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Thursday 12 November 2015

☀ The Beast of Barcroft [1] - Bill Schweigart

Thank you for joining us on the Virtual Book Tour for The Beast of Barcroft, a Horror by (, Hydra, 202 pages).

PREVIEW: Check out the book's synopsis and excerpt below, as well as our Q&A with author Bill Schweigart.

Comment on our post and follow the tour where you will be able to read other excerpts (☀), interviews (ℚ) and reviews (✍).

Synopsis | Teaser | Author Q&A | About the Author | Tour Stops


Fans of Stephen King and Bentley Little will devour The Beast of Barcroft, Bill Schweigart’s brilliant new vision of dark suburban horror.

Ben thought he had the neighbor from hell.  

He didn’t know how right he was. . .

Ben McKelvie believes he’s moving up in the world when he and his fiancée buy a house in the cushy Washington, D.C., suburb of Barcroft. Instead, he’s moving down—way down—thanks to Madeleine Roux, the crazy neighbor whose vermin-infested property is a permanent eyesore and looming hazard to public health.

First, Ben’s fiancée leaves him; then, his dog dies, apparently killed by a predator drawn into Barcroft by Madeleine’s noxious menagerie. But the worst is yet to come for Ben, for he’s not dealing with any ordinary wild animal. This killer is something much, much worse. Something that couldn’t possibly exist—in this world.

Now, as a devilish creature stalks the locals, Ben resolves to take action. With some grudging assistance from a curator at the Smithsonian’s National Zoo and the crackpot theories of a self-styled cryptozoologist, he discovers the sinister truth behind the attacks, but knowing the Beast of Barcroft and stopping it are two different animals.

Teaser: Excerpt

     Manny Benavides hated being called to Barcroft. It was a quiet, tree-lined neighborhood, but the residents were getting angry. He was a member of Arlington’s Public Health Division, and so rodent control and animal trapping fell to him, and it had been a busy year. This afternoon’s call was a woman who lived on the edge of the woods, just off Four Mile Run—a wolf sighting. This was Arlington, Virginia; they had snakes, bats, and deer. A small number of coyotes had returned after a long absence and there had been a rare black bear sighting at the county’s northernmost edge, but no wolves. Not for two hundred years at least. The woman who called sounded elderly and probably didn’t know a gray wolf from a German shepherd. Still, it was his job to solve problems, or at least pacify the taxpayers.
     Barcroft had a legitimate problem that took up most of Manny’s time: rats.
     In the past year, he had been called out to Barcroft more than any of the other neighborhoods, mostly dealing with animal control issues that could be traced to one resident, the Roux woman. An animal rehabilitator on 3rd Street South. She took in raccoons for the county and nursed them back to health, but the conditions were horrible and attracted every manner of vermin the county had to offer. Manny appreciated what she was trying to do, but more important, he appreciated balance. Arlington had its own ecosystem, and she was single-handedly throwing everything out of whack in Barcroft. And there was something wrong with her, something off. She was young, and he could tell she had been pretty once, but the one time he was on her property, she had unnerved him. He had pointed out dozens of rat burrows surrounding the foundation of her house.
     “You have to do something about the rats,” he told her.
     “What do you mean ‘do something’?” Her voice had a faraway quality.
     “Well, kill them.”
     “But I don’t want to kill them.”
     After that, she would not answer her door.
     She was the source of the problem, but unless neighbors complained there was not much the county could do. He could issue a citation if her neighbors filed for one—and they did so, monthly, like clockwork—but she had thirty days to comply or be fined. He found that she would do the minimum work to avoid the fine, then things were twice as bad the following month. The neighbors were furious. He was sympathetic to their plight and urged the residents to organize and continue their filing. It was the only way she would get the message. It was the only way he could maintain some control and protect the balance.
     He parked in front of a red-brick house near the base of 7th Street South, a short, steep avenue that bottomed out and dead-ended at a guardrail with a stand of trees crowded behind it like unruly spectators. Beyond the trees and running perpendicular to the pitched avenue was the Washington & Old Dominion Trail, the paved path that ran alongside Four Mile Run. The woman was old, but she seemed completely rational. He explained that she had probably just seen a fox. She looked unconvinced.
     Manny smiled. “Ma’am, I’m New Mexico born and raised. I know wolves. Coyotes too. If there was either within ten miles of here, I’d smell them,” he said, tapping his nose. “I promise, it was probably just a mean old dog.”
     She looked toward the woods at the bottom of the street. “Big dog then,” she said.
     Manny ran through the precautions with her, to be polite. Keep any pets indoors, especially at night, starting at dusk. Bring all pet food inside. He asked her if she had any problems with rats, but she had not. “I’ll just have a quick look around, if you don’t mind.”
     “Not at all,” she said and went inside.
     A quick look around the base of her house and her fence line confirmed there were no burrows. It was almost 5 p.m. and getting dark, but he climbed to the top of the steep street, grunting, then started back down, looking over other houses in the fading autumn light. He had to be let onto properties to do an official inspection, but he doubted if the neighbors would have minded. In Barcroft, they were on the same side. Luckily for 7th Street South, it seemed anything coming out of the woods was heading straight toward the dinner bell up on 3rd. He suspected the “wolf” went there as well.

The Beast of Barcroft
Available 17 November 2015!

UK: purchase from purchase from Nook UK purchase from Kobo UK purchase from iTunes UK purchase from Google Books find on Goodreads
US: purchase from purchase from Barnes & Noble purchase from Kobo purchase from iTunes US

About the Author

Bill Schweigart is a former Coast Guard officer who has drawn from his experiences at sea to write the taut nautical thriller, Slipping The Cable. Schweigart's début is a modern entry to the rich tradition of the sea novel: everyone is confined aboard ship, tensions run high, and the setting itself is deadly, but not nearly as deadly as his characters. If you have ever suffered an impossible boss, ever wanted to fall off the grid and start over fresh, or just wanted to lose yourself in a high seas and high stakes adventure, Slipping The Cable is a must read.

Schweigart lives in Arlington, VA, where he is currently finishing his second novel, a supernatural thriller set in the shadow of Washington, DC.

Follow Bill Schweigart:

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Tour Stops

Follow The Beast of Barcroft's tour at:

Nov 11: I Heart Reading
Nov 11: Author C.A. Milson’s Blog ☀
Nov 12: BooksChatter ☀ℚ
Nov 13:  BookFaerie ✍
Nov 17: Indy Book Fairy ☀
Nov 18: Stormy Night Reviewing ☀
Nov 23: Crystal’s Chaotic Confessions ☀
Nov 24:  Dormaine G’s Blog ℚ✍
Nov 26: Reader’s Hollow ☀
Dec 3: SolaFide Publishing Blog ℚ
Dec 4: Cara Correnti’s Blog ☀
Dec 8: Compelling Beasts ☀ℚ
Dec 9: Dark Treasury ☀
Dec 10: Teatime & Books ☀
Dec 10: Hazel Butler’s Blog ☀ℚ

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