Bloodalcohol: Ten Tales.
The new horror collection by Michael Botur.
Pre-order by helping the crowdfunding campaign today. Click here.
Children battling parents, parents battling children, man battling nature and nature biting back…
These ten terrifying tales address all the challenges of life through the lens of horror: Buying a home, trying to get famous, conserving nature, battling bullies, surviving school, being a good mother, understanding your father, and getting good with God.
A South Island road trip turns murderous as alcoholic drifter Tracey (29) 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 environmental cleanups. After borrowing billions and removing all trace of mankind from the Far North, archaic species demand to be fed – and Ross and Jennifer learn how little nature cares for mankind.
Schoolboy pranksters Sammy and Richie (13) learn the limits of their friendship after they are joined on weekend school vandalism missions by the mysterious Jacob, who seems to never leave the school. After Jacob takes a prank way too far, Sammy is locked up and Richie goes on to a life of success, forgetting his past until years later Jacob reappears, demanding to play – with brutal consequences if Richard says no.
4 Weeks in the Woodshed
AJ (28) was a young South Auckland teacher trying to provide for his wife and baby. Now, he’s had all 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 at the Waiuku Community Men’s Shed – and a crime which comes with unending punishment and no way home.
Busy high school teacher Āwhina (38) tries to stop her son Nick (17) sneaking out at night to join a gang of suicidal schoolboys who have discovered the ultimate thrill: killing oneself and frolicking as a ‘Lossboy.’ But after the Lossboys take everything from her – including her son – Āwhina starts standing up against her untouchable tormentors.
6 The Beast Released
Lonely computer technician Christopher (35) takes the feral 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 deep in the forest, however, that one of them has a dark side eager to emerge, and the other is trapped.
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.
8 Luke’s Lesson
Life is hard for Hamilton brothers Luke (15) and Danny (12), whose father is a reformed addict trying to go straight. After Luke and Danny are inspired by a charismatic pastor who gives them Bible comics warning of eternal damnation, Luke tries to improve the family’s favour with God by cleansing their sins – brutally, violently, and for the greater good.
9 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 Moana to talk to her Dad again – and for Dad, hotshot reporter Matty Matich, to be more sensitive with the women he dates.
As Venus counts down towards 18 and the end of school, she tries to intervene against her dad devouring girlfriends– and finally confronts the terrifying truth about why Mum left Dad in the first place.
10 WorldStar & Son
During a scorching Christchurch summer, a lad captivated by violent YouTube videos learns that his wish for his jellyfish-of-a-father to toughen up is about to come true, as a psychopathic daddy-son tag team begin turning the tables against everyone who ever made them feel inferior.
Praise for 2022 horror collection The Devil Took Her: Tales of Horror and other books.
“With The Devil Took Her, Michael Botur has created a series of wonderfully unsettling stories that fill the reader with ill-ease. Settle in for some energetic, evocative, jump off the page writing and stories that do what all good horror should do – repulse and intrigue.” – Kathryn Burnett – Award-winning Screenwriter/Playwright
“Gritty, unsettling and utterly intoxicating.” – Steffanie Holmes – USA Today bestselling author – speaker – heavy metal maiden
“What I loved about this collection is that I didn’t know where I was being taken. Botur kept me guessing. The hem of the dress isn’t being lifted, he tears it off at every opportunity. It’s rare to read an author that puts it all out there, straying well and truly outside the boundaries of today’s PC societal views. Botur invites backlash in, and I respect that. There are so many great tales in here, all written with panache and a street cred that can only be garnered, I feel, from experience, which makes me like this guy even more. He trades grammar convention for a stream of consciousness that pulls you into each story, a roller coaster with a fresh destination Botur hides in each telling with aplomb.” – Scott Butler, Screenwriter, Shortland Street
“Michael Botur’s debut collection of short stories ‘The Devil Took her’ takes the horror genre into the zeitgeist with verve and moxie. Botur has no qualms about using his imagination as a writer and he creates, embraces, and elevates characters who are female, male, lesbian, Asian, Ethiopian, and American with equal skill and respect. He spatters his stories with detail and layers of popular culture, social nuance and infuses the motivations of his characters with empathy no matter what bloodthirsty and dire scenarios play out. His 12 stories cheerfully skewer the music industry, IT training, teenage angst, serial killers and biotechnology. Botur’s energetic prose and clever and compelling storytelling deserves recognition and a wider audience. His visceral and visual tales could be successfully adapted for the screen and as a first-time horror writer Botur is definitely a new New Zealand talent to keep an eyeball out for. ” – Linda Niccol, Award-winning screenwriter/director
“Prolific, dope-as-tits writer Michael Botur is back, with a new collection. His writing in these twelve stories is pure, no-holds-barred revelry in the weird and genuinely scary. Each story is highly imaginative and, most importantly, fun to read.”
-Jeremy Roberts, Gingernuts of Horror (2022)
“Aside from the incredible inventiveness of its plot, Botur’s writing sings at times with a fluency and vivacity.” – Jenny Purchase, Kete NZ Books (2022)
“Don’t expect your traditional creepy tales: Michael’s use of modern concepts and topical themes puts his stories in a different class, and he knows about the pace of language. He has mastered the use of the accelerator, gears and brake in this engine of writing, and he takes corners at just the right line and speed […] The Devil Took Her: Tales of Horror is another strong string to a well-strung bow.” – Paul Brooks, NZ Herald / Whanganui Chronicle
“The author has such a unique and utterly phenomenal way of transferring human emotions, bizarre and disturbing situations into written words that transform superbly into cinematic and graphic motion picture nightmares not only for the tragic and wonderfully penned characters but mostly for you, dear reader.
Probably the most terrifying collection of chilling fiction I’ve read in 2022.
Trust me, you will not forget these stories before the end of the year.” Pan Book Reviews (2022)
“The tag line on the cover promises “Tales of Horror” and he truly delivers on that promise. The imagery is tough at times, with moments of disgust as much as lingering, visceral explorations of unsettling situations that stay long into the night. [… ]There is no denying the quality of the writing that Botur brings to the fore in this collection. Overall, the skill of the writing is undeniable. The content is heavy and at times hard to keep going because of its brutal, unsettling and overall horrific tendencies, but there is such a pull with the quality of the narrative. It’s a little like a car crash, you don’t want to look – but you just can’t help yourself.” – Chris Reed, NZ Book Lovers
“I loved this book. Horror with a side of rare clinical detachment. Great prose and a wonderful sense of just where to end a story.” – Lauren Roche, bestselling NZ novelist
“Horror fans rejoice. Award-winning Kiwi horror author Michael Botur is back with this skin-crawling good collection of horror tales. Botur’s voicey style is filled with quintessential Kiwi flavour (and setting). The writing draws you in and doesn’t let you go, no matter what you think of the protagonist (of which many descend into hells of their own making—quite satisfyingly in some cases!) […] I still find myself thinking about these stories weeks after I turned the final page.” – Nikky Lee, award-winning sci-fi and horror novelist
Praise for Crimechurch and other books
“A brutal novel full of horrible people doing horrible things, leaving themselves no obvious path forward or out, Crimechurch isn’t going to be to everyone’s taste. So dark, so populated by downtrodden, desperate people I’m not even sure you could call this noir – there’s something breathtaking, relentless, unapologetic […] It’s a wild wild wild ride, and this reader found it utterly fascinating despite the confrontation, brutality, and dysfunction.” – Karen Chisholm, Australia & NZ Crime Fiction Reviews
“Botur has claimed for himself a piece of literary territory occupied by the desperate, downtrodden and damned.” – Paul Little
“I’m exhausted and overwhelmed reading this harsh tale of gang life in Christchurch, NZ, and I feel as if I have just emerged from a freakish carnival roller coaster ride. Moments of intense graphic violence, relieved sporadically when I uttered a laugh at unexpected, but totally appropriate, humour.
The book is populated by inhumane and psychopathic gang leaders, and those who would do their bidding, who occasionally show a glimpse of sentiment. A bungee-cord ride from start to finish. Gritty, raw, and bleak don’t even begin to describe the general tone of this remarkable account given life by the author. […] This is not a book I will easily forget. Marty, Winston et al will lodge in my brain for a long time.” – Jamie’s Reviews
“If I had to sum up this novel in a few words, I’d say, “intense from start to finish.” Yes, there are a few darkly comical moments, but they only allow us to catch our breath. Author Michael Botur minces no words, respecting no boundaries of subject matter, no niceties of language in telling his tale of youthful rebellion in modern day Christchurch, New Zealand. From page one, the author dives below the peaceful and picturesque surface of the city into a rebellious nether world of alcohol, drugs, thievery and destructive—often self-destructive— violence. […] Overall, Crimechurch is a fast-paced page-turner, full of the kind of twists and turns—and surprise outcomes—readers of modern crime fiction relish.” – John Timms
“Reading Michael Botur’s books brings you face-to-face with characters you are unlikely to find anywhere else in contemporary NZ fiction. Fiction rooted in the world of multicultural Kiwi scuzbuckets and hobnockers. The lowlife crim’ element, if you’re struggling with those terms. Crimechurch is a story of redemption, though. The book is a vivid, wild piece of imagination – or is it? It’s so convincingly written that you can’t help but wonder – maybe Mr Botur was born with a criminal mind and should probably be behind bars, along with these Punks, runaways, bikers, and losers. […] Botur doesn’t waste a sentence. The reader is swept along, moment-by-moment – with fantastic, graphic descriptions of highly charged scenes, as the arc of the time-shifting story plays out, and all the characters meet Mr. Fate.” – Jeremy Roberts, Award-winning NZ poet
“Crimechurch can be brutal, nasty, with moments of humour and some clever use of language. I read this book in one sitting, not daring to interrupt the flow or decrease the story’s speed by lifting my eyes from the page. No matter where you come from, or where you’re planning to end up, this book will have you thinking thoughts you never thought possible, and finding empathy with characters you’ll probably never want to meet.” – Paul Brooks, Wanganui Midweek
“A fascinating book… the nearest thing you could compare it to would be Pulp Fiction. Michael is a very powerful author. He’s the type of guy that rolls up his sleeves and puts his heart and soul into it. He’s so involved in what he wants to say. … An excellent book…. He doesn’t conform to nobody for nothing.” – In Brief Book & Film Reviews
“Gritty, violent and captivating. A tense story of life on the seedier side of Christchurch. Botur writes with authority and humour.”– Anna Willett, Author
“Michael Botur’s work grabs you by the throat and won’t let you go. His stories throb with what feel like real people, real conversations, real moments of pain and hope, misunderstanding and reconciliation, remorse and surprise.”
—Maggie Trapp, New Zealand Listener, on True? (2019)
“Written in unvarnished street language about the rougher side of life – drugs, jail and death, the book shows rare bravery and honesty […] The thing about Michael Botur is his voice is very much a street voice. His language is street language: it’s raw, it’s coarse, it’s obscene. It’s tough and it’s confronting […] There are gems– some of them are absolutely great.”
—Ian Telfer, Radio New Zealand on True? (2019)
“One of the most original story writers of his generation in New Zealand.
—Patricia Prime, Takahē 86, on Spitshine (2016)
“As a former journalist he has perfected the skill of telling a story and evoking emotion. Botur is a clever writer. He has mastered the art of leaving things unsaid.”
—Rebekah Fraser, New Zealand Book Lovers