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Announcing the winners of the Coffin Hop 2013 giveaway!

Coffin Hop 2013

Well Coffin Hop is over for another year, where once again I teamed up with a collection of stellar horror artists from around the world to celebrate all things horror and host some great giveaways in the week leading up to Halloween… An event which also raised money for the non-profit charity organisation LitWorld that promotes the important cause of child literacy!


Looking back over my post from this time last year, I still made reference to how busy I was, and although I should probably stop mentioning that, I think it’s fair to say I was even busier this around (a major deadline was met just yesterday / this morning for my day job, struggling to meet publisher’s deadlines – and not succeeding, a writer’s conference, a packed social (and family) schedule I couldn’t really decline, the launch of the promo video for my The Calling project and the pipe-dream of managing to enter the Windhammer 2013 short gamebook competition, or at least being able to review all the entries and vote – neither of which I achieved).

But that’s the price of productivity hey? (What productivity Brewin!? you ask, you haven’t realised anything this year!) So I guess I better shut up and get used to it… I can’t see my schedule slowing down any time soon (2016 looks quite open at the moment though haha).


So part of the onus I felt in mentioning the above, was to express remorse (and a little guilt) that I didn’t manage to visit many, er most, of the other authors’ sites taking part in this year’s Coffin Hop. So I’m in their debt I guess that they made time to view my posts (and even comment) when I hardly returned the favour. Furthermore, over the course of Coffin Hop 2013 I had 178 visits (circa 1000 hits) from 98 unique visitors, of which about half were new visitors to the Land of the Brewin, so I thank you all for coming and hope you enjoyed your stay! –This is roughly about the same activity as I generated for last year’s Coffin Hop, but considering I essentially was offering a smaller amount of the same prizes then as I was this year (minus the awesome Coffin Hop Anthology), I have to be pretty pleased about that. I’ll try to ensure I actually have something new to giveaway next year!


So aaanyway, I think I’ve rambled on enough. It’s time to announce…


GRAND PRIZE: Signed paperback copy of The Dark Horde, ebook copy of Death by Drive-in: the Coffin Hop anthology, and (if you want it) my last t-shirt on hand for The Dark Horde (size L) – goes to Anita Stewart!

RUNNER-UP PRIZES: PDF copies of The Dark Horde – go to Amy Marshall and Ash Krafton!



Thanks to all those who participated and hope you had a great Halloween!

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Guest — Ash Krafton
Oh, HECK yeah...I'm psyched! That's the coolest ever
Friday, 01 November 2013 19:51
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Coffin Hop Post 2: The Origin of The Dark Horde.

Coffin Hop 2013
A Unit, Timbertop 1989
Coffin Hop: Death by Drive-In Anthology

“Some things can lie dormant and hidden, festering for an apparent eternity, before eventually manifesting into reality… Such has certainly been the case with The Dark Horde!”

This is how I begin the acknowledgements section of my horror novel The Dark Horde, published for the first time in 2012. And it’s no exaggeration… It is with good reason that the book is set in 1989, for that is when I first began to write it.

A (dodgy) scan of my Dormitory photo from Timbertop, 1989

If I can pinpoint the beginnings of the story to a particular event, it was the writing of a short story for an English class exercise where our teacher, Russell Allthorpe (or “Mr. Allthorpe” as the students addressed him), asked us to write something on theme of “There’s something you should know about me.”

My writing has always inclined to horror, fantasy and science fiction in particular (even my first short story I wrote at the age of six or seven in 1980 or 1981 was horror!) and so I took that theme and created a horror short story. But what happened as a result of that story was unexpected. Mr. Allthorpe didn’t just give it top marks, he used my piece to set an English exercise on mood and pacing for the entire year. He cut my story up into individual paragraphs and set students an assignment where they had to work out the order that the paragraphs went in based on the building mood and tension. It was something of a revelation to me that my story should be considered an appropriate example for such an exercise, and began to foster in me a sense of self-belief that I was capable of writing fiction that others would respect and enjoy.

I present you now with this short story (unaltered save for typos). You may only catch the faintest glimpse of what would evolve into the story of The Dark Horde within this work, and indeed it wasn’t until 1991 that I actually began to write a novel under such a name, but nonetheless I still think it holds up *reasonably* well to this day… Well at least considering I was only fourteen at the time (and had yet to master certain concepts such as “less is more” and “show don’t tell”). Anyway, good enough to share I think, even if just for interest’s sake. J


The dark was cool, the air was sharp. All was fresh and crisp on a summer’s night. Two shadowy figures stood alone in the gloomy classroom. Only one would leave alive…

One of them spoke, “There’s something you should know about me,” he paused for a brief moment, gazing deeply into Mr. Allthorpe’s eyes and making his teacher feel a little unnerved, “Mr. Allthorpe.”

The taller of the two smiled and replied, “Oh yes, I know Andrew that you’ve got a little bit of an organisation problem and you need a little help.”

Andrew only grinned and took a step closer, shaking his head.

“You’re an asthmatic or… Or a loud snorer… You wet your bed at night perhaps?”

Andrew only answered with a firm no, shown by the movement of his head.

At this point Andrew shifted his iron gaze from Mr. Allthorpe and peered out through the panelled window. He stared for long moments at the mysterious, drifting clouds, as if anticipating something or waiting for something to happen.

“Is there anything wrong?” suggested Mr. Allthorpe, his lungs beginning to feel heavy and his hands slippery.

It grew darker.

“No, nothing wrong,” returned Andrew, his eyes once again firmly fixed on Mr. Allthorpe’s as if nothing on Earth could move them. Andrew took a further pace towards Mr. Allthorpe. Now only a mere metre and a half lay between them. The moon by now had half-appeared over the grey crest of one of the shimmering clouds…

“Please tell me,” Mr. Allthorpe said, almost begging. He was getting very anxious now.

The fluorescent moon, like a glowing dish, was unveiled. Andrew began to laugh a deep, mocking boom. Mr. Allthorpe’s eyes increased dramatically in size, opening up to the grisly horror that was now before him. His dry mouth opened up to a silent scream…

*               *               *

Crunch! Splat!

-Was all that could be heard from outside. Soon after, the classroom door was suddenly torn bodily off its metal hinges and a huge, hairy wolf bounded through it and away, out into the translucent moonlight…



As you (hopefully!) observed, I’ve gotten better at writing. But I see many of my tendencies, particularly when writing horror, in this early work. And more importantly I think, I kept going with it and eventually did publish my horror novel, even if it did take another twenty-four years! (But that’s a story I’ll elaborate on another time).

The Dark Horde has won a number of major international indie awards and the ebook version is currently available on Amazon for only $0.99 and the UK paperback version dis available (with free delivery) for only £2.99. 

As part of COFFIN HOP 2013, I am having a giveaway where you can win either one of three pdf copies of my horror novel The Dark Horde, or if you win the grand prize, I’ll mail you a signed copy of the paperback version completely free. (And if you already have a copy, I’ll send you a copy of my other published novel Evermore: An Introduction instead). The grand prize winner will also get a free t-shirt of The Dark Horde (if you want it that is - I only have a single L size one left).

Not only this, the grand prize winner will also win an ebook copy of the Coffin Hop Anthology DEATH BY DRIVE-IN featuring some of the best work of several of the Coffin Hop authors, released especially for this very event! (This competition ends when midnight strikes on Halloween - EST time in the US)

*** Click here to enter Brewin’s 2013 Coffin Hop Giveaway ***


The COFFIN HOP: DEATH BY DRIVE-IN anthology is available for sale here and the best part about this is that all profits will be donated to to help encourage children’s literacy throughout the world. The COFFIN HOP store is also selling a range of COFFIN HOP merchandise and the proceeds of these sales too, are being donated to charity J


To coincide with this special event, I have also released a promo video for my forthcoming project The Calling, which is a musical prequel to The Dark Horde. You can view the video on You Tube HERE. 

Lastly don't forget that the full list of all the other awesome horror maestros taking part. Happy Hopping!

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Recent Comments
Guest — A. F. Stewart
It still holds up quite well, an enjoyable read.
Sunday, 27 October 2013 14:02
Guest — james garcia jr
Very cool story. My wife's a teacher so i thought she might enjoy that. We're both hiding in the bedroom because The Walking Dead ... Read More
Monday, 28 October 2013 01:36
Guest — Jolie du Pre
Stopping by from Coffin Hop
Monday, 28 October 2013 12:04
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Coffin Hop 2013 is here!

Coffin Hop 2013
Coffin Hop: Death by Drive-In Anthology


It’s that time of year again… The time of COFFIN HOP when the veil between here and the other side wanes and those sinister forces that dwell there make their presence felt. The time when horror authors and artists from around this frail globe we call Earth come together to venerate all that is dark and horrifying. The time to revel in the darkness and to partake in the celebrations, revelations and cooperations. And the time to “blog hop” between the many many sites taking part and be in the chance to win stacks of awesome prizes!

So once again, dear visitors, I have a special giveaway for you. For just a few mouse clicks you can win either one of three pdf copies of my horror novel The Dark Horde, or if you win the grand prize, I’ll mail you a signed copy of the paperback version completely free. (And if it happens that you already have a copy, don’t despair! I’ll send you a copy of my other published novel Evermore: An Introduction instead). Not only this, but if you win the grand prize, you’ll also get a free t-shirt of The Dark Horde (if you want it!) bearing in mind that I’ve only got a single L size one left to give away…

Want more? Well how about this, the grand prize winner will also win an ebook copy of the Coffin Hop Anthology DEATH BY DRIVE-IN featuring some of the best work of several of the Coffin Hop authors, released especially for this very event! (This competition ends when midnight strikes on Halloween - EST time in the US)

*** Click here to enter Brewin’s 2013 Coffin Hop Giveaway ***


The COFFIN HOP: DEATH BY DRIVE-IN anthology is available for sale here and the best part about this is that all profits will be donated to to help encourage children’s literacy throughout the world. The COFFIN HOP store is also selling a range of COFFIN HOP merchandise and the proceeds of these sales too, are being donated to charity J


To coincide with this special event, I have also released a promo video for my forthcoming project The Calling, which is a musical prequel to The Dark Horde. You can view the video on You Tube here and also know that The Dark Horde ebook version is currently on sale on Amazon for only $0.99 and if you’re lucky enough to live in the UK, you can get the UK paperback version delivered free for only £2.99 !

Lastly, in closing, here’s the full list of all the other awesome horror maestros taking part. Happy Hopping!

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Recent Comments
Guest — A. F. Stewart
Great post, and The Calling sounds very cool.
Thursday, 24 October 2013 16:50
Guest — Cait O'S
Fab looking blog Brewin. Liking the youtube also!
Thursday, 24 October 2013 17:55
Guest — Michelle
Love your blog! It's gorgeous!
Saturday, 26 October 2013 16:04
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Somethin's Brewin'!

...Actually over on another blog, rather than here ;)

Laura Thomas has been kind enough to interview me over at her fuonlyknew blog and host a giveaway! It may well be my biggest interview yet, and I talk about all sorts of things such as the history behind the writing of The Dark Horde (spanning over twenty years), the forthcoming musical based on it, and hints at some of the other things I've been working on. The contest (to win signed paperback copies of my award-winning horror novel) ends December 14th.

You can read the full article HERE.



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Announcing the winners of the Coffin Hop giveaway!

Well the month of October has passed us now, and I have a (somewhat brief!) moment to reflect...

The first three weeks of October I was involved with the Fiction Frolic for All Hallow's Read promotion, together with nine other authors, which raised a total of 328 books for the charity Books for America, and gave away a number of free books and cash prizes to the lucky winners (who've been contacted already). -You can read details about how the event went here.

This last week in the lead up to Halloween itself, I've been involved in the Coffin Hop promotion, together with over a hundred other horror artists, where we've each written articles (on our own sites and others) and had giveaways, competitions and general craziness.

(These events have been in addition to the other things I'm doing at the same time, like the "day job", upcoming projects and having some semblance of a social life haha)

But all in all, I have to say both the Fiction Frolic and Coffin Hop events have been a great success for me, and I certainly intend to do more of them! In the month of October, I've gained around 250 new followers on Twitter and Facebook, had around 1000 visits to my website, and generally had a lot of fun! But really, I'm all too aware of how difficult the battle for publicity / awareness actually is, and know that for everything I do manage to do, there's at least three, and probably at least ten times as many other things I should be doing as well... But I'm getting there ;)

-Not that I'm sure where "there" is as yet, but at least it's somewhere different from where I've been :)

So anyway, onto the winners of my giveaway (whom have by now been notified by email):

The following three people are each receiving a signed paperback copy and t-shirt for The Dark Horde in their chosen size:

Jennifer Ricketts, Julie Saffold, Lauren MacKay.

And the following thirteen people have each been emailed a free pdf copy of The Dark Horde:

Adele Symonds, Aniko Carmean, Georgina Morales, Jeanette Jackson, Jennifer Mathis, Jessica McHugh, Kim Koning Author, Mary, Neil McGrory, Paul Smith, Rob Smales, Scott Hilton, Shane Garvey

Congratulations to you all!

-I did have to draw more people than the initial sixteen, due to (a) some people being drawn twice (apparently Rafflecopter doesn't account for this) and (b) three people who won pdf copies but already had one (whereupon I've organised alternatives with them, and re-drawn).

For all those that missed out, fear not, you can always grab an e-copy for $3 on Amazon HERE ;)

I hope you all had a great Halloween (although sadly if you're in NE America and copped Sandy and its aftermath you probably didn't)...  I'll be back with some more news / stuff I hope is interesting soon!

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Recent Comments
Guest — Milo James Fowler
Congratulations to the winners! The hop was indeed a heap of good fun.
Thursday, 01 November 2012 15:36
Guest — Pavarti K Tyler
Aww man! I wanted one of those awesome t-shirts!
Friday, 02 November 2012 13:41
Guest — L.M. Murphy (Lauren)
YAY!!! Thanks a bunch, Brewin'!
Saturday, 03 November 2012 01:20
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Announcing Coffin Hop 2012 and a MAD giveaway

Coffin Hop 2012
Brewin's Coffin Hop Prizes!

Coffin Hop is an annual event in the week leading up to Halloween where a hundred or more authors, artists, publishers and more host giveaways, prizes and even games on their blogs to celebrate horror fiction in all its forms. Every visitor to any of the blogs taking part can "blog hop" between one blog and the next: discovering new things, having fun and having the chance to win the stacks and stacks of prizes on offer from those taking part.



This year is the first I'm taking part, and I'm joining in the fun with a MAD giveaway of my own stuff: I'm doing a few guest posts around, but most of all I'm giving away a bunch of e-books and three signed paperback copies and t-shirts for The Dark Horde, mailed to you FREE (at a cost of quite a bit I must say) and all for a few crazy clicks!


It might be a crazy idea really, but sometimes I think you've just gotta do something crazy to see what happens. Put another way if I throw enough mud, I mean free stuff, at the universe, I figure something cool has to happen... And that could be YOU! So below is the prizes I'm offering and the link to enter:

* 3 MAD bundles with a signed paperback copy and t-shirt in your choice of M, L or XL size; and 13 e-book copies! *

My giveaway ends when midnight strikes on Halloween (EST time), so you don't have long! But stick around the Land of the Brewin a bit first, I think you'll discover something you like :)


Enter Brewin's MAD Rafflecopter giveaway!!

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Recent Comments
Guest — A. F. Stewart
Nice Giveaway.
Wednesday, 24 October 2012 16:19
Guest — Milo James Fowler
Here's to some cool craziness -- entered! Read More
Wednesday, 24 October 2012 20:30
Guest — sherry fundin
great giveaway. glad i stumbled across it. thanks
Thursday, 25 October 2012 13:20
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Fiction Frolic for All Hallow's Read

It is a great pleasure to be involved with this initiative that aims to raise 1000 books for charity and in support of All Hallow's Read that Neil Gaiman created a few years ago to promote giving a book or scary story away for Halloween. Ten authors, including myself, have come together with book giveaways, cash prizes and cool stuff like this:


...Below is the official word from the blog tour organisers:


Help Raise 1,000 books for charity and enter to win $200, signed books and swag!

We are excited to share about an ambitious blog tour—Fiction Frolic for All Hallow's Read—where ten authors from several genres are working hard to raise 1,000 books in three weeks for Books for America.

From October 1st to 19th, donate a new book (or books!) and earn extra bonus points in a huge giveaway that these authors are hosting.


Two winners will each receive the following PRIZES!

$100 Amazon G.C.

5 signed books from the authors hosting the event

A swag bag

Plus—in honor of All Hallow's read, gift a signed copy of one of our books to a friend!


With a total of $200, 12 signed books (including the gifted books) and major swag, what better way is there to raise books for charity and celebrate All Hallow's Read?

Each author participating is also donating signed copies of their books to Books for America, an awesome charity that is officially sponsoring their event and excited to be involved with All Hallow's Read. In 2011, Books for America donated more than $800,000 worth of books and materials to DC area schools, shelters and dozens of other educational programs and organizations.


The authors are blogging throughout the event at The Fiction Frolic Blog.

·        10/1-5 Read about how books shaped their love for reading and writing.

·        10/8-12 Read their scariest, funniest or craziest Halloween experiences, or learn about their favorite Halloween themed book or movie, or favorite work of "dark" literature.

·        10/15-19 Enjoy some flash fiction, short stories and novel excerpts.


So donate, share, and look for daily ways to enter to win. Donate to charity for bonus points!.


This event is sponsored by:

Eleanor T Beaty, author of the YA paranormal Veiled Mist

Brewin' author of the supernatural horror, The Dark Horde

Andy Gavin, author of the fantasy horror, The Darkening Dream

Laxmi Hariharan, author of the YA fantasy, The Destiny of Shaitan

Kimberly Kinrade, author of the YA paranormal thriller/romances, Forbidden Mind & Forbidden Fire

Richard Long, author of the supernatural thriller/horror, The Book of Paul

M.C. Mars, author of the mind-bending novel, Burner

Melissa McPhail, author of epic fantasy Cephrael's Hand

Sheryl Steines, author of She Wulf & Days of First Sun

Pavarti K Tyler., author of the Lit Fic Shadow on the Wall and the erotic horror Consumed by Love


 Joooin ussss!

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