Friday, 31 March 2017

Stygian Doorways by S.E.Casey

There are well-lit doors we pass through every day, ordinary entrances and exits leading to and from the mundane. So too are there hidden, secret doors leading to odd places not on any map. Some lead to chaotic, slippery halls, others to rigid and cruel alcoves. These stygian doorways, much like the namesake river of the dead, are only entrances. Once they are passed there is no going back, the consequences permanent and merciless. These are the stories of five such doors.



Wow, these stories are really dark, seriously there's no light at the end of the tunnel in these tales! This impressive collection features five epic and macabre tales, Swine City, The Century Coven, Devil Music, Her Spiral City and Cinema Delicti.

A really impressive collection of short stories, my two favourites were The Century Coven and Devil Music. 

The Century Coven

The  mortal inhabitants of the small town of Berkshire forge a pact with a coven of witches to avoid relentless persecution. Honouring their part of the bargain the witches agree to leave alone the townsfolk and retreat to the very edges of the town where they live peacefully without any further incidents. However, as witches are wise and crafty they stipulated that every hundred years on Halloween (of course) all unclaimed animals in the local rescue shelters were to be delivered to them. They are also allowed to eat any children who venture onto their land and help themselves to a halloween treat. 

Devil Music

I loved the darkness of this tale, there was a real sense of a palpable brooding atmosphere brilliantly built by S.E.Casey. The concept is really original too, here we have a man who's battling a crippling phobia of music. He cannot remember the source of this fear and so with the help of psychoanalyst delves back into his past where he peels back the layers until he finds the demons who taunt his soul.



About the Author



S.E. Casey is a writer of the weird, the grotesque, and the darkly wonderful. His philosophical fiction focuses on a collection of oddities, forgotten places, and fallen characters. The horror isn't in the blood on the knife, but in the desolation of the void. It's in vacant corners and empty rooms where reality has given up exposing the existential madness on which it presumes.

Published in many magazines and anthologies, author information, writing blog posts, and links to his stories can be found at secaseyauthor.wordpress.com.

Wednesday, 29 March 2017

Spells and Stories. Interview by Gwendolyn Kiste

Here's a link to an interview I did for the wonderful Gwendolyn Kiste! In which I talk about what inspires my writing and my debut collection of stories, Spells and Persuasions which is out now on Amazon


You can read the interview on her website here

Gwendolyn Kiste is a very talented author her work has appeared in many of the top horror, fantasy and speculative fiction magazines such as Nightmare, Shimmer, Lamplight and Interzone.

In April 2017 she is set to have her debut collection of short stories, And her Smile Will Untether the Universe, published by Journal and I absolutely implore everyone who reads this to go and buy as it an amazing collections of stories! You will not be disappointed.





You can see my review for And Her Smile Will Untether the Universe here


Saturday, 25 March 2017

And Her Smile Will Untether the Universe by Gwendolyn Kiste



I've long been an admirer of Gwendolyn Kiste ever since I discovered one of her stories, Audrey at Night, in Sanitarium Magazine. She's had her work published in all the top magazines such as Nightmare, Shimmer, Lamplight, and Interzone and has such a unique gift for story telling.

So I was very excited to hear that she's  about to release her debut collection with Journal Stone in April 2017.

I would describe the 14 tales in this collection as beautiful horror, enchanting like a fairy tale, spell binding, ethereal, but underneath the surface lies something very dark and unsettling

This is horror but with a strong feminine touch which is a much needed thing in the horror genre today which is heavily dominated with men. It's like a quiet horror that builds with every page. Tales that you will want to read again and again.

These are the stories of the forgotten and the rejected who refuse to fall asunder to change what makes them special to fit in. Powerful themes are dealt with in this collection such as illusions which keep us bound, love, loyalty, revenge and utmost regret. It celebrates the lives of people who see things differently who don't want to stand in line with everyone else.

For me the stand out tales are; The Tower Princesses, The Five Day Summer Camp, The Clawfoot Requiem and of course, Her Smile Will Untether the Universe.



About the Author


Gwendolyn Kiste is a speculative fiction author based in Pennsylvania. Her work has appeared in Nightmare Magazine, Shimmer, Interzone, Lamplight, Flash Fiction Online and Three Lobed Burning Eye as well as Flame Tree's Publishing's Chilling Horror Short Stories anthology, among others. Her debut collection, And Her Smile Will Untether the Universe, is due out from JounralStone in April 2017.


http://www.gwendolynkiste.com/index.htm



Thursday, 23 March 2017

She Will Rise by Calvin Demmer

She Will Rise is the latest tale to be released by Calvin Demmer in the Dark Celebrations series. In this tale we are introduced to Luna Mendes who has returned home for Easter to care for her sick mother.


Luna is tortured with loneliness, death has not been a stranger to her but she is determined to make the best of things by living her life by Isabella's five tips for a kick-ass life.

She soon diverts attention form her own suffering to that of her mother, Selma whilst trying to avoid her alcoholic step-father who is beyond useless. She soon suspects that he is keeping secrets and as she follows Isabella's five tips she gets to the truth with horrifying consequences.

Can Luna save not just her mother, but herself? Will she ever find out the fifth and final tip for everlasting happiness?

A surprisingly touching tale not often found in horror, I really like I had gone on a emotional journey with Luna and I really felt myself rooting for her.

 She Will Rise is the latest tale in Calvin Demmer's Dark Celebrations series; Hungry Ghosts, Labor Day Hunt, Thanks Sinning, Trick or Death, Three Dead Men  Happy Dark Year  and Spring Outbreak. They are all available on Amazon for less than a pound or dollar!

About the Author


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

Spring Outbreak by Calvin Demmer

In the latest instalment of Calvin Demmer's epic Dark Celebration series we are introduced to Gwen who's struggling to deal with her past.



Gwen has her whole life ahead of her, she's done brilliantly in her first year at college yet all she can think about is her most recent heartbreak. Her friend Haley suggests getting away for Spring Break and takes her off on an extraordinary adventure to Mexico. Even her parents reluctantly agree it is a good idea.

Yet Gwen is still finding it hard to forget and move on and look forwards to the next chapter in her life. Haley drags her to the beach for a sun-blessed day but that's when her problems really start.

After a nap she wakes up only to find her friend disappeared.

I really enjoyed this tale. I really felt I was inside Gwen's head and the characterisation was really good. There was a lot of depth despite it being a short story. There was a lot of twists and turns which really keep hold of you throughout.

Spring Outbreak is the latest tale in Calvin Demmer's Dark Celebrations series; Hungry Ghosts, Labor Day Hunt, Thanks Sinning, Trick or Death, Three Dead Men and Happy Dark Year. They are all available on Amazon for less than a pound or dollar!

About the Author


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


Spells and Persuasion: Nine Stories of Dark Fantasy by S.J.Budd



Welcome to the first collection of short stories by S.J.Budd. A compilation of nine dark tales of darkness, revenge, terror, ghosts and things that go bump in the night. Come and be entertained for an hour of two. 
Hear the depraved tales of a desperate junkie with a terrible secret who will do anything to escape her past. A young woman consorts with the occult full of desire for someone to notice her and experience the maddening passions of true love. Charlotte is buckling under the perfection of her dead best friend and seeks to punish her. Greenheart a powerful witch is desperate to save a young girl from being sacrificed to the old ones. Edward is hiding a terrible secret from his wife and the Knocker is coming to pay him a special visit.

Out now on Amazon 

Wednesday, 1 March 2017

Dead Over Heels by Theresa Braun



I really enjoyed Dead over Heels. I admit I'm not a big fan of romance novels but this one had the perfect blend of romance, comedy and horror. In this tale we're introduced to Veronica who is trying to find her soulmate. It's not been an easy journey and soon she turns to magic for a helping hand.



After spending painful hours trawling through dating sites she finds Sebastian, even before meeting she thinks there is a genuine connection that goes beyond hooking up with each other.

Veronica has battled with loneliness since her mother walked out and her father died. She's never had a happy childhood and longs for her own fairy tale ending.

Sebastian arrives into her life and unlike all the others before he seems really genuine. But their connection goes deeper than Veronica could ever have imagined. Can their blossoming love affair survive the journey on which they must embark? Will they both make it through?

What's also great about this tale is that it's relatively short so you can easily read it in one go, and you'll want to as its really gripping and fast paced.

About the Author


"Theresa Braun was born in St.Paul, Minnesota and has carried some of that hardiness with her to South Florida where she currently resides with her two fur babies, who are her creative sidekicks. She enjoys delving into creative writing, painting, photography and even bouts of ghost hunting. Perhaps growing up in a haunted house in Winona, Minnesota is to blame. It it's haunted, it's on her "to visit" list. Travelling is one of her passions-in fact, her latest adventure took her to Romania for a horror writers' workshop where she followed in the steps of Vlad the Impaler.
She writes horror fiction and the occasional romance - they definitely have things in common, right? She also likes to guest blog about writing, television shows, movies and books, mostly in the horror genre. Her short story "Shout at the Devil" appears in Under the Bed Magazine and "While My Guitar Gently Weeps" in Hindered Souls.






How a Ghost is Born


Great news! My latest tale, How a Ghost is Born, is out now at the wonderful  aurorawolf.com: A Journal of Science Fiction and Fantasy.

In this tale Jessica dies way before her time and devastated to have lost her daughter but she refuses to go on without her cherished baby for a mother's work is never done. Can she find a way back to her daughter? Can she defeat death itself?