Friday, 15 June 2018

5 signed copies of Mostly Dark in aid of National Flash Fiction Day #NFFD #BookGiveaway

To coincide with, and celebrate National Flash Fiction Day on the 16th of June, I am running a Giveaway for my book Mostly Dark. I'll be giving away 5 signed copies of the Pocket Edition. 

It is a collection of 30 flash tales, the majority of which fall into the Horror genre. They are collected in such a way that they are divided by the phases of the moon: Full dark, Waxing, Full Moon, Waning, back to Full Dark again.

The back page blurb is: 

“Like the phases of the moon, Mostly Dark waxes and wanes with thirty tales of darkness and light. An intriguing maelstrom of broken minds and broken hearts, from revenge to desire, from new found love to soulmates, herein lies a tale for everyone. Prepare your senses for an emotional and sometimes terrifying ride. 

I will be running the Giveaway for 4 weeks – from Saturday 16th of June to Saturday 14th of July. All entrants need to do is sign up to my newsletter (click on the image below), and on 15th of July I will randomly select five names.

There is no restriction on countries. It is a global giveaway.

The Kindle Edition is only 99p at the moment on Amazon too!


Wednesday, 13 June 2018

Mid-Week Flash Challenge - Week 59

This week's picture is one of my own, taken at Dutch Comic Con in November 2017. They were displayed on a Steampunk stall. I thought it was time we had some steampunk. Not that I am much good at writing it! 

I'm not great at writing in steampunk genre, although I do love it. I am not good with historical fiction, and as I am reading sci-fi and about to publish a book in sci-fi, I ended up going in that direction. Not sure if it works, but it was fun trying.

The General Guidelines can be found here.

How to create a clickable link in Blogger comments can be found on lasts week's post here.

Subtle Masking

Gangwin fondled the mask. The feel of the metal under his fingers was strange to him, as were the objects, but Hubrid had told him they were necessary for their attendance. Apparently these things would make their identities invisible to the people there. People. The word was full of strange mouth movements he’d found tricky to master.

Hubrid had told him the masks suited the occasion too, the launch of some kind of flying machine. It was a new concept to people, the idea of flying; they were excited and full of possibilities imagining all sorts. Gangwin had learnt not to react to the bizarre predictions they envisaged it bringing in the future.

Stifling laughter was hard for him, particularly trussed up with all the stiff materials wrapped round his body. When the diaphragm fluctuated he struggled to stop the sound coming out of his mouth. People didn’t like it. It shocked them and some turned their noses up when it happened. They deemed it inappropriate behaviour. He had never known a species so rigid and false.

But his job here was not to judge them, it was only to observe and report and divert. This was one of the key moments in their history. It was a step towards a future that would lead them in the wrong direction, or so the amalgam believed. Hubrid and Gangwin were here to see how they could alter it, or sway the people onto another path. They hoped to be subtle – hence the masks.

When they entered the building, their masks made them believable to the crowd gathered there. People were socializing while the craft languished at the back of the hangar. It was perfect for what they intended. Hubrid went off to do what he needed to the mechanics, and Gangwin found himself surrounded by a crowd, mostly females. It seemed people liked to talk, especially about each other, and he’d been a prize topic. He was new, unattached and had intelligence, which seemed to make him desirable. It was helpful in that it gave him influence and he started to spin the words, interjecting them with those in his own tongue that would start the process.

By the time the launch was due to take place the people’s thoughts had been infected, and when the craft failed to lift off the ground skepticism swept through them sending them in a new direction. They started to converse about the technology employed and its lack of refinement; how they needed to find a less disruptive system, one that blended better with the native planet. It seemed to spark discussion in other quarters too, and several months later Hubrid and Gangwin knew that their project was over and they could depart, returning to higher level of functioning.

But Gangwin insisted on taking the mask home with them, and it's now held in a place of reverence as a memorial to the efforts made to divert an unbecoming species.

Monday, 11 June 2018

National Flash Fiction day - Flash Flood Journal

And again, for the sixth year running (!), I have managed to get a piece of flash fiction accepted for the into the yearly Flash Flood Journal.

It's an international flash-fiction journal created by writers and edited by a team of volunteer editors on behalf, and in aid of National Flash Fiction Day, which takes place on the 16th of June.

Every 10 minutes a new piece of Flash is put on the Flash Flood Journal for the full 24 hours of Flash Fiction day. 

There's still time to enter if you fancy it!

National Flash Fiction Day happens every year. To stay informed on twitter, follow Flash-Fiction Day - @nationalfashfd and there is a page on Facebook too.  There is also a Micro fiction contest and a yearly anthology to submit to, but they happen earlier in the year.

I have never been successful at the Micro fiction contest but last year I was lucky enough to get a story in the anthology - Sleep is a Beautiful Colour.

This was my second entry. The first one was a bit too disturbing, either for the editor in charge that day or for the journal, but the second one was accepted. It will appear around 17:20 on the day. I will update this post with a link when it goes live.

Update: Here's the link to my flash fiction tale:  'Going Batty'. 

Friday, 8 June 2018

A new book is coming!!

Hello everyone,

Just a note to say I'll be releasing a new book coming this summer. Here's the blurb:

Slipping Through 

Journey into different dimensions

Have you ever wondered what it would be like to journey into other dimensions?

Logan and Elise discover a place where the dominant species isn’t human, but will they be able to return to their own dimension?

The Professor hopes Vladimir has unlocked the secret to a parallel universe, but is it what it seems?

David wants to get back home, but will enlisting Rob’s help trap them in the Jester’s game and slipping through forever?

The answers can be found in this collection of science fiction stories, offering the reader a glimpse into surreal worlds and the possibilities that lie in the cracks of the imagination.

 There will be a cover release shortly.

In the meantime: 

I am going to be running a giveaway for a print pocket edition of my first book Mostly Dark. If you are interested, sign up to my mailing list to keep informed.

My Review of Lord of the Flies

Lord of the FliesLord of the Flies by William Golding
My rating: 3 of 5 stars

It's more a 3 and a half, but I couldn't quite push this one to a 4 star rating.

The ending of Lord of the Flies makes up for a lot of the book - great ending, but otherwise my overall feeling is that it is a peculiar book. I'm surprised this is a book studied in schools. Why? It's not well written - I struggled to work out who was speaking sometimes and sentences were stilted and description was unclear; how do you lift 'up' a cheek flap to see through a swollen eye? Is it for the storyline? One that I had heard raved about a lot, but was somewhat disappointing, and then quite gruesome, especially for school children to be reading or studying.

I had heard the group of children in Mad Max, Beyond Thunderdome (No.3 - a favourite until Fury Road came along) were similar to those in Lord of the flies, but I couldn't relate the two at all.

I had expected much more: a much more developed sense of a society, but it was very primitive and slow moving. Maybe I need to remember it was written in 1954, and that these were sheltered children. Maybe I've been infected with the current modern view that everything should start with lots of action and not be a slow build to what is quite a big climax at the end. It's been a long time since I read something where I had only a couple of pages left but still didn't know how it was going to end. It was the saving grace of this book.

The description of the book in Wikipedia explains more than some of the description in the book about the events that take place in the book. I'm surprised this is an award winner, and considered good literature. It does not encourage me to read anything else by this author.

View all my reviews

Wednesday, 6 June 2018

Mid-Week Flash Challenge - Week 58

This week's photo prompt is by artist, Vimark (Max Mitenkov), an artist from Belarus. This piece is called 'To another reality'. He has some incredible work and you can see a lot of it on his page on Deviant Art. And a smaller collection can be viewed on his website. I will definitely be revisiting this artist.

One of my favourite topics for writing - and one that the new collection of stories I will be releasing in the summer focuses on - is the idea of time parallels and/or dimensions. A little bit surreal, a little bit dark. I quite liked how this one turned out.

The General Guidelines can be found here.

How to create a clickable link in Blogger comments can be found on lasts week's post here.

Energy Provider

She gazed out at the city from the rope ladder. It was another existence in another bubble that had no clue. Like they all did, they thought they were the only ones. She chuckled to herself.

“Adriana, what’re you laughing at?” Rufus called down the ladder.

“Oh nothing, just their oblivion about living in that gap between times.”

“There’s tons of them, come on, we’ve got work to do.”

Adriana didn’t want to work; she liked hanging out, literally, on the ladder. She liked daydreaming about all these worlds – this one in particular - and the people in them: their societies, their rules, and their ignorance. She wondered what they would think if they knew that they were just a cog, a simple stop point that provided energy to another system of life.

She started up the ladder, admiring the pretty decoration of ‘night sky’ that Radley had created for them to give them more meaning and perspective. He was a real artist and she wished she had half his skill.

When she reached the platform where Rufus was waiting for her, she pulled herself up to standing.

“What’s the plan then?”

“Well they’re getting a bit feisty down there. There’s been some talk about how their culling is imminent.”

“I didn’t think we needed to make those decisions anymore, I thought they took care of themselves. There’s enough killing going on.”

“No, not us culling, them culling. You know, like the Aztecs and the Atlantians?”

“Oh god, that was a pain in the arse!”


“But I thought this lot had evolved past that?”

“Seems not. Seems they’ve got themselves stuck in a loop and can’t break out of it. Their thought processes are too short. They’ve started down into a negative spiral, losing strength and purpose.”

“But if we lose this lot, it’s going to put strain on about twenty others!”

“Tell me about it.”

Adriana sighed. “Okay, so what are we going to have to do?”

“A second coming.”

“A what?” Adriana wasn’t familiar with this time loop’s history. “What’s that?”

“It’s what they call a ‘religion ’ thing.” Rufus was preparing some equipment that had been brought to the platform: a winch, a sling and some ropes.

“Religion? What that restrictive mindset they use to control huge amounts of their people and stop them expanding into higher thought processes?”

“That’s the one.”

“And if this is second there must have been a first ...?”

“Yep. Jesus, remember him? He worked over at dimension two.”

“Didn’t they end up crucifying him?”

“That’s right. But he was brought back up. He’s fine, he’s over at section five now.”

“Nice. I’d love to go there.” Adriana had heard about the sections and five was a good one to end up in. You reaped many benefits there.

“Well you might get a chance then.” Rufus handed her a rope.

“Me?! I thought you’d be the one going?”

“Nope, they reckon you are the one to pull it off.”

“But their society won’t recognise me. You know how prejudice they are against genders.”

“Yes, but you’re one of the two they recognise, so it could work.”

“Could? What use is could? What’s the point in doing it if it isn’t an absolute?”

“There are no absolutes, you know that – even THEY know that! There’s an underground movement happening, a shift in their society, your gender is on the up rise. It has to be you.” Rufus handed her a device that looked like an earwig. “Put this in, and you’ll be guided.”

Adriana turned the device over in her hand. “I don’t know if I am up to it.”

“Oh come on, you’ve been fantasising about going there. You always linger over that place more than any other.”

“Maybe. But this is a big job, an important job.” Adriana’s mind reeled at what was ahead of her.

“Exactly. Just think of section five, or even six! Just imagine!” Rufus’s eyes sparkled. “This is your opportunity Adriana, grab it with both hands.”

Adriana took a deep breath and placed the device in her ear. He was right, it was and she knew she had to. She stepped into the sling and prepared to bungy off the platform.  

“You’ll go right into your life. It’ll unfold for you. Okay?” Rufus stood at the winch.

Adriana gave him a thumbs up.

“You’re being placed in a special influential position. You’ll know what to do.”

She nodded once, and leapt.