Wednesday, 28 December 2016

Happy Dark Year by Calvin Demmer


Cody Wheeler has had one stressful year and wants nothing more than to relax, forget about his problems, meet up with his buddies  for a beer or two. He can't wait to wave out  the old year and welcome in the new.

However all his problems seem to be following him, such as his long term girlfriend Kendall Simpson, things haven't been right lately, he just can't put his finger on where it's all going wrong. He tries his best to be the perfect boyfriend but everything he does winds her up. He's beginning to question whether she's worth all the effort and against his better judgement after one argument too many he decides to leave her at the roadside and go to the party alone...



This tale by Calvin Demmer is a great dark story guaranteed to counter-act the sweetness of the festive season for all you horror fans out there. In this, Calvin Demmer takes something very old and makes it new for the 21st century.

If you love this tale and eager for more, this is the sixth short story to be released by him and the great news is that they're all available on Amazon for mere pennies! Brilliant for when your wallet needs a break after Christmas. He's previously published Hungry Ghosts, Labor Day Hunt,  Thanks Sinning, Trick or Death and Three Dead Men.


About Calvin Demmer


Calvin Demmer is a crime, mystery and speculative fiction author. When not working, he is intrigued by that which goes bump int he night and the sciences of our universe. His work has appeared in a variety of publications including Under The Bed, Deadman's Tome, Siren's Call, Sanitarium Magazine, Morpheus Tales, Devolution Z and many, many more.

You can find out more about Calvin Demmer at https://calvindemmer.com/


Twitter @CalvinDemmer

Friday, 23 December 2016

Deadman's Tome -Trumpocalypse


I was very honoured to have been interviewed by Deadman's Tome about my writing for their special Trumpocalypse Edition!

This is a great site through which I have been previously published and by buying collections like these you're helping to support new and upcoming writing talent!



As the title suggests it is a short story collection of twisted satircal tales all about Donald Trump!

Deadman's Tome Trumpocalypse is loaded with dark twisted stories featuring the President, riffing his ego, his micro-penis, and his love for his daughter.

Trumpocalypse deleivers more laughs than scares, but the dark tones and demented edge is everything Deadman's Tome. Check out where he confesses a bombshell.


You can buy this for kindle and print too!

If you're a lover of dark and twisted horror then you can find much much more at Deadman's Tome  

Thursday, 1 December 2016

Thanks Sinning by Calvin Demmer

Thanks Sinning is the third short story to be released by upcoming horror writer Calvin Demmer.



"It all started with a glass shattering..."

Deshawn Williams sits in a dingy bar contemplating how his life took a wrong turn. The only source of excitement in his life was watching a heated exchange take place between a barmaid and customer.

The barmaid accused of being a homewrecker looks like trouble, one to be avoided but when she approaches Deshawn stuck in hs quiet life he is powerless to resist the danger that surrounds her. He's supposed to be going home to his mum for dinner for Thanks Giving. She takes him away and promises him a night of passion if he can do one thing for her.

But what she asks of him goes against everything he believes in. He takes a second look at her and realise she's not all she seems but can he show her that sin doesn't always win.

I really enjoyed reading this great little tale, highly original and a great ending. Did Deshawn conquer evil? Or has he just set it free. I loved the little touches in this tale such as the name of the bar maid!

About Calvin Demmer


Calvin Demmer is a crime, mystery and speculative fiction author. When not working, he is intrigued by that which goes bump int he night and the sciences of our universe. His work has appeared in a variety of publications including Under The Bed, Deadman's Tome, Siren's Call, Sanitarium Magazine, Morpheus Tales, Devolution Z and many, many more.

You can find out more about Calvin Demmer at https://calvindemmer.com/


Twitter @CalvinDemmer


Tuesday, 29 November 2016

We Belong Together

Delighted to say I've had a short story recently published on Aphelion Magazine, called We Belong Together It is the tale of a young woman desperate for a new life with a new family.



For those of who who haven't heard of it before, Aphelion is an online magazine dedicated to bringing you the best new tales of science fiction and fantasy. They have recently celebrated their 20th year! This is the second time I've been published on their brilliant site, my first was The Tail of the Sea upon the Thief's Path which you can read here

Please take a look at this great site, all content is free and the stories are great!

Thanks


Thursday, 10 November 2016

Trick or Death by Calvin Demmer


This is the third short tale from Calvin Demmer which takes place on Halloween with Barry Steiner taking to his neighbourhood for an annual bout of trick or treating. He's not looking to amass hordes of sweets but something else far less obtainable.


Barry Steiner s a young man who is desperate for popularity and will do anything to increase the number of subscribers on his youtube channel. He thinks he's come up with a brilliant idea; pranking. Except the joke is on him, he's blind to everything that goes on around him with devastating consequences.He has everything he wants in life, he just has to look past his nose, but sometimes these realisations come much too late.

A great little tale that blends humour with terror, full of tension and foreboding doom and of course there's a nice little twist at the end. Another great tale from an emerging horror author! If you enjoyed this story you'll be glad to know that Calvin Demmer has two other short stories, Hungry Ghosts and Labor Day Hunt out on Amazon now.

About Calvin Demmer


Calvin Demmer is a crime, mystery and speculative fiction author. When not working, he is intrigued by that which goes bump int he night and the sciences of our universe. His work has appeared in a variety of publications including Under The Bed, Deadman's Tome, Siren's Call, Sanitarium Magazine, Morpheus Tales, Devolution Z and many, many more.

You can find out more about Calvin Demmer at https://calvindemmer.com/


Twitter @CalvinDemmer













Wednesday, 2 November 2016

Hold Me Tight

I'm delighted to say that I've had a another short story accepted on the epic  Deadman's Tome which features some really great dark tales from up and coming authors such  as S.E.Casey, Gary Buller , Jovan Jones amongst many others.



Deadman's Tome is a horror site for those who like their horror dark, edgy and pushing boundaries. They publish short stories and weekly flash fiction and all their content is free. It's well worth taking a look and if you like what you see Deadman's Tome have just released their second, Deadman's Tome Book of Horrors 2 for your enjoyment.


My tale, Hold Me Tight, features a young boy sent to stay with a grieving mother desperate for a new start, but does she deserve one?

You can read it here. Enjoy!


Saturday, 8 October 2016

How to Prepare a Manuscript for Submission

I'd never thought I'd get to this point of actually having any sort of resemblance of a manuscript that could possibly be worthy of submission but I think I might have just made it. My latest venture isn't the first novel that I've written  but this is the first one that has potential.

But despite after writing it there's still so much left to be done for it to be ready. Compared to sending off short stories it seems a much more daunting prospect. To be honest I have so much fun writing my short stories that even if no one else likes them I'm not to be fussed
but obviously it's great when they are selected from the slush pile.

However my longer pieces are like my babies, the end product is so much more than words it represents many sleepless nights of working away and fretting, pouring my heart and soul into each of the characters to bring them to life, and the constant fear that it's been a huge waste of time.

This time however I determined to achieve this manuscript's full potential but just how do you go about preparing your manuscript for submission to publishing houses and potential agents?

Well so far I think I've narrowed it down to four broad areas which you will need to consider...

Presentation

This is so incredibly important and a lesson I definitely learnt the hard way when I first started submitting short stories.

If your manuscript is presented in a professional manner you will be taken seriously so make sure your manuscript looks great because you don't want your work to stand out for the wrong reasons.

First things first, if you want your work to be taken seriously only use the following fonts; Courier New or Times New Roman. Seriously never deviate from these choices. The size should always be 12 and always double space.

Out there somewhere is this super awesome guy who has very kindly developed two word templates that are possibly used by millions of writers all over the world. His name is William Shunn and by using his template your formatting and presentation will adhere to most publishing companies and agents presentation requirements.

His templates are free to download and are just so useful.

Here are the links, and I'd just like to say, Thanks so much William Shunn!

William Shunn's Proper Manuscript Format 

William Shunn's Short Story Format


The Actual Story

Is it the best it can be? Is everything that you wanted to say or express in there. If not don't fret just leave it a few months and read it over again.

Consider the pace of your story, is it even throughout? Some parts may feel rushed whilst others might be too slow.

Is there enough description to make your story come alive, or is there too much? No one likes excessive info dumps.  Are the characters fleshed out enough? Do they have their own unique personalities?

And lastly is your plot water tight? Is the impending doom or peril fully resolved? Are there still any loose ends? Keep an eye out for those major plot holes.

To help with this it's a great idea in asking someone to read over your manuscript as they will be able to pick up on continuity errors and plot holes that you may have over looked.


The Line Edits

This actually makes me want to stab myself in the eyes. I love writing stories but I'm terrible with Grammar and Punctuation, like so bad! I also can't spell and line edits for me are a form of torture.

But it has to be done as most editors and agents are pretty clued up about grammar and punctuation etc and any silly mistakes are literally going to scream at them from the page. They will read your work dismissing you as unprofessional rather than consider the content of your work.


Read Your Work Out Loud

This sounds like a strange step but I've heard this method recommended by loads of really famous authors and once I tried it I found it really does work. Ok it will require a bit of getting used to as it is weird sitting in a room by yourself reading your work out loud. However it does give you a feel for the rhythm of your story and any awkward clanky sentences will jump out at you which would have been missed if you were just reading it in your head.

So after these four areas are taken care of you're finally ready to submit and well done you.

You may think the hard work is finally over but unfortunately now comes the process of actually sending your work out if you're not going down the self publishing route.

The bad news is that all the major publishing houses will not accept unsolicited manuscripts meaning they only deal with agents. However some of them do have occasionally open submission periods so check their website continuously.

But getting an agent is just as hard as getting a book deal.

However their are quite a lot of indie publishers out there who will accept unsolicited manuscripts and if your a dark fantasy horror writer check out my page detailing some of the horror/dark fantasy publishers that do accept direct submissions

Good Luck!



About the Author

S.J.Budd is a writer of all things weird and creepy. Previously her tales have been featured on Deandman's Tome,  Sanitarium Magazine, Dark Gothic Resurrected, Liquid Imagination, Aphotic Realm, Aurora Wolf, Aphelion, Blood Moon Rising Magazine, The Wild Hunt, Danse Macabre, Shadows at the Door, Inner Sins, Bewildering Stories, Siren's Call and many more.
She lives at www.sjbudd.co.uk  and  @sjbuddj 
Spells and Persuasions, her debut collection of short stories of horror and dark fantasy is available now in paperback and kindle from Amazon







Friday, 7 October 2016

Spells and Persuasion


My favourite time of the year, Halloween of course, is almost upon us and I'm delighted to announce that my latest story, Spells and Persuasion is out now in the special Halloween edition of Blood Moon Rising Magazine.



This is a great monthly horror magazine that is out each month and all content is free to enjoy. In this month's edition you'll find all the latest horror news, book reviews, as well as great features on real life spooky happenings and much much more.


Spells and Persuasions is a short tale set in a land far away from here and tell the tale of a young serving girl, Katrina, who is desperately in love and yearns to be noticed by her heart's desire. When her natural charms fail her she turns to her friend Lucy for help  who possesses arcane knowledge of witchcraft. Together they weave a spell to persuade her object of affection to love her back.


Monday, 3 October 2016

Valley of Embers by Steven Kelliher

For hundreds of years, the flame-wielding Embers have been the last line of defense against the nightmare creatures from the World Apart, but the attacks are getting worse. Kole Reyna guards Last Lake from the terrors of the night, but he fears for his people’s future.

When Kole is wounded by a demon unlike any they have seen before, the Emberfolk believe it is a sign of an ancient enemy returned, a powerful Sage known as the Eastern Dark.

Kole has never trusted in prophecy, but with his people hanging on the precipice, he reluctantly agrees to lead the Valley’s greatest warriors in a last desperate bid for survival. Together, they will risk everything in search of a former ally long-thought dead, and whether Kole trusts him or not, he may be the only one capable of saving them.
 



Valley of Embers is a powerful  debut by Steven Kelliher which is incredibly  fast, fantasy fuelled and action packed, despite being set in another world there is no info dumping which is a big pet hate of mine. I have to admit the start of the novel was a bit slow, but it's definitely worth persevering with. The style of writing is really very good and I loved the little extra touches such as the names for all the chapters.

Without wanting to give away too much of the plot and ruin it for those who have not yet read this, the action starts off very quickly and the plot is constantly changing keeping you on your toes and exhilarated. There are big changes going on in the world beyond the valley and only Kole seems to be aware of this. This book also has a great feel of old school fantasy with evil magicians and fey folk!

There's a lot of magic in Valley of Embers which I love in books and it is fresh and original. The tale is told through different viewpoints which gives the reader a big scope of the story. I like how the characters are not simply divided between good and bad which makes them feel human.

All in all a great debut and I'll be waiting for the next instalment!






Friday, 23 September 2016

Labor Day Hunt by Calvin Demmer


In this short tale Jared Rogers is already in trouble and has no idea of the downward spiral he's about to get himself into when he accepts the offer of two hundred dollars for just two hours work. That's a lot of money to anyone but to him it's a lifeline.



Orphaned when he was just twelve after his parents died in a car crash Jared was raised by his doting and loyal aunt and uncle, helping run their electrical hardware shop which is dying a slow death. After the tragic passing of his uncle he realises his aunt is on the verge of bankruptcy and answers the ad as a way of providing her with some means for survival.

And he too has dreams of his own, despite graduating from university he has never made it out of the small dead end town he grew up in and the chance to earn a bit of money to help him escape is too tempting...

In search of cash plucky Jared arranges to meet the mysterious Tim Lewis who put out the ad in an abandoned warehouse where he is doomed to find himself in the company of the Silverfields Nightlight Society- what could possibly go wrong?

A fast paced read packed with action and gore it's certainly more tense and jumpy than Calvin Demmer's last offering Hungry Ghosts. The story is well crafted and moves effortlessly forward whilst also giving the reader characterisation and back story.

About Calvin Demmer




Calvin Demmer is a crime, mystery and speculative fiction author. When not writing, he is intrigued by that which goes bump in the night and the sciences of our universe. His work has appeared in a variety of publications including Under the Bed, Deadman's Tome, Siren's Call, Sanitarium Magazine, Morpheus Tales and Devolution Z

If you want to find out more about Calvin Demmer and his work head over to https://calvindemmer.com/

Twitter @CalvinDemmer

Wednesday, 31 August 2016

The Wild Hunt Magazine

I stumbled across this awesome magazine whilst looking for places to submit my short stories to and instantly fell in love with it.

The Wild Hunt magazine is an exclusively online magazine which publishes the very best fiction that celebrates the weird and the surreal and I was incredibly fortunate enough to be published by them.

So if you grew up devouring fairy tales, old legends, old myths of magic beasts and adventures, ghost stories that leave you tingling then look no further than the Wild Hunt Magazine.

The great news is that all their content is free and they have a great selection of stories to read at your pleasure so go on, enjoy.

In here you'll find tales of dandy popinjays, super cute bunnies, strange plants, lost love, ancient magic heroic quests, intoxicating music and ethereal hippies.

The Mound by S.J.Budd



Overnight the garden had perceptibly shifted, even Marilyn with her city eyes could see that. Betwixt the falling of twilight and the lifting of dusk the garden had taken on a luminosity of green, so bright it seemed to vibrate with joy. A shade of green that possessed a wild and savage nature in servitude to no one. Marilyn almost dropped her morning cup of coffee. It seemed to her that the garden had travelled back in time to a primordial state of being.

In the centre of the garden stood a large round green mound that had not been there before. All the border plants and trees leaned in salute to pay homage. Just last night nothing was awry and it was all due to the strange lady at the end of Whitsand Cliffs.


When Marilyn meets a strange woman along the Cornish cliffs of Whitsand Bay she hopes her fortunes will be reversed. But sometimes you have to be careful in what you wish for.


About S.J.Budd


S.J.Budd is a horror/dark fantasy author from the UK who has had several short stories published im magazines such as Sanitarium Magazine, Siren's Call Ezine, Innersins, Bewildering Stories, Aphelion, Shadows at the Door, Deadman's Tome, Danse Macabre Magazine, Blood Moon Rising and The Wild Hunt Magazine.

Website www.sjbudd.co.uk

Twitter @sjbuddj



Home Improvements by Jill Hand



Danae left for work one morning only to return to find that her house was gone, fallen into a sinkhole. She stood on the sidewalk amid a gaggle of curious onlookers, staring at the place where her house used to be. There was nothing there now but a ragged hole in the ground cordoned off by wooden barricades strung with yellow police tape. All my stuff was in there, she thought dazedly.

Imagine going to work as you do every day only to find your house gone when you  returned? Danae has lost everything, everything apart from her beloved cat; Evil George.

Danae is devastated but through her misfortune she finds the most beautiful cottage located on two acres of land on Greenwood Lane. It's going to be the start of a new life, especially when she meets two curiously odd fellows on her land.


About Jill Hand


Once a newspaper reporter Jill Hand now writes speculative fiction and her work has appeared in numerous publications including, Another Realm, Aphelion, Bewildering Stories, Jersey Devil Press, Suspense, Weird JJ, The Literary Hatchet, Nebula Rift, Silver Blade Magazine and The Siren's Call.

She has recently published her first novella, The Blue Horse

Twitter @jillhand1_gef



My Ex-Girlfriend's Ex-Girlfriend by J.M.Wetherall



My ex-girlfriend's ex-girlfriend called me up tonight and told me to look out the window. Did I not see it, in the haze above the steaming rooftops of apartment buildings, extending west'the greenish-gold filigree, a tear in the late summer sky?

"Don't you see, this is our chance?" she said.



In this beautiful  and ethereal tale our protagonist  meets their mysterious ex-girlfriend's ex girlfriend who is quick to befriend after a chance encounter at the laundrette the very same night they go for dinner for dinner and the next day she calls.  She is keen to make a real connection of their mutual ex.

However she soon presents him with a remarkable revelation, an extraordinary skill that she offers to share with him and together they can be truly free, not just of their ex-girlfriend but every every known physical restraint.


About J.M.Wetherall



J.M.Wetherall is a writer and radio producer living in New York City.

The Alchemist's  Daughter by Rebecca Hurst



Once there was a scholar who all his life sought to turn lead into gold. Alchemy was his art, science and his religion. It left no time for anything else; he lived as one who is blind, deaf, mute. Or at least he spoke, but only of gold.

In this quaint little fairy tale an alchemist dedicates his whole life to learn the secrets of alchemy in the process he loses everything, his parents, his wife and his home. Only his loyal daughter remains by his side and supports him by working at a nearby inn. She scrubs and cleans all day for her father and cares for a tattered old Jackdaw whom she comes across one day. The Jackdaw,reminding her of her tattered father soon becomes very special to her. She is kind to all things and one day a traveler arrives at her door seeking just a little cup of water she is quick to help. 

The girl ambles through life under the shadow if her father and collects tiny pieces of treasure keeping them close to her heart. She may not know how to create gold but she has more wisdom and sense than her father will ever possess.


About Rebecca Hurst



Rebecca Hurst is currently a doctoral student at Manchester University. Her previous work has appeared in many publications such as Magna Poetry, The Next Review, The Golden Key,SWAMP and Cricket Magazine. Her chamber opera Isabella premiered in London 2015.

You can find out more by heading over to her website here

Twitter  @zinadreams


All the Hippies are Dying by  Gwendolyn Kiste



My mother went to Woodstock. The real one, not any of the imposters that came after. She says she met my father there, but since I was an eighties baby- a product of shoulder pads and Aqua Net, not mud and free love - I doubt she kept him hidden away from relatives and friends for a decade and a half just to pull him out of cold storage and declare "Let's make a baby!"

Her mother is truly one of a kind, living off  "communes, acid and tie-dyes" dreaming forever of her magical time spent at Woodsock during the ultimate summer of love and freedom. She spends her whole life, like all the other hippies trapped in the music that she listens to but her daughter instead shuts her ears to it.

She has never met her father and spends her time pondering over a photo of her mother taken from Woodstock of her mother's friends captured forever in the frame forever obsessing over who took the photo remaining forever hidden. One by one the hippies in the photo start to die and so does a bit of her mother who's light  and shining aura starts to take on a  hidden darkness. It seems her mother may be next...


About Gwendolyn Kiste


A writer that I've long since admired her numerous work has appeared in many magazines such as Nightmare, Shimmer, Interzone and Flash Fiction Online to name a few. She currently lives on a farm with her husband, two cats and not nearly enough ghosts. You can find out more about her fiction by taking a gander to her website.

Twitter @GwendolynKiste

Sever by Jan Stinchcombe


When Sheila arrived at Langelinie Promenade, her cheekbone was purple and swollen. She was making a pilgrimage to the Little Mermaid statue, where a crowd had already gathered. Sheila pushed forward to see the mermaid or what was left of her, and heard a woman explaining to a small boy that the statue wasn't supposed to look like that. Someone had stolen her head. This was not nice. It was in fact, an act of vandalism. A crime.

A wild and strange tale that draws upon ancient folklore and fairy tales which shows us just how important and powerful our imaginations can be and that all crimes committed are permanently recorded in memories passed down.


About Jan Stinchcombe



Jan Stinchcombe's fiction has appeared in numerous publications such as Necessary Fiction, Conium Review Online Compendium, A cappella Zoo, Paper Darts and many others. Last year saw the release of her novella, Find the Girl. She has a regular column for Luna Station Quarterly, Notes from Rapunzel's Tower,  where she reviews fairy tale inspired works. You can find out more about her by taking a look at her website here 


Tsunami Mon Amour by Willem Myra


I hired a team of scientists-the best one hundred grand could get you in those days- and had them fabricate a hurricane I named after you. The scientists promised me it would kill at least three hundred people and wreck four times as many homes, and when you said, "That's all? it broke my heart because that was my present for you.

Two people are locked in a ferocious love keep their true nature hidden from the outside world but one day Marla is given an impossible task to show her undying love and devotion.


About Willem Myra


Willem Myra lives near Rome and is currently studying for a BA in Media Studies and has just tried his hand at writing in English. I'd say it is going very well.

Lore by Helen McClory


They killed the hare when the mist was on the early morning river. They had come upon her
in an abutting field, while crossing it silently out on a hunt. She lay in her form, resting, eyebright and whiskers quivering. Dew on the long and parted grass. One man whistled through his teeth. She did not move. Her nose moved. Someone cocked their gun.

A beautiful strange and haunting story that delves into the folklore and mythology surrounding the incredibly shy and elusive Hare who by folklore is associated with the moon and the sacred fires of Spring. Once Believed to have  been hermaphrodites they were thought to have been a balance of male and female energy which symbolises the Celtic Spring Equinox when all the male and female life forces are held in balance.


About Helen McClory


Helen McCory hails from Scotland. Her fist flash fiction collection, On the Edges of Fiction, which won the Saltire First Book of the Year, is available by Queen's Ferry Press.
Her debut novel, Flesh of the Peach, will be published by Freight in 2017

Twitter @HelenMcCrory


Return To Greenash by Mark Furlong


The nimble beast flashed with frenzied speed through the dark, dense trees. With each violent step the sodden ground surrendered,causing him to falter,recover,and then falter again. Sharp ,thorny branches sought out the vulnerable openings of Lathon's sallet, raking flesh, and digging shallow scarlet gullies into his arms. He desperately struggled to guide his steed through the thick underbrush with muscle memory instinct guiding his way.

"Do you challenge?"

An epic fantasy tale of deep magic, centuries old prophecies and the bounding nature of loyalty. Lathon and his beloved horse Childra fights his way to return to Greenash after 15 long years in exile. He thinks he is doing the right thing by coming back and returning the mystic sceptre beleiving it to be his defining quest but instead he invokes something much older and sinister.


About Mark Furlong


This is Mark Furlong's first published story and by day he is an online marketing manager for an STM book publishing company. He lives in Buffalo NY.



Bunny Museum by Ron Birch



We're going to the Bunny Museum! It is finally here. We don't know for how long but we know we have to go. Some have told us that if we don't go soon enough, it disappears and we'll have to wait months, perhaps years, perhaps never!,for it to return. We put on our long ears and slip our legs into the furry suits until we are covered. We're ready, excited. Off to the Bunny Museum!

Two friends set off in search of the location of the elusive clandestine Bunny Museum. It sounds so innocent but there's something dark and disturbing about the Bunny museum which is shrouded in mystery. 



About Ron Birch


Ron Birch has had many short stories published in numerous publications such as Mississippi Review, Cheap Pop, Eleven Eleven and PANK. His debut novel, Bliss Inc, is out now.



The Trolls by Christopher Dewan



They pulled off the highway and onto the winding country road that led to his parents' house.
"When's the last time you saw them?" Staci asked.
"It's been a while."


Ils is taking Staci, his girlfriend, to the wilderness to meet his parents. She's going to be the first woman he's ever brought back. Is there a specific reason for that? Is it all in his head? 

About Christopher Dewan



Christopher Dewan has had more than forty short stories published in numerous publications such as A cappella Zoo, Bartleby Snopes, Necessary Fiction, Passages North and wigleaf. He has been twice nominated for the Pushcart Prize and his collection of short stories, Hoopty Time Machines,  is due out in September 16 from Atticus Books.

Wednesday, 24 August 2016

The Wild Hunt

Today is a special day for me as I've reached the milestone of having 13 short stories published in the two years I've been writing.



When I first started out my tales were truly terrible but I feel that from an awful lot of rejection I've learnt a lot about the craft of writing and now I feel I'm starting to have something to show for it. I feel very honoured to have had just one story accepted and getting my work published is absolutely the best motivator to keep me tapping away at the keyboard.

My latest tale, The Mound, is now proudly featured in the epic Wild Hunt Magazine. This is a great site and has some great fiction already published. They are a selection of beautiful haunting stories, best described as ethereal. Having read all the stories already published on their site I'm really chuffed to be included amongst them.

The Wild Hunt is an online literary magazine that celebrates the weird, surreal,the other, and imaginary worlds. Its aim is to feature writing and artwork that includes strange occurrences, mysterious places, magic, creatures and monsters, the uncanny, fairies, folklore, horror, the ghostly and ghoulish, and any whirlwind adventures. There are no boundaries to the fantastic.

Please go and check out their wonderful site at www.wildhuntmag.com and read all their wonderful stories, particularly mine, hehehe. And if you like them do share and comment as it means an awful lot to us writers.

The weather is fine and sunny today and as a reward I'll be toasting myself a large  rum cocktail as I watch the sun go down on sunny London.

Friday, 19 August 2016

How to Increase the Word Count of Your Novel?

You've just finished your totally awesome and amazing first draft of your novel. You feel epic on the verge of literary stardom but then you glance down to the word count and see it is dangerously small. There just doesn't seem that many words for all your efforts.

Unless you're Stephen King or J.K.Rowling the word count of  your novel is really important. If it's below 40,000 words it's a novella, nothing wrong with that, unless you want it published. The problem with having a very small word count/novella is that agents won't want to sell it to the big publishers as financially it's not worth their time and if you want to be published by one of the giants you'll need to have representation in order to get them to read your work..

So in short only novels will interest an agent.


Word count requirements are different within the literary genres. Young adult fiction can get away with having a shorter word count of 55-70k  whilst fantasy novels can be a whopping 120k without it seeming too long. So,generally speaking, unless your novel is YA fiction your word count must be at least 70,000.

If you have a word count that is below this, don't panic. Remember that the first hurdle is out of the way. You've committed your story to paper, that's a huge achievement, give yourself a pat on the back and maybe reward yourself with a big glass of wine.

What you need to do now  is stop writing. Don't even think about your novel for at least a few weeks or even a few months so that you can forget about it. This way when you next read it you'll be seeing it with a fresh perspective. You'll be amazed at what jumps out at you screaming for attention. Is your novel clear, is it scary where it's supposed to be scary, funny where it meant to get a chuckle or two? Are there any major plot holes? Once you've got a first draft done it may be a good idea to ask a friend to read it who will offer gentle feedback at this delicate stage.

Next when you are ready to start your second draft, and there's no rush, follow these tips for increasing your word count.


Top Tactics for Increasing the Word Count in Your Novel

Pacing 


You'll probably notice when you read over your first draft that your pacing will probably be too fast in your haste of getting your story out of your head and onto paper. Pacing is really important. depending on the type of genre you are writing in you may need it to feel fast paced but remember, don't skip on the detail. People read because they want to experience something, make sure there is enough description to allow your readers to really immerse themselves in your story.

Description


Adding more description can really dramatically increase your word count but don't just add in loads of descriptions as this will render your story dull. Only add what is needed and remember the golden rule; show, don't tell. If your character finds themselves alone in a dark alley with an axe murderer just describe what the scene looks like. Tell your reader about how the characters feeling tell them about what they're hearing, what their smelling etc.

If your novel takes place in a another world or time period make sure you have done your research and add little titbits of world building to make your story feel authentic.

Add a Sub Plot


Now that you've got your core story written out why not think about adding a subplot to give your story some extra depth. Utilise all your characters don't just focus on bringing your main characters to life. Take a look at your secondary ones and see if any of them have a tale of their own worth telling. A great novel is one that is character driven with truly memorable characters such as the Harry Potter series. Remember to make sure it links in and complements your main plot, make sure it is necessary to telling your story.

A really cheeky way to increase your word count in a novel is to throw a spanner in the works that may distract or hinder your protagonist from their quest in the form of another character, event or situation.


Connect Your Scenes and Situations


Make sure that the story arc of your story isn't simply moving from A to B to C. Make sure their are adventures along the way and that they add to your readers experience of your novel. This is so much fun to do and can also take your novel to new heights.












About the Author

S.J.Budd is a writer of all things weird and creepy. Previously her tales have been featured on Deandman's Tome,  Sanitarium Magazine, Dark Gothic Resurrected, Liquid Imagination, Aphotic Realm, Aurora Wolf, Aphelion, Blood Moon Rising Magazine, The Wild Hunt, Danse Macabre, Shadows at the Door, Inner Sins, Bewildering Stories, Siren's Call and many more.
She lives at www.sjbudd.co.uk  and  @sjbuddj 

Spells and Persuasions, her debut collection of short stories of horror and dark fantasy is available now in paperback and kindle from Amazon





Monday, 8 August 2016

Hungry Ghosts by Calvin Demmer

Ten Tips For Surviving The Hungry Ghost Festival.

1.Do not interfere with any offerings. If done by accident, immediately apologise aloud
2.Do not open an umbrella indoors as ti may invite ghosts.
3.Do not marry, start a new business,or move home during ghost month.
4. Do not wander after midnight.
5.Chopsticks placed upright are a direct invitation for ghosts to partake in your meal.
6.Do not sleep facing a mirror or reflective surface. This may guide ghosts to you.
7.Do  not pat anyone's shoulder or forehead. It brings them bad luck and puts them at risk of being possessed.
8. Do not swim. Drowned evil ghosts seek victims for their rebirth.
9. Do not take photos,selfies or videos. Ghosts may appear.
10. Do not turn around if a voice calls you from behind.



Lara and Ray have just reach their hotel in China, their first holiday abroad. The trip of a lifetime and beyond! They have arrived during the Hungry Ghost Festival. The streets are adorned with lights and offerings to the dead who  are both loved and revered. Upon reading the ten tips for survival Lara realises that Ray has already broken the first rule. 

In this action packed tale which takes you on a creepy and gruesome path Lara and her boyfriend, Ray, have gone on a once in a lifetime holiday to China. It's make or break. But instead of feeling madly in love she feels empty, wanting more than what Ray can give. After one argument too many Lara decides to take a walk into the wilderness at dusk. She's determined to enjoy herself and make the best of things. 

Secretly she is trying to make up her mind over whether they should stay together, she's looking for a way out and if she carries on, up that path she might find it. A cool little tale that warns of not taking local traditions seriously and how you should never act on impulse!



About Calvin Demmer

Calvin Demmer is a crime, mystery and speculative fiction author. When not writing he is intrigued by that which goes bump in the night and the sciences of our universe. His work has appeared in a variety of publicaions including Sanitarium Magazine, Morpheus Tales and Devolution Z.

You can find out more about Calvin Demmer by heading over to website here

Twitter @CalvinDemmer


Saturday, 6 August 2016

The 2016 Ray Bradbury Challenge Part Two

As some of you may know, at the beginning of this year I stumbled across this quote from Ray Bradbury and set myself the challenge of writing 52 short stories during 2016.


Ray Bradbury argued that;

"When you start writing short stories, the quality doesn’t really matter; you’re practicing your craft. At the end of the year, you’ll have 52 short stories. It’s almost impossible not to have at least one good story among those 52. Writing short stories will teach you to be constantly looking for ideas. In addition, every week you’ll be happy, because by the end of each week you’ll have something to show for your efforts."

And now suddenly it's August and over halfway through the year, and my challenge. So far at week 31 I've written 20 short stories. I don't think that's too bad and despite being a bit behind with the numbers I've felt that I've learnt a lot.

It's not just honing the skills of my craft that I've experienced but also the development of the vital tools every writer needs; discipline, determination and time management. I've also learnt that if you have an idea for a story pounce on it like a hunter stalking its prey before it gets away from you because you're the only person that can tell that story.

I'm a busy person, we'll all busy people and there's only so many hours in the day. Currently I'm a full time mum and finding the time to write can be really tricky. I'm running around looking after my kids during the day and in the evenings when my delightful other half comes home I'd much rather spend time with him than stare into a blank computer screen. Writing is very important to me but my family is everything. If only I had more time...

So instead I now get up at half five each weekday to write. I'm not a morning person at all but somehow I do it because I have to find the time somewhere and by doing this I've set up a writing routine. Each morning it's gets easier. I have to write as else I would have woken up early for nothing and I know I don't have long. However two to three hours of solid writing per day adds up. Over the course of the week that can add up to 15 hours and a lot of words committed to paper.

And also did you know that when you start to write an innocent looking short story it can quickly spiral out of control into a novel? I started off with an idea for a short piece and before my very eyes it grew into a 30,000 word novella. 

I'm probably not going to be able to achieve my target of 52 short stories but I've learnt things that I never would have if I hadn't of tried. I now know that you've got to be really ruthless with achieving your goals whatever they may be and that you must never give up, even when you stop believing in yourself but you'll get somewhere eventually.

Oh, and always be on the lookout for your next story, because that could be the one.

Friday, 5 August 2016

The Madness Underneath by Maureen Johnson

I'm not embarrassed to admit it but I love Young Adult fiction even though I'm in my early thirties and have two children. To me there's something really delightful in slipping into the mindset of a teenager like Rory Devereaux and pretending I'm young again.



The Madness Underneath is the second instalment of The Shades of London series by Maureen Johnson. I've previously read the first book of the series, The Name of the Star and thoroughly enjoyed it. Now I think I'm a bit hooked and this book The Madness Underneath, ended on the highest cliff hanger I've ever come across in a book and I'm  now experiencing painful withdrawal symptoms.

I think the reason why I like these books is because of Rory Devereaux, the sassy teen from Louisiana U.S.A  who's come to study at college in London. There's something quite adorable about her but she's also feisty and wise for her age.  She's really interesting because she is real and has flaws just like everyone else.

Without giving too much  away for those of you who are not familiar with The Name of the Star, Rory is recovering from a traumatic ordeal. Except she's not really traumatised she'd bored out of her mind and itching to get back into the action and hang out with the Shades of London, which is both dangerous and thrilling. Rory is not a normal teenage girl, she has the sight she can see ghosts and through that she has seen a side to London that only a very few people at the top  know about.

In The Madness Underneath, Rory really finds her feet in the world despite her life falling apart. She's more powerful than she had bargained for after her ordeal and with that power comes great responsibility for she has the power to prevent the Shades from being shut down. But she's also in terrible danger.

Unlike The Name of the Star, this book gets off to a slow start, I felt like there wasn't much happening but it didn't fustrate me as the superb characterisation of Rory is so great that I'm just happy to coast along with her as she goes from one disaster to another. Some people might say that this book is lacking in plot and action but I think  this is a pivotal book where Rory finds her feet and figures out what direction she should be going in. She's at a crossroads, should she go  back to the U.S, or try and catch up at Wexford or should she give up everything to become a shade? She's choosing between her heart, her head and spirit.

So the book can feel a little slow, I think it's gentle and absorbing but it's worth going through as it does eventually kick off and my oh my, does it kick off. So many things happened that I wasn't expecting to happen and when I finished the last page I was gutted!

"I was in London, a city of stone and rain and magic. The red buses, telephone booths, and postboxes were a violent shock against the greys of the shy and stone. Red was blood and beating hearts."

The atmosphere of this book was superb as a Londoner I felt Maureen Johnson had it spot on. I have a real thing for urban fantasy set in London, Neil Gaiman's Neverwhere is firmly at the top of my TBR list.  I like the fact that Rory is American and we get to see how Americans view our way of life.

Fortunately  The Shadow Cabinet, the third instalment in The shades of London series is already  out. I don't know I would have coped if I would have to wait!

Tuesday, 2 August 2016

Morpheus Tales: The Best Weird Fiction Volume 5

Morpheus Tales is a  top independent UK publishing company that has been running since 2008. They publish a quarterly magazine celebrating the top new horror  and weird fiction around. You can purchase many of their back issues and special themed issues from their website http://www.morpheustales.com/ for next to nothing.

In this Anthology  Morpheus Tales, The Best Weird Fiction Volume 5 (Edited by Adam Bradley) you'll find a dark hand picked selection of the finest macabre stories. In here we learn of the strange machinery capable of ripping apart the very fabric of reality. What it is that waits for us on the other side? You'll hearts will be warmed by romance that doesn't go according to plan, of friendships turning sour and strange creatures that like to play with their prey.

Enjoy!




The Cherry Tree by David Lear


"Thirty Chimes Avenue is a ramshackle, with it's rotten front door, broken and boarded windows, and skate tiles missing from the roof. And in the sprawling back garden a cherry tree stands stranded in a sea of weeds and brambles like some hapless vessel."

Ted, a retired seaman lives out the end of his days in grief of "unfathomable depths." He is haunted by a beautiful tree with a dark history. Each day he prays for forgiveness and hopes to atone for his sins but are his prayers ever heard?

Souvenir by Brockton McKinney


"Gordon paused, hunched over the corpse, breathing hard and cursing. The rain rolled down his forehead and hung on the permanent grin plastered on his blood splattered face. He lifted his head slowly towards the clouds and howled to the otherworldly thing that had brought him to this act."

Three high school friends take one last adventure after graduating from college, travelling across Europe before they head into the real world. They need one last souvenir of their collective friendship before they go their own ways.


Soulshredder by Lee Clark Zumpe


"There in the shadowy chamber of the former King's citadel, Ghallard found that marvellous sword abandoned behind a heavily bolted door sadly neglected and left in the bony hands of a rotting old skeleton."

Soulshredder;  an ancient sword born from unholy fires from unknown origins. It has an unappeasable appetite but surely Ghallard the Virtuous will be strong enough  not to fall under its spell?

A Silence Between Two Waves of the Sea by Robert Sagirs


"I don't get it," she tried yet again. "For years you hardly say two words about your life here and then you drag us across the country like it's an emergency or something, and I can't get you to shut up about your childhood."

Carl is still searching the universe for its secrets after losing the joy in his life. The last time he ever laughed was during a childhood accident that nearly claimed his life. But now he wants to delve back into his past and face his problems head on.

The Children's Garden by Sean Logan


"All right, so what are we doing?" Jay said as he bounded down his front steps and out into the crisp night air, feeling that charge he always felt on Halloween.

Jay  breaks his sister's heart for not taking her out trick or treating on Halloween as they usually do, he is too grown up for treats on Halloween he wants to trick instead with his friend and heads to the Children's garden...

Business is Business by Lee Clark Zumpe


"Bundled up in discarded threads plucked from trashcans and homeless shelters, Syd recognised the harbingers of the season. On her perch in the highlands of the Apalachians, clawing at the twilight, Winter sat scheming. Tonight she tainted the winds with a whisper and a promise. December would answer to her."

Syd, a down an out homeless guy gets wind of an incredible opportunity that will not only get him a decent warm meal in his belly but also see him through the cold approaching winter. All he has to do is shoulder the burdens of one man's guilt.


Solitary Man by Adrian Ludens


"I never took the time to tell you about my job and now I wish I had. I can't help but think it's too late, but it's worth a try. Maybe something I tell you today will help you get through."

A father comes to visit his son who's been left comatose after a nasty motorbike accident refusing to squash hope for his son's recovery. After all his work as a prison officer has allowed him to meet some curious individuals such as the mysterious prisoner who lives off the love of his craft.

Dust Devil by Candra Hope


"Do not look at them."
"What?" Tom Ellis blinked and turned around. His guide and translator was staring straight ahead. Tom frowned. Jamal, an old man with skin the colour of old leather left out in the sun too long, had a face that rarely changed expression. What some might call imperturbable. This sudden tension was strange to see.

Tom Ellis travels to the desert just outside Marrakech in search of ancient myths and legends. Along with his trusty guide, Jamal, he hears of the dust devils which inspire fear in the locals but all he sees are innocent dust clouds and overly superstitious locals.

Nightfall by Edwin Plotts


"This jungle was filled with monsters, but none more frightening than Him."

There's a darkness that prevails to bring back the light from those who think themselves kings.

Unkillable by Glen Garrick


"Nate Ellis took  a sip from his coffee mug before he settled down in front of his computer. His novel was already up on the screen, and though he was not quite ready to work yet, he knew what he was going to do today.
He was going to kill Chud Quiver."

One of the joys of being a writer is that there is no limit to what you can create from your imagination. Just imagine if you were able to create characters so vivid, so passionate they seem to come alive...

The Key by Matthew Piskum

"With his tie loosened, I reach beneath his pressed, white shirt and grab hold of the thin black chain around his neck, the one he'd tried so desperately to hide form me."

A young man's father wants to take his secrets to his grave but his son follows him and takes the very thing he tried so hard to conceal.

The Depredators' Club by Deborah Walker

"It was good to be back. Molly Kroner was in the Depredators' Club for the first time in ten years."

Molly is back in the club and after recievng her first commission in ten years she's eager to build up her reputation. But there's a full moon tonight, Quentin's warned her that some things shouldn't be taken but £5k is £5k.


The Receipts by Paul Johnson-Jovanovic &James Brooks


"A night in on my own was a rarity, a time to savour. With  no whinging wife around, I intended to make the most of it. So off to the store I went for my bits and bobs...

A poor mistreated husband just wants a few minutes peace and will go to any lengths to find it.

Seasons in the Abyss by Anthony Baynton


"I write this in the hope that, should my nightmare befall another, they will be prepared. A vain hope, I suspect, but as my last act I can find no more honourable task."

A chilling tale that draws upon ancient legends of creation  where one man discovers what awaits us on the other side.

Crespuscula Beast by Sharon Baillie



"There's an itch under my scalp. A tingling at first, almost an abstract feeling, it's there, but it isn't, not fully until I can define it as an itch."

In this tale our protagonist is torment by a twilight visitor. It just wants to play...

The Function Room by Matt Leyshon


Gloom pauses, unsure that he has heard correctly. He too has detected a change in their routine, a shifting in the dismal spheres they inhabit.
"Three? he asks.
"Three," says Daisy.

It's just another normal day in Ledenton until Daisy buys three chicken livers for her cat throwing Gloom the butcher entirely out of orbit.

When the Letter came by Matthew Acheson


"I was in a very curious emotional state when the letter finally arrived. I had gone to check the post office religiously every Friday afternoon and each time I had returned empty handed until. There it was at last, in my trembling hand, shining like a bolt of cleansing fire out of the heavens-the letter."

Mr Browne has been trying to solve an impossible puzzle for many years . His ad for help in the newspaper is finally answered by a letter from an eminent maths Professor confirming he's solved the elusive puzzle. Mr Browne is delighted to say the least, there is so much more than a burning curiosity to solving this puzzle left by his father, his future depends on it.

The Birds of Averrone by Kyle Hemmings


"When the birds of Averrone circle above you, it means your lifeline is running out."

A young boy grows up in awe of the mysterious birds of Averrone, he's not afraid of them. He's afraid of what's going on inside his own home.

Morning Jog by James Gabriel


"I open suddenly to the ceiling and look around a room. My head swivels panicked. The room comes through in an unfamiliar static with voices full of giggles and tears between the walls. Eyes from every-nowhere penetrate through the layers of heroes and ghosts laced into my woven cage."

Each and everyone one of us has at least one nagging voice inside our head, usually the voice of reason that tells us to not eat the 8th slice of pizza but what happens when that voice has no reason or sanity?

Lilies by Gary Budgen


"I had left my keys in the trousers I had put into the washing machine and the lining of the drum had torn; so it was I came to fall in love with one of the damned."

M falls in love at his local launderette, but she's one of the damned but for M love is blind in a world turned upside down.

Tuesday, 26 July 2016

Deadman's Tome - Book of Horrors Volume One

"Rumour has it that somewhere deep in the dark abyss lies an ancient relic of wicked men, a product of madness. A tome of horrors so unimaginable, so unfathomable that a few lines was all it took for people to go mad."

And here it is!

Deadman's Tome Book of horrors Volume One




Deadman's Tome started off as a webzine run by Jesse Deadman (I really hope that's his real surname) dedicated to publishing horror fiction considered too dark for mainstream publishers. Since it's conception Deadman's Tome has grown massively in popularity and now the finest darkest tales have been collected together in one anthology. Due to the high demand they will shortly be publishing Deadman's Tome Book of Horrors  Volume Two which will be available September 2016. The site is well worth checking out and they also produce epic podcasts for all things horror.

Here is my spolier free lowdown on the great tales you'll find inside. You can buy this anthology for less than a coffee and by doing so you'll get to read some great stories as well as supporting indie publishers.

Melissa's Hobby by Sean Glasheen


"When bullets flew, and blood became a more common sight thn friendly faces, I was transformed from a man to a coward to a thing. Just a thing; for they had no name for the gun-wielding robot I'd become."

An emotionally and psychologically damaged army veteran begins to heal from the horrors of war in the everlasting sanctuary of love from his darling wife and son.

Yet in his absence his perfect and doting wife has taken up a new hobbie...

A take that is cleverly written with beautiful and evocative prose  which delves into the emotions of being deeply in love and I got quite the shock when I found out in the author's bio that Sean Glasheen is only 17!? I had to make sure I'd read that right. If he can write like this at 17 then who knows where he'll be in ten years time. Definitely one to watch!

About Sean Glasheen

Sean Glasheen is 17 years old and hails from Tipperary, Ireland. Along with being a writer he is also a kickboxer, runner and student.

The Memory Chamber by S.J.Budd


"If you want to proceed, you'll need to sign here." Jennifer James took the pen and consent form in her shaking hands, "Has someone gone over the risks with you? I must remind you how dangerous this can be."

Jenifer James is a tortured soul who's spent most of her adult life seeking out death in every bottle, line, pill and syringe she can get hold of . What she really wants is to forget all the bad stuff that propels her towards her self inflicted obliteration.

She hears about an opportunity which could allow her to only remember her happy memories and immediately signs up. Why not? She's got nothing to lose...


About S.J.Budd

S.J.Budd is a horror/dark fantasy author who's work has appeared in numerous magazines such as Sanitarium, Siren's Call , Shadows at the Door and Blood Moon Rising. You can find out more at www.sjbudd.co.uk



Twitter @sjbuddj

More Plastic Wrap by Florence Ann Marlowe


"Michael looked up at the grimy windows and they stared back with baleful black eyes. "The Beast" as Michael liked to call it, waited for his return, laughing at him. It knew he was a prisoner, unable to escape."

Michael lives at home with his elderly sick mother. He wants to be free of her and break away from those tight constricting apron strings. He yearns to be his own man except he can't as he's a little bit of a loser and  can't get anything right without his mum to help him  out. This original tale is darkly funny with squirming humour and lots of added WTF thrown  in too.

About Florence Ann Marlowe

Florence Ann Marlowe is a horror and dark fiction. Over the years her work has appeared in many magazines and anthologies you can find about more about her be heading over to her facebook page


The Corruption in the Deep by S.Alessandro Martinez


"I should never have gone here. I should never have prodded the depths of unknowable things. That deep, dark realm of nightmares and horror. It was my doom."

A young student feeling desperately out of sync questions the boundaries between dreams and reality, concious  and subconcious. Which way round should it be? One day they decide to break through to see what's beyond the realm of everyday life.

A dark tale that questions the fabric of reality, is it an illusion, a prison or just a dream?

About S.Alessandro Martinez

S.Alessandro Martinez hails from Southern California and is a horror/fantasy author. He has appeared in numerous magazines and anthologies. You can find out more about him by heading over to https://salessandromartinez.com/


Scuttle Bug by Matthew Johnson


"Amanda's gut churned, ripping the fabric of sleep her eyes flew open as waves of pain shuddered between her legs.
In this tale you'll find black humour in it's blackest form. Even as a mother of two, it made me wince more than once as I read this. Definitely not for the squeamish, but devilishly good.

About Matthew Johnson

Matthew Johnson is an award winning  horror author who resides in California and is currently working on his latest novel. You can find out more by heading over to www.matthewjohnsonauthor.com


Black Beauty - A tale of Morbid Love by Mark Armstrong


"I watched the world darken and smiled. It was a sombre smile, one of the joys yet to come with the knowledge this was the world now."


A man is desperate to find love in a post-apocalyptic world, he'll take it in whatever form he can find in a world grown cold and harsh. A great little tale that is truly horrific!



The Accident on Mitchell Street by Jacob M.Lambert


There's a saying that goes like this- for every old shoe, there's an old sock. In this tale estate agent Ellie Masterson has a problem property that won't shift. Potential buyers can't get past the kitchen before they run out in terror. It's not just bricks and mortar that make this house. However Ellie's fortune could be on the rise when a stranger is instantly attracted to the malevolent ruin.

About Jacob.M.Lambert

No author information at present


Shut In by Jill Hand



"They believe in voodoo and curses and all kinds of idiotic shit. Their loss is your gain, am I right?"

An agoraphobic is trying to live as best as he can without inciting panic attacks he only feels safe in his own home and ventures out only to earn an "honest" living. He takes on a job that his other colleagues fear to be associated with, he belittles them for being too superstitious he should have heeded their warnings.

A tale that warns of the terror within us can be much greater that what's beyond our garden gate.

About Jill Hand

Jill Hand is the author of The Blue Horse, a science fiction.fantasy novella based on a true story from Kellan Publishing. Her fiction has appeared in numerous anthologies and she is also an associate editor for Bewildering Stories and Fiction Magazines.

Kingdom of the Living Dead by Joseph Rubas


A tale highly influenced by one of horror's true legends; H.P.Lovecraft. Stanly Ford, a house surveyor  recounts his experiences in the desert in Nevada on July in 1928 when he and a small team fromBirchen Asphalt Co. were determing the route of a new highway. There he meets Sam Johnson a curious professor of archeolgy in search of the old ones.

About Joseph Rubas

No author information at present.



The Babel Frequency by David Wright




"It was as if a giant magnet has passed across the earth and erased the collective hard drive of the community."

Old school classic sci-fi horror with a thoroughly modern edge. Darren and Lyra wake up in absolute chaos fighting for survival in a world they no longer recognise.



About David Wright

No author information at present

Click here to get your copy of Deadman's Tome Book of Horrors Volume One


Wednesday, 20 July 2016

The Copper Promise by Jen Williams

For any of you budding writers out there this is quite literally a fairy tale of success to keep your dreams alive.

The Copper Promise started off as a serialisation and was self published on the mighty internet when along came an editor who saw it and the rest was history. So it just goes to show that dreams can and do come true.



So back to the story itself. I was convinced to buy this book after hearing it described as a " character driven sword and sorcery novel with plenty of banter and magic."  This is the first novel of The Copper Cat Trilogy and is followed by The Iron Ghost and The Silver Tide.

It's really refreshing to see a female author stand out in such a male dominated genre of sword and sorcery and The Copper Promise has some great female protagonists such as Wydrin - The Copper Cat of Crosshaven. She's definitely one of the lads whilst also retaining her femininity.

The premise of the story is that two sellswords Wydrin and Sir Sebastian have been hired by the mysterious Lord Frith who looks like he's seen much better days to explore the citadel beneath the desert city of Krete. They have been paid a fortune as this is no ordinary citadel, it is one that has been subject of many a tale of magic, mages, monsters and gods. Surely no one is stupid enough to want to go down there...

The Copper Promise starts off great with lots of action, intrigue and humour. For me it is the characters that really make the book and the relationships they have with one another. They all have great chemistry which is no easy feat to pull off in a book. Wydrin, Sebastian and Frith are all completely unique characters. They all harbour their own secrets, wrestle with their own demons and all keep secret their own desires. All of them as completely untrustworthy as the other. Together they form a highly dysfunctional band of broken haphazard misfits exploring the hidden underground depths of the arcane citadel each concealing their own personal agendas. Oh and they accidentally unleash a mighty god who feasts on death and destruction.


This fantasy story has none of the old and overused fantasy cliches but instead is fresh and fun and you can tell as you read it that Jen Williams certainly had a lot of fun writing it. This is old school fantasy for the 21st century. What I really love about the writing is the clever humour that actually makes me laugh out loud throughout this book.

"You look like a sack of dog's testicles, you know that? And I don't mean that in a nice way."

As Sebastian and Wyrdin reluctantly help Lord Frith reclaim his family fortune they  form a very fraught and dysfunctional alliance. However there is a lot of trouble ahead with the release of the mighty Y'Rouen who wants to destroy the world and seems unstoppable.

As well as being really funny this book also has some dark terrifying moments with some truly horrific characters which add perfectly to the tension. This is a fantasy novel that ticks a lot of boxes for any fantasy lover. There are dragons, pirates, swell swords, castles, mages, sorcery, spells and magic.

So if you want something that is really fun, full of crazy mishap adventures and banter of course, then look no further than The Copper Promise.