Erin Sweet Al-Mehairi

21 – Dead Aware – Eleanor Merry

22 – The Boulevard Monster – Jeremy Hepler

23 – The Window – Glenn Rolfe

24 – Children of the Dark – Jonathan Janz

25 – Celestial Seepage – Brian Fatah Steele

26 – The Making of Gabriel Davenport – Beverley Lee

27 – The Gordon Place – Isaac Thorne

28 – Year 47 – Bo Chappell

29 – Bones: A Collection of Monsters – Andrew Cull

30 – The Possession of Natalie Glasgow – Hailey Piper

31 – Radio Run – Eddie Generous

32 – Mayan Blue – The Sisters of Slaughter

33 – Fangtastic Tales of Werewolf Savagery – Toneye Eyenot

34 – Creature – Hunter Shea

35 – Sour Candy – Kealan Patrick Burke

36 – Big Bad – Christian Galacar

37 – Lost Girls – Andrew Pyper

38 – Those Who Came Before – J.H. Moncrieff

39 – The Nightmare Room – Chris Sorensen

40 – Zombie Bigfoot – Nick Sullivan

41 – One by One – D.W. Gillespie

42 – Dark Thoughts: A Collection of Horror Stories – Kevin J. Kennedy

Alright – there we go. The first batch of a Friday Friend Boost!

I’ll keep tabs on things and see if I missed folks.

If I did – I am so sorry!!

Have a great weekend!

Steve

What I’m Excited For!

HEEEEEEYYYYY!!!

Friday has arrived! I hope you all have a great weekend planned ahead!

This weeks blog will run through a few different things!

I’m going to mention a bit about my most recent release Ritual, chat about The Night Crawls In and then I’ll be sharing some stuff on the BEST BOOKS I’VE READ THAT HAVEN’T BEEN RELEASED YET! We’ll finish it off with some tunes and then you can head back to your reading nook!

RITUAL

Ritual has been out for almost three weeks now and so far folks seem to be digging it. If you’ve read it, please leave a review, I’d be eternally thankful. And seriously – if you’ve read it and you didn’t like it – please, please leave a review. Tell folks why you didn’t. I’ll never be offended. Just yesterday I posted/shared a 1 star review Ritual received and guess what – the reviewer said WHY they didn’t like it and folks responded. The reasons why someone may not like a book/movie/album may just be the EXACT reason someone else will! So thank you for leaving an honest review, 1 star reviewer – I do really appreciate it.

I’ve been awful lately at sharing any of the amazing book pics folks take of my work – so here is one the awesome @jsg402 aka Jamie took of Ritual!

EHG4E3oVUAA2RQm

If you haven’t snagged a copy, here’s the link and remember – the ebook is always going to be $0.99!!

 

The Night Crawls In

If you remember – back in September (which feels forever ago) The Night Crawls In released. This release is to fund the ongoing Ladies of Horror Fiction Writer’s Grant. The first grant was awarded on September 15th and preparations for the next release to fund the second grant have already begun. I’ll be releasing some amazing, amazing news about this coming up.

In the mean time: since this released, only two copies have been sold. One physical and one paperback. I’d absolutely love it if you are interested in this release to please grab a copy!! Remember – this release to support other writers!

Snag it here!

 

Ok – so to the meat of this blog post!

Time to get excited! This features four books (and parts of books) I’ve read that you all need to get excited for, as well as two books that I’ve heard rumblings about!

In no particular order;

BOOK #1

The Street Library – Glenn Parker

I connected with Glenn through Instagram some time ago. You may know Glenn as thehellbound_heart, an Aussie who loves to share his amazing book collection and now some adorable pics of his pup.

I honestly don’t remember WHY we connected, but we did and he’s become a great friend. Though all this, he’s sent me large sections of his work in progress and bounced idea’s off of me. I’ll take no credit in any of this release, Glenn’s a super talented writer who just needs to attack this release with more confidence, but from what I’ve read, when this thing drops – watch out. I expect this to have a similar reception to Remains from Andrew Cull or Kill Creek from Scott Thomas. The setting is great, the atmosphere is fantastic and the folklore that he’s built will make even the most die-hard horror fans squirm. I’ve even been fortunate enough to see some early potential cover art and this thing is going to rock the horror communities world.

Release Date: TBA

Book #2

Charcoal Angel’s – Joe Zito

I discovered Joe’s work last year after connecting on Twitter and earlier this year he reached out to ask if I’d be interested in Beta Reading his upcoming release.

I jumped at the chance. Zito’s work is gritty, dark and unforgiving. Think black and white movies during a power outage.

Charcoal Angel’s follows a similar narrative as Now Comes the Darkness, which he released last year. Gothic undertones run throughout this and there is an epic scope to the plot.

Really well done, and truthfully, such a solid piece of work – I don’t think I even had much feedback for him by the end of it.

Release Date: TBA

Book #3

Crawley House – Mason McDonald

I don’t know how many times I’ve sung this novella’s praises, but this is still one the BEST things I’ve read. Atmospheric dread, creepy location, odd characters and a truly gruesome discovery. I loved this story and I’m hoping Mason gets this thing sewn up and released at some point here!

As a side note – if the name Mason McDonald sounds familiar – that’s because he’s my frequent cover designer! We attempted to collaborate on a book previously, but it didn’t pan out. We’ve tentatively started on a new project as well. Fingers crossed we can make this one work!

Release Date: TBA

Book #4

Juniper – Ross Jeffery

I connected with Ross through Twitter and STORGY. Ross recently contacted me to see if I’d be interested in reading a new book of his and maybe give it a blurb if I thought it was a good time.

What he didn’t tell me was that it was going to be a devastatingly GREAT TIME!

Keep your eyes out for Juniper. This is a really dark take on post apocalyptic. The town itself, Juniper, is such a great setting and works as an amazing character on its own.

I can’t wait for this to see the light of day. I want to keep this as vague and unspoilery as possible, so I won’t say much more, other than when this comes out, you’ll absolutely want to read this!

Release Date: TBA

Book #5

Title TBA – David Sodergren

All I know about this release is that it involves dark subject matter and from the cover art mock up, Sodergren shared with me, I’m looking forward to this one so much.

Both of his releases thus far – Night Shoot and The Forgotten Island have been outstanding and knowing a little bit about what this one focuses on (which I can’t share here!), I really can’t wait to see this thing arrive.

Sodergren has previously mentioned trying to get this to drop around Halloween, but I honestly can’t speak to when it’ll see the light of day!

Release Date: TBA (Possibly Halloween-ish)

Book #6

Title TBA – Chris Sorensen.

The author of ‘The Messy Man Trilogy’ which already has the first two books out, has hinted at releasing SOMETHING around Halloween. From what I gather from his cryptic tweets, it won’t be book three, but really – any release featuring any story from Chris is something to be excited over!

Release Date: TBA (Possibly Halloween-ish)

 

Oh, wait – how about one more – a plug for myself! 🙂

Book #7

Piece of Me – Steve Stred

I’ve already had some great responses to Piece of Me, which will drop on December 1st. This features one of my absolute favourite characters in Kari – who I hope people love just as much as they love Jane.

This one is a horror/fantasy type story with beasts, trials and a ton of tribulations!

Mason of course crushed the cover, which was adapted from a photo my father-in-law Peter Lush took!

PIECEOFME-COVER

If you’d like to check out the early reviews:

https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/48264016-piece-of-me

And as always – if you’d like a review copy of Piece of Me – send me a message! I have digital ARC’s waiting!

Release Date: December 1st, 2019

Music

We Came as Romans  – Carry the Weight

I’ve never been a fan of We Came as Romans, but I believe last year their lead singer passed away. They decided to soldier on and this new song, the first since his passing, is pretty crushing.

 

Gatecreeper – Everlasting

You wanna feel like you just had a mud bath? Or you were born in the swamp and can’t get clean? This sludgey goodness will deliver that in spades.

 

Municipal Waste – Wave of Death

Here’s a fun, thrashy anthem released by Municipal Waste. I’ve seen them live a few times, but I think this is the first song I’ve enjoyed that they’ve released in recorded form.

 

Marilyn Mason – Mechanical Animals

One of my fav Manson tunes from my fav Manson album. The riff in this thing is killer.

 

Alright – that’s all I got this week!

Have a great weekend!

Steve

The Boy Whose Room Was Outside

Hey friends!

I’m pleased to bring you this Friday’s blog post where I announce the full details of a book I’ll be releasing in 2020!

As I’ve started to release more and more works, a few comments keep coming along from friends and family – I really want to read and support you, but I can’t read scary books.

I get it.

Horror isn’t for everyone.

My releases range from brutal gore to scary chills and everything in between. I’ve always tried to inject some heart and emotion into all of them, but they all fall firmly into the dark fiction realm.

At the start of this year, I released one of my best received books in “The Girl Who Hid in the Trees.” This one seemed to click and connect with folks, but it was a horrible trip through the woods chasing an urban legend.

It was around that time where I had a conversation with my sister, Jodi. We chat often and during most weeks, we’ll end up discussing what her son, my nephew, Gabe is reading. Gabe is a voracious reader. 10 years old (soon to be 11) and he’s read all of the Harry Potter series and just book after book after book. Gabe is also high functioning autistic and this will also be a frequent discussion topic between Jodi and I. Gabe’s at the precipice of young adulthood and soon he’ll be exploring adult themes in many of his books.

This got me thinking. At his age, I was already reading Stephen King. Which means, before we know it, Gabe will be reading my books.

Before that happens, I wanted to write a book that bridged the divide and allowed younger readers to discover my work, but also adults who might enjoy a fun, nostalgia based story that could introduce them to my writing style.

I remember what it was like when I first discovered “Labyrinth,” “The Dark Crystal,” “The Neverending Story,” and all of the CS Lewis “Chronicles of Narnia” books. Magic, fantasy and amazing worlds were opened before my eyes.

“The Boy Whose Room Was Outside” is my answer to that, but also my complete opposite take on “The Girl Who Hid in the Trees.”

This book is authored by Steve Stred & The Kids. The Kids are my son, my nieces and nephews. ranging from a year old to 11. I wanted them to all be a part of this release. So they’ve all contributed some artwork as well as each one has contributed ideas for the story as well.

Additionally, Mason McDonald has once again delivered an outstanding cover.

The Boy Whose Room Was Outside Cover.jpg

The book will feature some fantastic artwork by _sandragetscreative, who I was able to connect with on Instagram through her husband Shane aka bookzrkool. As well, my great friend Miranda has contributed some artwork. She does fantastic work through her business MJCreations! We also received a fantastic painting years ago from our friend Alycia, which works perfectly as well!

IMG_20191009_123703.jpg

I’ve shared some teasers of the artwork here, but the full stuff will knock your socks off!

So here’s a brief synopsis of this upcoming 2020 release, a book I’m excited for and one that adults, kids and families will be able to enjoy and read for many years!

IMG_20191009_124324.jpg

Synopsis:

Imagine, if you will, that one night – maybe tonight, you went to sleep in your bed. Your mom or dad tucked you in, said your goodnights and one your light was turned off, sleep welcomed you.

Now imagine that you opened your eyes and found that you were no longer in your bed in your room. No, rather you’ve woken up in a magical forest. A forest filled with talking animals and amazing adventures.

That’s just what young Peter discovers.

But when he keeps seeing a mysterious dark figure following him, he begins to connect the dots and discover that not all of the realms inhabitants are happy that he visits.

What’s coming!

Happy Friday!

WHO THE HELL CAN BELIEVE IT’S ALREADY OCTOBER!!

Well – everyone who is excited for Halloween!

I’m gonna keep this short and sweet like past weeks!

If you’ve been following me lately, you’ve seen a number of acceptance tweets/posts. Lately, I’ve really focused on drabble submissions and seem to be connecting with the editors. I have three I can fully share and another that is out now.

Kevin J. Kennedy Presents 100 Word Horrors 3.

This release is out now in ebook and paperback! I have two drabbles in here, but look at the table of contents! Chad Lutzke, Mark Matthews, Evans Light, Andrew Lennon, The Sisters of Slaughter, RJ Roles, Justin M. Woodward and excitedly – Ron Davis’ first published works!

If you haven’t – snag a copy!

 

Reanimated Writer’s Presents: 100 Word Zombie Bites.

I have two drabbles in this one, which will be up for ebook preorder on the 24th and releasing on the 31st!

100 word zombie bites.jpg

Forest of Fear: Volume 1

Another one where I’ll have two drabbles featured! This one has such a great cover.

I’m stumped at the moment for when this will release, but I’ll keep you updated!

70691887_1114206018968179_1203618697273409536_o

Japanese Fantasy Drabbles from Insignia

I actually just received my acceptance this morning for this release. I’m not 100% sure of the final title yet and haven’t seen artwork! Once both come around, I’ll share!

 

Additionally, I’ve been involved in the ongoing author novel from Don Gillette. This was a book that he’s putting together that has 30 authors each write a chapter and we see how the story unfolds. There are only a few chapters left, so we’ll be finding out how this saga ends and then what the plans are for release after that. I contributed chapter 3 and it was a lot of fun.

Finally, and yes this is vague tweeting, but I was able to cross off a bucket list item for writing recently. I can’t wait to share what this is and once I get the go ahead to announce it, OH BABAY!! WILL I EVER!

Ritual

Of course I want to give a huge thanks and shout out to everyone who has already snagged Ritual and read it. To those who’ve reviewed is as well – THANKS!

It’s a perma $0.99US ebook and paperback is live, so if you want super dark, depraved and horrific in your life – go get it!

 

Music:

As always, I’m all over the map!

Tom Petty and The Heartbreakers – Walls

I’ve always been a massive Tom Petty fan. I’ve started devoting some time to a novel that I’m co-writing with David Sodergren and Mr. Petty and The Heartbreakers is perfect mood music.

 

Madeon – All My Friends

Really love the sunshine of this song. Makes me smile and feel happy when I hear it.

 

The Ghost Inside – Engine 45

After their stunning live return after all of their injuries, surgeries and trauma, to see them announce they will be doing some more live dates is absolutely amazing and frankly, this should be the music story of the year.

 

Nine Inch Nails – Wish

I’m currently working on a brutal short story for possible submission. Nine Inch Nails Broken EP has been the back bone for all of those writing times.

 

What I’m Reading;

Been a bit since I’ve done this!

One by One – D.W. Gillespie

48270279._SY475_.jpg

https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/48270279-one-by-one

50% into this and just stunning. Gillespie is setting this tale up to be a scare fest. Really loving it and the Alice character really shines.

7 Sins of the Apocalypse Anthology

48252559._SY475_

https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/48252559-7-sins-of-the-apocalypse

I’m buddy reading this with my pal Becca (my first buddy read ever!) and the first few stories were a bit lacking for me. It’s definitely picking up and hoping to see how strong this finishes!

A Place for Sinners – Aaron Dries

45433777.jpg

https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/45433777-a-place-for-sinners

I was kindly sent this digital ARC from Poltergeist Press and I’ve neglected it. I’m 20% in and need to buckle down and get rolling. So far it’s been good, but I’ve heard Dries turns this into great in short work.

42175983

https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/42175983-wolf-land

As most of you know, I do almost all of my reading on my Kindle. I still like to have one physical book on the go now and I snagged this beauty on Flametree Press’s Fourth of July Mega Sale! I have maybe 20 pages left to get through so hopefully I can finish that this weekend, but so far I’m loving this werewolf story!

 

All right! I’m done!

See you all next week!

Steve

Ritual & Piece of Me

Hey friends!

Another quick blog post this week!

Gonna fire it off fast and lean!

Ritual – holy hell! I ultimately put it up for preorders on the ebooks – I just wanted to make sure it was live on Amazon for October 1st and the response has been amazing! Thinking the $0.99 price point definitely helps!

Check it out here if you want – paperback is live now!

 

Piece of Me – I’ve sent this one out to a few folks already!

Piece of Me will arrive December 1st. I’ve sent it off to Sodergren for final edits, but if you want to take an early look at a book I am super proud of – send me a message.

Synopsis: Over a decade ago, Kari’s husband and son went hunting and never returned.

As she prepares for another long winter she longs for their return.

Then one day things change. The night creatures who live in the dark have visited the day and a mysterious figure who arrives may hold the key to reuniting her with her family.

For Kari, the question becomes – just how far will she go to be reunited?

  • This is set in the same world as For Balder Walks!

https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/48264016-piece-of-me

PIECEOFME-COVER

The cover art is outstanding – Mason McDonald adapted a picture taken by my father in law, Peter and it just really captures the emotions of the story.

100 Word Horrors 3 – just a reminder, I have two drabbles featured in this release! Ebook only while the paperback gets formatted for release! A stunning collection of authors.

Music;

I didnt do this last week – so here’s some tunes I’m jamming

Phantoms – Designs for You

Really dig this song from Phantoms. Great beat and love the textures!

 

ARTY feat April Bender – Sunrise

Love, love, love this song! This one brings a smile everytime!

 

Thy Art Is Murder – New Gods

Off their newest album – this thing crushes.

 

Sepultura – Attitude (Live in studio, 1996)

What a band this used to be. I dig the new version, but god does this slay.

 

Ok – that’s all I got this week. I’ll be giving some more information in the next few weeks about some other stuff, but for now – enjoy your weekend!

Steve