A SPOOKY welcome to the Blog Tour for Bloodalcohol by Michael Botur! I just HAD to sign up when I saw this tour sign up pop up. I am really getting in the mood for some spooky stuff, Spooktober is coming! Yes! And this book sounds absolutely awesome. 10 tales of dark horror stories!
For today’s post I got book/author information, a giveaway you should join, an excerpt to read!
Let’s get started!
The award-winning author of acclaimed horror collection The Devil Took Her is back with ten fresh tales.
– – A South Island road trip turns murderous as a dangerous drifter smells a secret in her co-dependent partner.
— Millionaire Kiwi conservationists learn too late how little Mother Earth cares for mankind.
— A Far North teen confronts the terrifying truth about why Mum separated from Dad years ago.
These stories address the challenges of life through the lens of horror: Struggling to bond with a savage stepchild, losing your son to a gang of ghostly boys, doing desperate things to get famous, battling bullies, surviving school, and getting good with God.
Bringing his award-winning narrative skill to the genre of horror, Botur delivers his most powerful stories yet.
A South Island road trip turns murderous as alcoholic drifter Tracey bullies her lover, the giant Adam, into killing for the ultimate drink – child blood – while Adam fights to keep a secret: his young son.
2. We Created a Country
Millionaire business owners Ross and Jennifer fall in love while trying to restore Northland to its pristine natural state through conservation and cleanups – but after borrowing billions to ban development from the Far North, the nature lovers learn what Mother Nature really thinks about mankind.
3. Weeks in the Woodshed
AJ was a young South Auckland teacher trying to provide for his wife and baby. Now, he’s had his privilege taken away, convicted of a crime while working at school – a crime he’s struggling to admit, a crime for which he’s been sentenced to complete Community Service in a remote countryside barn – and a crime which comes with unending punishment.
4. Butterfly Tongue
Lonely Kaitaia 14-year-old Venus asks her separated parents for the same simple birthday present every year. Venus just wants her hardened biker mum Marija to talk to her Dad again – and for Dad, a smooth-talking reporter, to be more sensitive with the women he romances.
As Venus counts down towards 18 and the end of school, she tries to intervene against her dad devouring dates – and finally confronts the terrifying truth about why Mum left Dad in the first place.
5. The Beast Released
Lonely Whangarei computer technician Christopher takes the challenging 11-year-old son of a woman he’s trying to impress on a hiking expedition through Northland forest to visit an old plane crash site and bond with the boy. Christopher finds that deep in the forest, however, one of them has a dark side eager to emerge, and the other is trapped.
Busy Northland high school teacher Āwhina tries to stop her son Nick sneaking out at night to join a gang of suicidal schoolboys who have discovered the ultimate thrill: killing oneself and frolicking as a ‘Lossboy.’ However, once the Lossboys take everything from her – including her son – Āwhina starts standing up against her untouchable tormentors.
Twentysomething Auckland singer-songwriter Anna Shrupali is desperate to make it in the performing arts world and escape the K Road rat race. But when husband-and-wife patrons offer to make Anna and her twin brother rich and famous, the deal takes Anna far outside her comfort zone and turns her into something monstrous.
13-year-old Christchurch vandals Richie and Sammy learn the limits of their friendship after they are influenced on weekend missions by the mysterious Jacob, who seems to never leave school. After Jacob takes a prank way too far, the boys part ways and Richard forgets what he did until years later Jacob reappears, reminding Richie if he doesn’t play, he’s going to pay.
9. Racing Hearts
We call it the Airing Cupboard: the chapel where I counsel former doctors suspended for breaking down on the job.
You see, I’m a screw-up just like them. I’m on probation from the hospital’s Review Board and I don’t know if I’ll ever be allowed to walk the wards as an anaesthesiologist again.
It’s because I raced too hard and I fell. Fell in love with a doctor as competitive as me. And we both fell in love with a deadly drug – until one of us fell in too deep.
10. Luke’s Lesson
Life is hard for Hamilton brothers Luke and Danny, whose father is a reformed addict trying to go straight. After Luke and Danny are inspired by a charismatic carnival pastor who gives them Bible comics warning of eternal damnation, Luke tries to improve his community’s favour with God by brutally cleansing the sins of everyone he can reach – beginning with his family.
About the author:
Michael Botur, born 1984, is a writer originally from Christchurch, New Zealand, who now lives in Whangarei with his wife and two kids.
Botur is author of four short story collections and published the novel ‘Moneyland’ in 2017.
Botur holds a Masters in Creative Writing from AUT University and a Graduate Diploma in Journalism Studies from Massey University, as well as degrees in arts and literacy.
Botur makes a living from writing as a columnist, corporate communications writer, blogger, advertising writer and journalist.
Botur has published creative writing in international literary journals Newfound (US), Weaponizer (UK), The Red Line (UK), Swamp (Aus) and most NZ literary journals including Landfall, Poetry New Zealand, 4th Floor, JAAM and Tākahe.
He has been making money from creative writing since the age of 21 and was in 2017 proud to be included in the University of Otago collection ‘Manifesto Aotearoa: 101 political poems’.
Botur has published journalism in most major NZ newspapers including New Zealand Herald, Herald on Sunday, Sunday Star-Times, as well as many magazines.
Botur has a long history of volunteering, including working with Maori and Pasifika literacy, Youthline, ESOL refugee tutoring, and assisting stroke patients, and in Whangarei is involved in improv theatresports and performance poetry.
Botur’s books ‘Moneyland,’ ‘LowLife,’ ‘Spitshine’, ‘Mean’ and ‘Hot Bible’ all available on Amazon.com.
In 2021 Botur was the first Kiwi winner of the Australasian Horror Writers Association Short Story Award for ‘Test of Death.’
Smiling apple postcard. Smiling apple-pickers.
‘If you dicks won’t let me party then FUCK THIS PLACE.’
The bony tornado biffed her wine bottle at the counsellor and knocked her folding chair over. Everyone in the hall went silent. ‘By the way, this party SUCKS.’
All that force packed into a tiny body in a skimpy singlet. I couldn’t take my eyes off her. A quarter of my size; completely in charge.
Her rage-out happened in the First Presbyterian, Main Street, Motueka, 30 minutes into one of the AA meetings Probation made us go to every week. We were sweaty and agitated, peeling and unpeeling our nametag-stickers, trying to not think about tangy beer and party ice. January, hottest month of the year, hottest end of the South Island. The sun was pressing on all sides and the room was punishing us for being desperate alcoholics. This chick was the only one with the guts to actually pull a bottle from her handbag– which is what’d got her told off by the counsellor.
‘WHO’S COMIN WITH ME FOR A ACTUAL PARTY?’ the angry little woman bellowed, kicking her way to the exit, pausing to sneer at the sticker on my chest reading Hi! My name is ___Big Adam___ and I’m an alcoholic.
She chucked her handbag on her shoulder, stormed out. Didn’t even get her attendance sheet signed. Leader of the resistance, for real.
She had one foot still inside the church hall when she spotted me, spoke at me, pretty much adopted my giant arse.
‘You’re coming, eh big boy. You don’t want these boring fucks slowing your shit down.’
I’m a fairly solid unit, six-six, 130 kilos, and I could’ve wrapped her in a bear hug, hauled her back in. Instead, I grabbed my keys and followed her out to the parking lot. Crazy little whitegirl was going to have a fast life. I wanted to protect her. Maybe have me an adventure too.
She fetched this black convertible from the parking lot, screeched to a stop one foot in front of me. I squeezed in, finding a place for my big python-arms, seatbelt battling to get across my belly. Wild Woman got me to hold the wheel while she gulped shots of Jim Beam from the bottle, me shaking my head, laughing ‘Jeeeez, man, if Probation finds out I skipped AA I’m in so much shit.’
‘So?’ she went, hooning through an orange light, ‘Stay ahead of the haters, Big Adam.’
We cruised past professional-looking wankers on the veranda of a swank restaurant, enjoying a single Golden Bay Chardonnay.
Up ahead, the Vicar of Liquor sign arose.
I’d never seen anyone use a trolley at a liquor store before, or seen anyone pack the car boot with 400 bucks worth of piss and drive back to Happy Apple Campground, rear axle sagging, slowing for speed bumps. I’d definitely never seen anybody hand out free bottles of Woodstock to a grateful mob like Santa.
But that was us. A year in hell with a woman whose nametag said Hi! My name is ____Tracey____ and I’m an alcoholic.
Shoulda slapped a second sticker on her.
And I’m about to soak your life in booze and blood.
Reason I was up Motueka-way was I was trying to give some space to Karla the ex and Wallace, my boy; well, I’d been ordered to give ‘em space, actually. Each day at the orchard that Jan I’d pluck around thirty apple trees, guide the fruit down, not chucking it too hard so the supe wouldn’t dock my pay. Get a sweat up during the day; come down feeling less fat, feeling appreciated when the bosses came round to collect our bins. Tracey started staying at the campground too and we’d all cool down each night after work with a smoke and a box of Canadian Clubs and there would be Crazey Trazey, shitfaced, dancing on tables, mis-hearing people, starting fights, retarded laugh. Life of the party. If we filled a hundred two-tonne bins per week together, everybody got paid pretty decent money. Paid more than being a Southland signwriter at any rate, plus it was less stress-y, like I could stand up among the shining leaves, toke, sip liquor, eat decent apples, rock out to tunes.
I’s spending the season in Mot figurin out how to get my train back on the tracks cause my baby mama and her Nan had got a protection order meaning I wasn’t allowed down south in Invercargill else I’d get in trouble. It was supposedly about my car crash on Christmas Eve, rollin’ the Holden while I was liquored up, injuring Karla, endangering our son and shit. Truth be told, her family had wanted me gone before the crash anyway, cause of my drinkin. Dead, if possible. After the crash Uncle Wiremu had pulled me into the hospital café and poured out my flask into a trash can and told me either I had to leave town or he was gonna get the Road Knights to kneecap me. Didn’t matter that I’d paid for a decent house, three-ply toilet paper, a heated towel rail, automatic door opener so Karla could cram the garage with Wally’s basketballs and skipping ropes and whatnot. Uncle Wiremu emailed me a bus ticket from his phone and told me to go before sundown and that was us. House given to Karla. Me, sent away to the naughty north end of the island with no one to love me.
Cept Tracey, that was.
This Tracey chick was a leader in the campground cause of two things, I found out: Rage and riches. As in, Tracey pays for everyone’s piss to buy influence and anyone that wasn’t on the Tracey Train got a growling, didn’t matter how staunch – team leaders, Noise Control, Samoan chiefs, prickly Mobsters, stabby skinheads. She mentioned a couple times, when we were on a sandbar in the middle of the booze-ocean, that after she’d partied her way through Happy Apple, she had a plan to go on the epic-est South Island road trip in history and I should totally come with. If I helped her out, I’d get free piss, parties, pills and someone to occasionally hug. Seemed like a sweet deal. Maybe I’d even walk away with a bit of coin to buy Wallace some decent prezzies. Maybe Karla would respect me again and drop the protection order.
The Tracey Tap, campground people called her – cause alcohol flowed from her and peeps were itching for a drink between paydays. The Tracey Tap had an account at Vicar of Liquor – thanks to this allowance from some old father who people said they’d seen visiting her, gripping her over in the woods or something – and twice a week she’d fetch a trunkload of Cody’s and Cruisers, Steiny, Stella, Smirnoff, giving her enough power to be loose with anyone, grabbing smokes out of Samoan chiefs’ mouths, aggravating the Israelis, cussing out the campground manager, taking the Indians’ chicken from their barbecue.
She gave more than she took, which was why she narrowly avoided getting smashed over. Trace would use Daddy’s Dollars to put on these Happy Apple parties and every cunt would come, big fuck-off rental sound system, people moshing in the swamp, bonfire, pig-on-a-spit, DOOFDOOFDOOF, backpackers and Islanders shaking their dreadlocks. Tracey made those broke-arse summer nights slide by, did she what.
End of Feb we had the party to end all parties. Peeps were celebrating filling our 500th bin of the season and we’d started on the piss and pills and pipes just after lunch so by dinner time most people were fairly sozzled, and when it actually got dark people started coma’ing out. Round 11 or so Tracey was dancing on the roof of this Mustang belonging to these Mongrel Mobsters who we mostly hadn’t had a problem with, two old blokes and a nineteen-ish grandson, winner of some amateur MMA/kickboxing title who wore his thick gold belt round the campground to psych people out. They told Trace to get the fuck off their ride and Tracey laughed right into their Ray-Bans, You softcocks don’t have the balls to smack a woman, hopping down and disappearing while the gangsters muttered about revenge and loaded a sawnoff with a red bandana wrapped round it and Kickboxer Boy pulled me aside and asked me if I wanted a one-out, telling me as I walked away that I was a pussy for letting my missus represent.
Epic night, that, lotta wild behaviour, but the fire had winked out by 4am and everyone was sleeping.
Everyone cept Tracey and me, that was.
I was taking a piss under the full moon when I looked up and there she was, in the tree. Legs wrapped around a bough. Perched. Plotting.
She glided down while I frantically zipped up my cock. Gave me a look that said I Want You Inside Me.
‘Hurry up,’ she went, tugging me towards her tent.
After she bit my neck and I came, we pulled our undies on and Trace became all business. Stuck a spear-tipped finger under my chin. Kaleidoscope eyes. Swirling gold.
‘Come. Get mama something to eat.’
My nervous balls floated up into my throat as I followed Trace through the moonlit blue campground, prowling between caravans, arriving at the Mustang.
Fuck. Tent of the Mongrel Mobs. All three of them packed in there like possums, wearing their sunglasses as they snored.
We could hear a weed whacker revving in one granddad’s throat. The other one, mumbling. Kickboxer Boy hugged his gold belt like a teddy bear. Their boots stuck out the end of the tent.
Tracey hefted a thick block into my arms. I was too woozy to make it out. A car engine?
‘Crush the cunt.’ Tracey had given me a 36-pack of beer bottles, so heavy I swooned a little.
‘TRACE, WHAT THE FU- ’
‘OI. Crush his fuckin head or I’ll crush yours.’
The box had to weigh nearly 20 kilos. Pointy cardboard corners. Could pop a man’s eye out. I tried to peer through the tent-fabric at where the guys’ heads were. Saw the shape of a man’s face. One of the grandfathers. No helmet.
I gave Tracey a look that said I seriously don’t wanna do this.
She met me with golden swirling eyes. Lifted my arms for me.
Slammed the box on his watermelon-skull.
The tent jerked and shivered. Something oily oozed through the nylon, into the blue-black grass.
‘Move. I’ll show you how it’s done.’
Tracey hefted a cinderblock the Mongrels had used to hold down the lid of their ice chest. She dropped it on the head of a second man. Wet crunch, like a dropped tray of eggs.
Tracey moved around the front of the tent, next. Unzipped the opening. Kneeled on the shoulders of the youngster, Mister Kickboxer. Strangled him in his sleep while he pawed her with useless seal flippers, puke oozing out his nostrils.
Tracey emerged from the tent, panting.
‘Take their shit, c’mon.’
‘Wanna end up like him, Adam?’
I tried to swallow. Felt Tracey sticking sharpness into my throat. The campground silent as ice.
I took their wallets and money-rolls. Tracey stole their weed, their booze, tobacco. She toed their shotgun with a smirk, tipping it over like it was a useless hunk of scrap. We didn’t talk. We’d both ripped off people before.
Stamps. Stamps tucked in wallets. That was what I really cared about. I pulled those wallets inside-out. Managed to score three postage stamps. Three postcards home to my son. I wasn’t allowed to ring or visit, but there was no law against sending postcards.
I moved metres away, calling her name, desperate to disappear. But Trace had one last thing to do.
Kickboxer Boy wasn’t fully dead, just spasming, quivering. She straddled his chest like she was riding him.
Tracey leaned in. I watched, arms full of loot. Tracey was giving him mouth-to-mouth, it looked like.
Then she tossed her head back, lips toward the moon.
Tracey’d grown a black beard – no, she’d puked tar all down her throat, no –
She’d slurped out of the crushed kid’s jaw. She was chewing, like it was thick. Syrupy.
‘Tastes good when they’re little.’
She wobbled upright, licking her lips, waiting to see if I’d scream.
Right hand, fingertips dripping. Left hand, holding the golden belt.
We loaded her convertible, spun it around.
Hooned out the gate. Vanished.