Bram Stoker Awards Consideration

Dear HWA Members,

This is a one-time e-mail being sent in accordance with the Bram Stoker Awards® Etiquette Rules to offer you a copy of River of Ashes (87,000 words, Aug 2, 2022, Vesuvian Books).

“Uncomfortably brutal.” ~Kirkus

Some truths are better kept secret.
Some secrets are better off dead.

ALONG THE BANKS OF THE BOGUE FALAYA RIVER, sits the abandoned St. Francis Seminary. Beneath a canopy of oaks, blocked from prying eyes, the teens of St. Benedict High gather here on Fridays. The rest of the week belongs to school and family—but weekends belong to the river.

And the river belongs to Beau Devereaux.

The only child of a powerful family, Beau can do no wrong. Star quarterback. Handsome. Charming. The “prince” of St. Benedict is the ultimate catch.

He is also a psychopath.

A dirty family secret buried for years, Beau’s evil grows unchecked. In the shadows of the haunted abbey, he commits unspeakable acts on his victims and ensures their silence with threats and intimidation. Senior year, Beau sets his sights on his girlfriend’s headstrong twin sister, Leslie, who hates him. Everything he wants but cannot have, she will be his ultimate prize.

As the victim toll mounts, it becomes clear that someone must stop Beau Devereaux.

And that someone will pay with their life.

* * *

Warning: This book contains violence, rape, and a psychopath's POV, which some readers will find disturbing.

Selected as one of Apple’s Most Anticipated Books, River of Ashes by Alexandrea Weis and Lucas Astor (Vesuvian, Aug 2, 2022) is a gripping Southern Gothic series debut inspired by real people and places, including the abbey located in the actual town of St. Benedict, Louisiana. Reminiscent of the Gothic horror/family-sagas by V.C. Andrews, book one of the St. Benedict series, “… offers a look inside the mind of a psychopath,” says Pearry Teo, PhD, Award-winning horror director of The Assent, “and is a cautionary tale that the scariest monsters are the ones you know but never suspect.”


“[Beau’s] dark side, hidden behind the good-guy exterior, might be cliché. The depth of that darkness, and what drives it, are not.” ~LitPik (verdict: 5/5 stars)

“Beau Devereaux is every bit the “bad boy” our mothers warned us about. Think Mark Wahlberg from Fear but imagine if he crossed paths with Sidney Prescott.” ~GothGirlOnTheTrain

“Definitely not for the faint of heart … when I read book 2, the doors will be locked, I’ll keep a weapon nearby, and all the lights will be on.” ~Horror Tree

"Holy snap, this was BRUTAL in the best of ways!"
~Mercedes M. Yardley, Bram Stoker Award-winning author of Little Dead Red.

“The most unsettling, unforgettable horror is real life horror. Add a ghostly thread and you have River of Ashes. Highly recommended—if you dare.”
 ~Liana Gardner, Bram Stoker Awards-Nominee of Speak No Evil (Named #14 in Ginger Nuts of Horror's Top 100 YA Horror Novels of the Decade)

River of Ashes has a gritty darkness that clings to you like a second skin. A fabulous start to an addictive series” ~Monique Snyman, Bram Stoker Awards-Nominee of
The Night Weaver and The Bone Carver


Book Teaser

“[Beau Devereaux] makes some of Stephen King's characters appear tame by comparison.”
~Nanette Fandino-Diaz @tea.and.titles

“[River of Ashes] did what every good horror movie or book should do, it kept me uncomfortable the whole time.
This book really does give that horror movie dread. Definitely a must read if you can handle it.” ~Goodreads

"You cannot prepare to read this kind of thing. Expect to have a strong reaction. Expect to feel disturbed." ~JypsyLynn

"[River of Ashes] is the masterstroke of a true horror/thriller artist."
~K.C. Finn, USA Today Bestselling Author

“Alexandrea Weis’s novels are destined to stand along with authors such as Stephen King, Gillian Flynn, and Joyce Carol Oates.” ~The Strand Magazine

River of Ashes was the first Book of the Month selected for Twisted Retreat, and the October debut sold out in under 48 hours. Twisted Retreat is the new horror subscription box from Unplugged Book Box, named #1 by USA Today. “Have you ever awoken from a nightmare and thought... damn, I wish I could turn that into a horror movie?" said Melanie McKnight, Founder. “The very first Twisted Retreat theme is NIGHTMARE FUEL. What better way to kick off the first or our new, monthly boxes of sinister delights than with frightful tales and spooky goodies that will keep you on edge well into the dark, dark night? [River of Ashes] felt like a nod to horror movies of the 90s with drama aplenty. It was disturbingly nostalgic with a modern twist. But this is no high school book... This is a dark and twisty (adult fiction) psychological horror that will leave you feeling more than a little unsettled.”

Author Alexandrea Weis, RN-CS, PhD, is an award-winning author, advanced practice registered nurse, and historian who was born and raised in the French Quarter. She has taught at major universities and worked as a nurse dealing with victims of sexual assault, abuse, and mental illness in a clinical setting at New Orleans area hospitals.

Raised in the motion picture industry as the daughter of a director, she learned to tell stories from a different perspective and grew up on movie sets such as the James Bond film Live and Let Die with Roger Moore and My Name is Nobody starring Henry Fonda. The first person to give her writing advice was Tennessee Williams, a family friend. Weis is a member of the Horror Writers Association and International Thriller Writers Organization. She lives with her husband outside of New Orleans where she is a permitted/certified wildlife rehabber with the Louisiana Wildlife & Fisheries and rescues orphaned and injured animals.

Lucas Astor is an award-winning author and poet with a penchant for telling stories that delve into the dark side of the human psyche. He likes to explore the evil that exists, not just in the world, but next door behind a smiling face. Astor currently lives outside of Nashville, TN.


The original cover art is by Mister Sam Shearona dark artist from Liverpool, who has provided cover illustrations for the Angel series, 30 Days of NightThe X-Files, and the fully illustrated H.P. Lovecraft’s The Call of Cthulhu, Oscar Wilde’s The Picture of Dorian Gray, and Clive Barker’s Hellraiser and Books of Blood.

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