Tag Archives: horror


Braelynn’s Birthright–Book 1: Wendigo BookTok

What is a booktok, you might ask?

A booktok is a video posted on TikTok in which readers discuss books they’ve read. This is supposed to be a great marketing tool, as well, so I’ve decided to dip my foot into the TikTok waters.

Creating this video was no mean feat. First, I had to write the script. Next, I filmed myself which necessitated getting used to seeing myself on the screen. After more than twenty takes, I managed to de-sensitize myself to this phenomenon. Lastly–and perhaps the most daunting–I had to figure out how to edit the video. This meant learning how to use Adobe Premiere Pro. If you’ve ever used any Adobe Suite products, you know just how complicated and confusing a task this can be. I managed to find an amazing video describing the basics (Thanks to Justin Brown an Saj Adibs for their amazing YouTube how tos).

The result is fairly successful (I think), particularly for a first try. Take a look for yourself (see video embedded above).

Here is the transcript for this booktok:

Hey, there.

Author Elise Abram here with what I hope will be one of many more BookToks to come.

Today’s book is Braelynn’s Birthright—Book 1: Wendigo. If you’re a fan of Supernatural, the Nancy Drew television series, or Legacies, you’re sure to be a fan of this book.

In the book, Braelynn inherits her grandmother’s ring, but the ring has been cursed, making her a magnet for supernatural entities. As she learns to navigate her new powers, she’s joined by her friends Sommer, Shannon (who happens to be a werewolf), and Winona, an Ojibwe shaman-in-training. The four of them band together to vanquish the wendigo threatening to destroy the local watershed.

This book explores what It’s like to feel as if you are different from everyone else and you don’t belong. It shows how powerful you can be when you embrace your differences instead of try to fit in and be like everyone else.

Braelynn’s Birthright is available at all major online retailers.

I hope you’ll let me know what you think if you read it.

Until next time, goodbye!

To buy Braelynn’s Birthright–Book 1: Wendigo, please see my list of YA books for purchase links.

New Release!

Braelynn’s Birthright–Book 1: Wendigo

I am proud to have published Braelynn’s Birthright–Book 1: Wendigo. This is the first in what I hope will be a series of books featuring the same set of characters. Book1: Wendigo is a young adult supernatural/horror urban fantasy novel.

Book 2: Fallen Angel is near completion. This book is a new adult novel, taking place a few years after Book 1. It also unites characters from a number of my books including Phase Shift, The Revenant, and Revamped. Look for the release of Book 2: Fallen Angel in November of this year.

If you’re a fan of Supernatural, Nancy Drew (current TV series), or Legacies (Vampire Diaries spin-off) you will love the Braelynn’s Birthright series, as well as the other books mentioned here.

Here is a closer look at what Braelynn’s Birthright–Book 1: Wendigo is about:

Imagine a world where the creatures of nightmare are real. This becomes fifteen-year-old Braelynn Hanlon’s world once she inherits her birthright in the form of her grandmother’s ring and is tricked into putting it on. You see, the women in her family have been cursed, doomed to defend humanity from things that go bump in the night. On the upside, the ring comes with super-healing powers, but it also makes her a magnet for all things supernatural. Her mother has had years to come to terms with her fate, but Braelynn’s about to get a crash course on how to be a hunter of all things paranormal.

Her boyfriend, Seth, turns out to be a vampire. When Braelynn vanquishes him, the leader of Seth’s gang sends a bugbear to seek revenge. If that’s not bad enough, her best friend, Shannon, is a werewolf, and Shannon’s girl crush is enchanted. To make matters worse, the school’s activist, Winona, is an Ojibwe shaman in training, hot on the trail of a wendigo disguised as a local businessman who is threatening to destroy the local watershed. Braelynn and her friends agree to help Winona vanquish the wendigo, but will her ring and her new-found powers be enough to keep her safe?

Braelynn’s Birthright–Book 1: Wendigo is available at Amazon (paperback and eBook), B & NApple Books, and Rakuten Kobo.

Meet the Revenant

"The Revenant" Cover Image

“The Revenant” Cover Image

My name is Zulu.

I died when I was thrown from a horse on my way to elope with my girl. Then I woke up. I haven’t aged a day since. Before long I realized I had super powers–incredible speed, perfect vision, and miraculous strength. My only companion for more than a century has been Morgan the Seer, an old man who can see the future. He tells me what he sees in his dreams and I help the people he sees. The media’s pegged me a vigilante, but I’m really more of a superhero, keeping the city safe from evil under the cover of the night.

[Tweet “Zulu doesn’t eat or get cold & if he avoids a wooden stake in the chest, he’ll keep living.”]

My name is Kat.

I like to talk. In fact, my mom? She says I talk too much and she named me Katherine because I reminded her of a Chatty Cathy doll. I tried to tell her that she wouldn’t know I was so chatty when she named me because I was still a baby and couldn’t talk at all. Zulu? He’s a revenant, which is different from a vampire, but I’m not exactly sure how except vampires drink blood and so far Zulu hasn’t. He found me after school one day and recruited me to help him and the Seer, who I think is like his father, but is more the age of his grandfather, and considering what I know of his history, isn’t even really related to him at all. Oh! Did I mention I see auras? I can also sense what people are feeling, which is probably why the Seer recruited me to help him and Zulu save people. Anyway, since I joined them I’m happy, you know? Because I finally feel like I belong somewhere, and they don’t look at me like I’m strange or something, because let’s face it, alongside a man who’s lived as long as the Seer and someone who’s immortal because he returned from the grave, I’m like…normal.

[Tweet ” Kat is full of life, youthful and sometimes just a little naïve about evil.”]

My name is Morgan.

I first learned of my ability to see the future when I was a boy and I saw the livery stable burn to the ground. I tried to warn the groom but he wouldn’t listen. I’ve spent the past hundred years recording my dreams in a journal until the timing’s right for me to send Zulu and Kat to help some poor soul escape certain danger. In my time I’ve seen many changes. For example, it used to take a week or more for news to travel. Now we see it as it’s happening and people walk around with cameras on their person, recording the minutia of every second of their lives–it’s maddening! But I digress. Where was I? Oh yes. Though I can see the fate of others, I’m unable to see my own. Considering my twin brother, Malchus, has found a way to return from the grave and he blames me for his death, I’m not sure that’s necessarily a good thing.

[Tweet “Morgan has made his path in life, trusting himself  and his judgement.”]

My name is Malchus.

Morgan is my twin brother. Growing up, my parents had high hopes for me. I apprenticed with Dr. Algernon while my dolt of a brother was relegated to farm duties. Algernon taught me more than the Healing Arts. He also taught me how to raise the dead, something my close-minded brother couldn’t comprehend. When a bunch of idiot high school kids got in over their heads with a Ouija board I slipped into one of their bodies. My plan is simple: seek revenge on my brother, who I know had a hand in my death. The only obstacle to my success is my rusty necromancing skill. If I can only recall the process to properly raise people from the dead, I will amass an army of minions to help me and the world will bow at my feet!

[Tweet “Malchus is the is the poster child for why you shouldn’t give in to peer pressure.”]

Which character from The Revenant are you? Take the quiz at http://gotoquiz.com/YRhrX to find out! Don’t forget to come back to post in the comments below.

Please note: Character bios were originally published as a part of my Bit’n Book Tour on 4 Sept 14 on The Fire & Ice Book Review Blog. 

Dracula is a page turner

Bram Stoker’s Dracula is the gothic horror story that put down roots for modern day vampire lore.

In Dracula, lawyer Jonathan Harker is sent to Transylvania to close a deal on the sale of a house for Count Dracula in England. Confined to a limited number of rooms in Dracula’s castle, Harker goes  exploring where he discovers siren-like creatures and Dracula’s dark nature. Harker eventually escapes, goes nearly mad, and convalesces in a hospital where fiance Mina Murray retrieves him and marries him. They return to England to find Mina’s friend, Lucy, mysteriously ill from blood loss. Harker and Dr. Seward enlist a retired Van Helsing for help. They replenish Lucy’s blood nightly to no avail. Eventually Lucy dies, her body claimed by Dracula. It’s not long before Mina falls prey to the same “illness,” with one strange symptom–she has a connection with Count Dracula. Harker, Seward and Van Helsing use this connection to ambush Dracula and kill him for good at last.

Fan of vampire stories that I am, I had always meant to read the original Dracula, but never got around to it. But after watching NBC’s Dracula, I needed to go back to the archetype to see which characters and events were borrowed from the original and which were new.

In NBC’s Dracula, the count assumes the name Alexander Greyson and pretends to be an American newly arrived in England on business. In a grand spectacle opening, Greyson holds a party at his mansion where he introduces his guests to free, wireless power which sends the oil magnates into a tizzy. At this gala is socialite Lucy Westenra who has invited her friend and medical student Mina Murray and Mina’s boyfriend, reporter Jonathan Harker. When Dracula sees Mina he sees his wife’s doppelganger and is determined to have her, but not by force. To that end, he hires Harker as his assistant, puts him up in a mansion and pays him enough to marry Mina and live happily ever after. The idea is to keep Mina close and gradually insinuate himself into her life. Pursued by the Order of the Dragon, an ancient organization whose members are involved in (among other things I can’t figure out) maintaining a power monopoly and killing vampires, Greyson’s goal is to punish members of the Order for their role in making him what he is today.

Other than character names and the time in which the story takes place, there is little comparison between the original book and the television show. In the book, Dracula has no alter ego and there is no mention of Mina the doppelganger. TV’s Renfield is Dracula’s manservant, a far cry from Stoker’s raving, bug-eating lunatic and Stoker’s Van Helsing is out to kill Dracula, not form an unholy alliance with him in order to seek revenge on the Order of the Dragon. Reading the book  also shed some light on other supernatural works, including  an explanation as to why the brothers on Supernatural bear the last name Winchester and the origin of the title “Vampire Diaries”, adopted because most of Stoker’s novel is told in journal or diary format.

The novel is a page turner at times, boring at others, but worth the time to read.

The series picks up pace midway through episode two and becomes the television version of a page turner. I binge watched the first three episodes and regret not watching the fourth as well (but Once Upon a Time was about to begin and priorities must be set).

Are you watching NBC’s Dracula? What do you think?

“Heart Shaped Box” not for the faint of heart

In Heart Shaped Box by Joe Hill, Judas Jude Coyne, aging grunge rocker and collector of oddities and antiquities, purchases a ghost online. He later learns the ghost, Craddock McDermott, is the step-father of his ex-girlfriend, Anna, and he has a vendetta settle with Jude. Both Craddock and Anna’s sister, Jessica blame Jude for Anna’s death. After the ghost kills Jude’s assistant Danny and nearly killing Jude, he and his current girlfriend, Marybeth (whom Jude has nicknamed Georgia) set out on a quest to deliver Craddock’s ghost home.

Heart Shaped Box is a novel reminiscent of Stephen King’s early horror stories, such as Christine, Carrie or The Shining, that is to say, it is more gory horror than spooky horror. For me, the joy of reading horror should have the same effect as rushing down the highest embankment of a roller coaster–heart pumpingly scary. When I was a preteen, I was hooked on the Real Canadian Ghost Stories series I used to buy from the Scholastic Books magazine. Those stories were freaky, so much so that I had to stop reading them once I found I couldn’t sleep soundly without my bedroom door open, the hallway light on, and first checking in my closet and under my bed for ethereal trespassers. In this respect, Heart Shaped Box does not deliver.

Hill’s horror is gruesome and violent and not for the faint of heart. After Marybeth pricks her finger on a ghostly pin hidden in Craddock’s suit, and the wound festers, Hill describes it in high definition. When Jude’s finger is blown off after he’s shot, Hill paints the picture for the reader in glorious, living technicolor. It’s a testament to Hill’s prose and storytelling ability that I continued to read in spite of being utterly and totally grossed out. Coyne’s character (think Treasure Trader’s Billy Jamieson) is a reluctant anti-hero. A drug abuser and alcoholic raised by an abusive father, he goes through a series of girls half his age, referring to them by their cities of origin rather than their given names. He pities himself enough to want to give in to Craddock’s mind control and end his life, but when that plan is thwarted by Marybeth, Jude turns around, vowing to do her the same favour. The only way to do that is to see his quest through to the bitter end, in spite of the fact that it may mean the end of his life as well.

Heart Shaped Box is a good read, but it’s not true horror. Quite frankly, there are more chills to be had listening to voices from Zak Bagans’s ghost box on The Travel Channel’s Ghost Adventures series or TAPS EVPs than reading this novel, but that’s not to say it’s not worth reading. Joe Hill is an excellent author, worthy of my earlier King comparison. He tells a great story, sure to put a chill in your heart and a churn in your belly.

Do you read Joe Hill? What do you think about his knack for tale telling this bloody brand of horror?