A Wonderful review of Nightmare Asylum & Other Deadly Delights

This is my first blog review of my new book, a collection of short stories, Nightmare Asylum& Other Deadly Delights – and what a wonderful review it is! Many thanks to Lynne Amanda Piza!

Here is a snippet:

I really enjoyed this series on short stories! It so easy to pick up and read a story in between another book I’m reading to change it up, or to read while feeding the baby!

I love that about this book as it’s really convenient! Every story draws you straight in, there is no faffing, it’s straight to the point and you are set right in the middle of the action! It’s like reading a series of amazing horrors/and thrillers and just jumping to the best bits…WHO WOULDN’T LOVE THAT!

I found it really thrilling that every story wasn’t all horror, some thriller, some psychological! I really enjoyed jumping from a murder, to futuristic robots, to stalkers, to asylums, to being trapped in basements, to warnings through spiritual messages to missing people!…Read Review!

A Messy Business – I have been blogged!

Jason Beech was kind enough to interview me for his fabulous blog Messy Business!

If you haven’t read this super blog before then you have missed a treat. It’s not the usual stuff.

The questions were a little crazy – or maybe that was me  :). The interview is part of a sequence in which some very imaginative writers talk about what inspires them, and why they do it. But the best bit is where Jason creates a  really cool story featuring the writers themselves – a scary gangster lady – who me?

 You have the right to remain silent … here goes…

I’m at the pelican crossing, Madness’ Shut Up loud through the car speakers, the rain in competition with the beat. I drum the steering wheel and if I had whiskers I’d twiddle them and slurp some cream. The woman walks slow, her tartan shopping trolley rickety and bound to get stuck in the road’s shallowest cracks. I reach back to touch the bag on the back seat and grin.

The windscreen wipers thud dull and work to ruin Suggs’ cheeky excuse and I realise the old woman is too slow, even for an octogenarian.

Too late, and I should have known. The woman slides out a shotgun from the trolley and points it at me. I slam the accelerator and she swings and arcs her body to avoid my car’s bullhorns. She fires and a tyre bursts. I slip, slide and do an unintentional one-hundred-and-eighty degree turn. The airbag punches my face and sends my nose to the left.

I shake the fuzz away and check the rear view for Sonia Kilvington. She holds the shotgun over a shoulder and swaggers all Joan Jett my way. I grab the bag and slide out the passenger side. I stumble and slip as privet leaves are scythed by shotgun pellets behind me. I hear the reload and the click as she fires again. Read more

 

 

 

 

You’re Not Supposed to Cry ∼ Gary Duncan

After I mentioned this book by Gary Duncan in the previous post (when I was interviewed by Fiona Mcvie), I thought it would be a good idea to write a book review – as hopefully, you will already be aware, I try to keep  a balanced  blend of books, travel pieces and my own writing on this site, and I haven’t reviewed any new books for almost a year!

gary photo

So why this one? Obviously, I really enjoyed reading it or I wouldn’t be posting this; but what was so special about it? This book is actually a collection of flash fiction – around 60 in total, each one beautifully crafted and insightful from writer and editor Gary Duncan, who runs the website Spelk, which is dedicated to amazing pieces of flash fiction. Do I have a personal favorite? , Yes of course, for me it got to be Better Than This,  in which a young man with sex on his mind, is lured into babysitting for a woman who appears to have no moral qualms about deceiving him, or leaving her young children with someone she barely knows; in order to enjoy a night out with her equally horrible boyfriend. The story made me smile, but horrified me at the same time!

In this collection, the situations and characters are very flawed and human, and there are many layers of complexity, which draw you into a fragmented, but instantly recognizable, fictional world. But instead of  me wittering on  endlessly about how much I  enjoyed it, here is my actual review:

This superb collection of flash fiction offers readers a perfectly formed, miniature world of other people’s wishes, desires, dreams and regrets. The elegant but understated writing style creates a dynamic tension between the simplicity of the stories, and the complexity of the lives and actions of the beautifully formed characters, which we are observing. Each story, memory, fragment and feeling, has been crafted with a very poignant sense of emotional intelligence.  Some stories are subtle; some will make you smile, while others are uncompromisingly honest. This book is a kaleidoscope of multifaceted characters and situations, whom you will remember long after you have finished reading; finding their hopes, fears and very human humiliations, have somehow, quite imperceptibly, blended into your own.

Yes – it really is that good – but don’t just take my word for it! – check it out for yourself…

 

Gary’s book at Vagabond Voices

At Amazon co.uk

Bad Reputation

I am delighted to have my story Bad Reputation at Spelk Fiction today!

I wrote this short story as I have always been fascinated with the idea of twins. As a child, I believed that twins had magical powers of intuition and shared a very special connection -Imagine having a lifelong friend, someone with whom you could share your dreams and nightmares, and always feel protected …

I knew you before you were born. I felt your heart beating, next to mine, through the liquid darkness. I couldn’t tell where you ended and I began. You were me and I was you, and that’s the way it was.

I have always been in your shadow: I can see that now. I was born six minutes after you, and have spent the rest of my life trying to catch up. I was your sidekick, your play thing, your weaker self. Always the second half of every sentence — Kate and Josie: never Josie and Kate.

That’s why, when you ran screaming into my room that night, covered in blood and desperate for my help, I couldn’t resist taking the blame for you.  Read more…

Short Story Competition!

I feel really honored to have my short story, ‘Deadly Desire’ listed as one of the 13 entrants to be featured in the  NTTK competition. All thirteen are being displayed  on the their site – along with audio files of the stories – which is due to be judged today!

There are some great reads here,  from many fabulous writers, but no spoilers – check them out for yourself!

Here’s my story, Deadly Desire  –  my  competition entry at Near to the Knuckle…

As the title suggests, these stories are all a little edgy… so, you have been warned!

verdigris colours eyes

Winter Baby

You were a winter baby. Born in an ice white flurry of snow. We brought you home in our old camper van, strapping you into the baby seat that we had chosen together. I fussed about you being too hot and too cold, as everything needed to be perfect for you, my first and only child. Simon turned on the radio and we listened to a young girl who sang like an angel; and we felt blessed too. Turning to Simon as he smiled at me, there was that sense of deep knowing, that in that one single moment my whole life was complete, and as I gazed into your sweet, new-born face, I knew that you were my life; my beautiful, beautiful boy…

Read more…

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