Snowed and Brothel on the Bram Stoker Ballot
We recently heard the good news that two RDSP titles have again made the final ballot for the Bram Stoker award. Snowed, by Maria Alexander, is in the category of Superior Achievement in a YA Novel and Brothel, by Stephanie Wytovich, in the category of Superior Achievement in a Poetry Collection.
Voting members of the Horror Writers Association are eligible to receive free copies for consideration. Qualifying HWA members can contact firstname.lastname@example.org to request electronic copies of both Snowed and Brothel.
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Charity Jones is a 16-year-old engineering genius who’s much-bullied for being biracial and a skeptic at her conservative school in Oak County, California. Everything changes when Charity’s social worker mother brings home a sweet teen runaway named Aidan to foster for the holidays. Matched in every way, Charity and Aidan quickly fall in love. But it seems he’s not the only new arrival: Charity soon finds the brutally slain corpse of her worst bully and she gets hard, haunting evidence that the killer is stalking Oak County. As she and her Skeptics Club investigate this death and others, they find at every turn the mystery only grows darker and more deadly. One thing’s for certain: there’s a bloody battle coming this holiday season that will change their lives – and human history – forever.
Will they be ready?
Find out this 2016 holiday season how Charity, you, me, everyone…has been Snowed.
What They’re Saying About Snowed
“Snowed was a whole ‘nother nightmare about Christmas by that troublemaker writer, Maria Alexander. Her work always keep me up all night and Snowed was no exception! ! I’m already looking in my dusty, cobwebbed Christmas stocking for her next book. C’mon, Maria! Hurry up!”
—Nancy Holder, New York Times bestselling author, The Rules
“Sorry Katniss and Bella… Charity is the hero I’ve been waiting for. She is sharp, fierce, loyal, and not afraid to let her brain move in concert with her heart. If bodies started dropping in my neighborhood, she’s who I’d want by my side.”
—Lilla Zuckerman Writer / Producer Marvel’s Agents of Shield, Fringe
“…the fantasy elements are fully imagined, and the unique premise may attract horror fans, who will appreciate the teens’ creative solutions for fighting the villains.”
—School Library Journal
About the Author
Maria Alexander writes pretty much every damned thing and gets paid to do it. She’s a produced screenwriter and playwright, published games writer, virtual world designer, award-winning copywriter, interactive theatre designer, prolific fiction writer, snarkiologist and poet. Her stories have appeared in publications such as Chiaroscuro Magazine, Gothic.net and Paradox, as well as numerous acclaimed anthologies alongside living legends such as David Morrell and Heather Graham.
Mr. Wicker, Maria’s debut novel, won the Bram Stoker Award in 2015. Her second poetry collection—At Louche Ends: Poetry for the Decadent, the Damned and the Absinthe-Minded—was nominated for the 2011 Bram Stoker Award. And she was a winner of the 2004 AOL Time-Warner “Time to Rhyme” poetry contest.
When not wielding a katana at her local shinkendo dojo, she’s being outrageously spooky and writing Doctor Who filk. She lives in Los Angeles with two ungrateful cats and a purse called Trog.
Explore her website: www.mariaalexander.net. You won’t regret it.
Wytovich plays madam in a collection of erotic horror that challenges the philosophical connection between death and orgasm. There’s a striptease that happens in Brothel that is neither fact nor fiction, fantasy nor memory. It is a dance of eroticism, of death and decay. The human body becomes a service station for pain, for pleasure, for the lonely, the confused. Sexuality is hung on the door, and the act of love is far from anything that’s decent. Her women spread their legs to violence then smoke a cigarette and get on all fours. They use their bodies as weapons and learn to find themselves in the climax of the boundaries they cross in order to define their humanity…or lack thereof.
Wytovich shows us that the definition of the feminine is not associated with the word victim. Her characters resurrect themselves over and over again, fighting stereotypes, killing expectations. She shows us that sex isn’t about love; it’s about control. And when the control is disproportionate to the fantasy, she shows us the true meaning of femme fatale.
What Are They Saying About Brothel
“When it comes to razor sharp wit, unapologetic violence, and steamy, sensuous, sometimes breathtaking eroticism, Stephanie M. Wytovich is matchless.”
—Shane Douglas Keene, This is Horror UK
“Stephanie M. Wytovich takes you to a place of sex, power and pain. She fills your head with powerful images of love and wanting. Brothel is a place where some are lost in the world of sex, a place they only meant to visit. A place they are enticed by the pleasure and never looked back, where self-worth is lost and payment is expected. I found a good number of poems really spoke to me, some leaving me speechless.”
—The Scary Reviews
“…Wytovich methodically deconstructs the image of the sad, broken prostitute that mainstream popular culture loves to perpetuate and replaces it with women who are as strong and smart as any heroine in contemporary fiction. Yes, some of these women are haunted by past decisions or propelled to do their work because they, like all of us, need a paycheck, but they’re also not victims of their circumstances: they are in control, they set the rules, they make others bleed, and they use their bodies as weapons to get what they want. By doing this, Wytovich has taken the victimization of women out of the equation and replaced it with a plethora of elements that range from violence to sex, sometimes simultaneously.”
—Gabino Iglesias, HorrorTalk
“Brothel comes to you like a lover in the dark; the movements initially hesitant, but with growing confidence and passion as it pulls you in deeper. Before you know it, the poetry—Wytovich’s words and rhythms—are in your head, your heart, and your gut, moving all three in a way that you haven’t felt since your first time, lo, those many years ago. Don’t. Miss. This.”
—Paul Michael Anderson, editor of Jamais Vu and author of Bones are Made to Be Broken
“Stephanie M. Wytovich’s new poetry collection is a triumph of prismatic storytelling. The poems in Brothel have multiple shades and angles, and each one’s a window into a secret world I longed to explore—in spite of the bloodstains, and sometimes because of them. It was an animated read for me. As the characters twisted themselves in and out of deadly pleasure, I shivered in delight and shuddered in sad fascination. I feared these girls, but I also wanted to fight, fuck, and be these girls. This is a beautiful collection, and it’s safe to assume I’ll be a frequent visitor to Stephanie’s Brothel for years to come.”
—Jessica McHugh, author of The Green Kangaroos
“Wielding words with lyrical precision, Stephanie Wytovich has crafted a dangerous, dark, and oh-so-very-beautiful journey in Brothel. Filled with the raw heat and obsessive passions of love, this collection immerses the reader in the delicious miasma of humanity; at once depraved and holy, Brothel is poetry as weapon, as caress, as submission. Absolutely glorious.”
—Peter Adam Salomon, Bram Stoker Award-nominated author of All Those Broken Angels
“I didn’t quite know what I was in for when I slipped into Stephanie M. Wytovich’s Brothel. Now here I stand on the sidewalk outside, shielding my eyes against the harsh light of day. My hair is a mess, my mascara smudged, and I’m inexplicably missing a shoe. After Brothel I’ll never be clean again. …or feel as satisfied as I am now.”
—Kristin Dearborn, author of Stolen Away and Woman in White
About the Author
Stephanie M. Wytovich is a technical writer by day and a horror writer by night. She is the Poetry Editor for Raw Dog Screaming Press, an adjunct at Western Connecticut State University, and a book reviewer for Nameless Magazine. She is a member of the Science Fiction Poetry Association, an active member of the Horror Writers Association, and a graduate of Seton Hill University’s MFA program for Writing Popular Fiction. Her Bram Stoker Award-nominated poetry collections, Hysteria: A Collection of Madness, Mourning Jewelry, An Exorcism of Angels, and Brothel earned a home with Raw Dog Screaming Press, and her debut novel, The Eighth, is simmering in sin with Dark Regions Press.
Her next poetry collection, Sheet Music to My Acoustic Nightmare is scheduled to be released October 2017 from Raw Dog Screaming Press, and her short story collection, Inside the Skin Bouquet is set for a late 2017 release from Dark Fuse.