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2017 Recommended Reads

2017 Horror Round-Up
I read a lot of horror in 2017, way more than I used to, and so the following ten books are the ones which first came to mind. Of these, eight fall into the category of horror, with a mix of sub-genres. The remaining two were excellent reads of a different kind. They have all stood out, either because they were intensely gripping, shockingly disturbing, or at least had an element of originality. So, in no particular order, my ten recommended reads are;

You Only Get One Shot by Kevin J. Kennedy & J.C. Michael

yogos
I had been looking forward to reading this since listing it on my Halloween promotion in October, and I was not disappointed. You Only Get One Shot was a really enjoyable, original story. The authors had found a clever way of bringing a group of short stories together and adding a frightening connection between them all. A real pleasure to read.

 

Hades Gate by D.J. Doyle

hades
I was keen to read more from D.J. Doyle, after the fabulously disturbing Red, and Hades Gate did not disappoint. It was much less gruesome than Red, but carried an air of fear throughout. Hades Gate tells the story of a group of treasure hunters who find more than they bargained for in an underwater cave. Hades Gate is a short, action-packed, fear-filled ride that is highly recommended.

 

Hydrophobia: A Charity AnthologyHydrophobia
I was lucky enough to be gifted a copy of Hydrophobia at the end of October. I then spent the next few evenings reading my way through the 29 short stories that authors had provided to raise money for the victims of Hurricane Harvey. Essentially, it’s a horror anthology, but each story varies greatly in sub-genre. The continued theme throughout is water. Some, such as the wonderful Bunny and Clyde by Lisa Vasquez, were genuinely creepy. Others, such as Beyond the Ocean by Lisa Lane, were beautifully original. The Dust by William Stuart was another of my favourites. Out of 29 stories and poems, I can honestly say I thoroughly enjoyed almost all of them. I have no hesitation in recommending Hydrophobia, as a fantastic book, and as a great way to discover new writers.

X: A Collection of Horror by C.M. Saunders

x
A fabulous collection of short horror stories, spanning a range of sub-genres. Each story is uniquely fascinating; the author expertly builds up tension without the need for excessive gore. There was also a great introduction to the book, which reads as a conversation with the author, and really draws you in from the very start. This was the first of C.M. Saunder’s work that I have read, and will definitely be checking out more.

 

 

Red: An Extreme Horror by D.J. Doyle

red
So, this book caught my eye a few months ago, when I was in the early stages of preparing for my Halloween promotion, largely due the use of the word ‘extreme’ in the description. It was the first story that I had read from the author, so I genuinely had no idea what to expect. Since reading it, which I did in one sitting on a cold evening, I have recommended it to several people. Now, in the case of Red, extreme means extreme! If you are remotely squeamish then this is not the book for you. It’s a short read, and I don’t want to give too much away, but Red is essentially a serial killer story. It’s a little different to most as the story is told from the killer’s perspective, and the author does a fantastic job of taking the reader into the killer’s mind, his background, and the reasoning he uses to justify his behaviour; he just wants to find his princess. If you’re fine with some gore, and want an unsettling yet pleasurable way to spend an evening, you can’t go wrong grabbing a copy of Red.

Triggered: An Extreme Horror by Justin Tense

triggered
If torture and gore are what you look for in a horror story, then Triggered may be just your thing. It tells the story of a wealthy horror writer exacting revenge on the three police officers who abused him in his youth. The story is short, and straight to the point, with some very imaginatively gruesome scenes. Not for the weak of stomach, but very enjoyable nonetheless.

 

 

Pleasure Seekers by Mike Krutz

Pleasure Seekers
Back in October, I ran a Halloween promotion to showcase a different horror story each day of the month, (You can find the list on my blog). Pleasure Seekers was one that stood out for me, and not just because of the bright, simplistic cover. It is a short story at 85 pages, but what an adventure it was to read! The story takes place over one night in a city, as the lives of a host of unusual characters intertwine. The story was well paced, and beautifully written. It was easy to envisage the scenes as each one unfolded. Pleasure Seekers managed to combine a fascinating set of individual tales and weave them into a story that I can honestly see becoming a cult classic.

Manchester Vice by Jack Strange

Man vice
I was lucky enough receive an Advance Readers Copy of Jack Strange’s fantastic Manchester Vice. It was a really enjoyable thriller, told from the point of view of Brad Sharpe, a journalist turned serial killer. The story was well-paced, with short chapters, and enough twists and turns to keep me guessing. At one point, I thought I had an upcoming twist figured out but I was wrong, which was a pleasant surprise. The ending was well thought out, and right up to the final chapter I did not know what to expect.

 

 

Noah Finn & The Art of Suicide by E. Rachael Hardcastle

Noah Finn
I was fortunate enough to receive an Advance Copy of Noah Finn and the Art of Suicide, knowing only that it dealt with delicate issues such as religion, death and the terrorist attack on September 11th 2001. As soon as I began reading, even by the end of the first chapter, I could see that this was something special. The story deals with Noah Finn, a janitor who had, up until September 11th, been trying to end his life. The story was complex enough to keep my interest, linking strings of incidents together as ‘The Universe’ played its role, with the help of Death, or Christopher Saint as he was called at this time. The connections between the characters were well thought out, and the writing was of an incredibly high standard. Overall, Noah Finn and the Art of Suicide was a thought-provoking, highly original, and sensitive story, with a splash of humour thrown in.

Holmes Volume 1 by Melvyn Small

HOLMES hi res
Firstly, a confession; I have never read any of Sir Arthur Conan Doyle’s Sherlock Holmes stories but, of course, I am familiar with the characters of Sherlock Holmes and Dr Watson. This reimagining of their adventures brings them into the modern day, in which Dr Watson is a psychiatrist and meets Holmes through this capacity. The book comprises of six short mysteries, all intertwined. The whole book was a pleasure to read; beautifully written, with clever storylines which kept me guessing throughout. The character of Sherlock was described perfectly, giving the reader a real sense of what kind of man he was. There were several laugh-out-loud moments, usually at points where Sherlock had to interact with a policeman by the name of Lestrade. Overall, it was hugely entertaining, and I look forward to reading Volume 2.

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Free books all weekend!

2 horror collections. 12 terrifying tales, FREE THIS WEEKEND (6th-7th)

A quick horror thrill and scare. – 5 stars

A very promising first anthology! – 4 stars

Step into the mind of the unstable, where nightmares become reality and reality is not always as it seems.  Embrace the Darkness is a collection of six terrifying tales, exploring the darker side of human nature and the blurred line between dreams and actuality.

UK Link: https://www.amazon.co.uk/dp/1548536407

US Link: https://www.amazon.com/dp/1548536407

Great at building tension – 5 stars

Complete, unadulterated horror – 5 stars

Tunnels takes you on six terrifying journeys full of terror and suspense. Join a group of ghost-hunters, dare to visit the Monroe house on Halloween, peek inside the marble box, and feel the fear as you meet the creatures of the night.

UK link: https://www.amazon.co.uk/dp/B0778KWQ1M

US link: https://www.amazon.com/dp/B0778KWQ1MhorrorPromo[619]

Free book!

broken-doll-cover

Adventures in Self-Publishing – Post-Christmas Free Book!

I’m keeping this one quick, and will start off by wishing you all a happy festive period, in whatever form that takes. Before Christmas, I mentioned on social media that I would be giving away copies of my debut novel, The Broken Doll, so here is the necessary info.

Simply drop me an email at pjblakey-novis@outlook.com requesting your free Kindle copy, by the end of December 31st. Let me know if you don’t want to be added to my mailing list in the process and I’ll make sure you aren’t. Simple as that.

If you enjoy the book, I always appreciate honest reviews on Amazon and GoodReads. And if you don’t enjoy it, then at least it was free!

Synopsis;

In a small town in southern England, a chance encounter triggers a catastrophic series of events from which no one will emerge unchanged. When Sebastian Briggs meets Ella, she needs his help. The type of help required, however, is far from what he had expected; dragging him down a path of lust and violence. As a married father of three, Sebastian must fight between his loyalty to his family and the desire he feels for another woman, a woman full of secrets and with sinister intentions. What begins as a simple conversation between two strangers soon escalates beyond any expectations, tearing apart Sebastian’s home life and leaving death in its wake. The debut novel from Peter Blakey-Novis is a fast-paced tale, full of twists, crimes and steamy passion.

Note: The story contains adult content, including sex and violence.

As always, I welcome any feedback, so don’t hesitate to get in touch with your thoughts.

Merry Christmas

Peter

Trick or Treat – A Sample

Here is an excerpt from Trick or Treat, one of the short stories included in the Tunnels Collection. Enjoy!

“No-one home,” I declared with relief, turning to leave. Chloe knocked again. This time we heard footsteps, accompanied by a kind of dragging sound; the first image to come to mind was a heavy-set person dragging a body. We all took a step back and waited, suddenly hopeful that some money would be pushed through the letterbox after all. However, it wasn’t; the only sound was that of numerous locks being undone. I wanted to leave at this point, but I was also frightened to run away after we had disturbed whoever lived there.

When the last locked clicked, there was a pause. I wondered if the resident was elderly and had changed their mind about opening the door. Then, with a creak, it began to swing open.

“Trick or treat,” Chloe announced, trying to sound friendly. There was no-one there, just a dark hallway barely illuminated by a string of fairy lights of either side. “Hello?” she called into the house.

“Probably a good time to leave,” I said, no longer caring if my friends thought I was a wimp. There was no-one there, and walking in would be trespassing.

“Hello?” Chloe called again, this time placing one foot across the threshold.

“You can come in!” came a voice, startling us all. It sounded as though it belonged to an old woman.

“Sorry if we disturbed you,” I called in response, whispering to the others once again that we should leave.

“It’s no bother,” the voice replied. “I’ve got some Halloween treats here,  if that is what you were after? Just in the hallway, help yourself. Sorry I can’t bring them out; I’m a bit frail these days.”

“See! It’s fine,” Chloe said, not sounding entirely convinced.

“Seriously?” Tommy said, a little more loudly than he had intended. “She could make it to the door to open it, so why didn’t she bring the treats then?” He had a point. The temptation of money, or even some other decent reward got the better of us and each holding on to one another, we crept into the hallway.

“Leave the door open,” I told Tommy, who looked at me as if to say that was the most obvious thing in the world.

“I’ve set up a Halloween game in the hallway if you want to play?” asked the voice. “Do a trick, get a treat. I hope you enjoy it.” It was creepy, and I was beyond having second thoughts. I decided that we should see the Monroe woman, at least show our faces, so I walked into the dark room that the voice came from.

“Hello?” No reply. I fumbled for a light switch. It didn’t work.

“The power must be off,” Tommy suggested.

“The fairy lights are working,” I said, pointing to the plug sockets that they were attached to.

“Bulb must have gone, then,” he said.

“Hello?” I called again, moving further into the room. Nothing. My eyes adjusted to the dark a little and there was no doubt that the room was empty. I felt colder. Something was wrong. “I’m going,” I told them, turning back towards the door. Before anyone could answer me, the door slammed shut, the bolts’ locking of their own accord. Chloe screamed. Phoebe began to cry.

‘Tunnels and other short stories’ is available now from Amazon.

UK link: https://www.amazon.co.uk/dp/B0778KWQ1M

US link: https://www.amazon.com/dp/B0778KWQ1M

Signed paperbacks available for just £7 plus shipping, message my page www.facebook.com/pjbnauthor

New book, magazine launch & book events

GraceBobo_Future_eBOOK-COVER[487]

This week something exciting happened. The illustrations for my first children’s book, Grace & Bobo: The Trip to the Future, came through and the book is ready to go to the printers. It’s a whole new market for me, having leapt back and forth between adult thrillers and short horror, and a very exciting prospect. My daughter Grace is especially pleased as she has offered free copies to her teachers and her school are keen to see the finished product. I fully intend for the book to be available in time for Christmas so keep an eye out for it over the next few weeks.

As I mentioned in my last blog post, I was in the process of launching a new digital magazine, with the help of Red Cape Graphic Design. Issue 1 is now complete and available for pre-order here: UK Link; https://www.amazon.co.uk/Indie-Writers-Review-Issue-December-ebook/dp/B077K7YGQJ

US Link; ; https://www.amazon.com/Indie-Writers-Review-Issue-December-ebook/dp/B077K7YGQJ

Inside, you will find book reviews, short stories, author interviews, poetry, and a giveaway. In Issue 1 we are giving away a signed paperback of both Confessions of an English Psychopath and Manchester Vice, both by Jack Strange. What’s more, everyone who enters will receive a free e-book of Confessions! The magazine is priced at £1.99, or free on Kindle Unlimited.

We are also accepting submissions for short stories and poetry so keep up to date with the Facebook page for more info on this, as well as some fantastic value advertising opportunities for authors. www.facebook.com/indiewritersreview

In my last post, I mentioned that I was attending a book fair / signing event at the Underground Theatre in Eastbourne. This was the first time that I have done anything like this, so had no idea what to expect, but was pleasantly surprised. I sold a few books, (always a good thing!), and met some other local authors. I ended up buying four books myself, but it’s so difficult not to! Since that event, I have been in conversation with another local author about putting together a book event in Brighton, the details of which will be announced within a few weeks. If you are local to the south of England, you can keep up with the book fair info at www.facebook.com/brightonandhovebookfayre

I hope that you are all well, and thank you for taking a few minutes to read this.  Feel free to get in touch with any comments or questions and please do take the time to grab a copy of one of the new short stories.

Best Wishes

Peter

21 – A POV serial killer short

November 8th saw the release of my second collection of short horror stories (link below). The book has received a steady flow of 4 and 5 star reviews, which is fantastic. Continue reading for a short introduction to one of the stories, entitled ’21’.

“A picture-perfect family; Mum, Dad, two boys and a really pretty girl. They had arrived yesterday. I watched them through the trees as they positioned that new-looking caravan into place, under the direction of the campsite owners. It was hot, and I was sweating under my camouflage. But I couldn’t very well wear anything else and risk being seen. I returned today. I continued to watch, studying the way they interacted with each other. They all had smiles on their faces; not a care in the world. It was mid-afternoon; it wouldn’t be dark for another five or six hours. I could wait. There was no way of knowing how long they would be staying for so it had to happen tonight, I couldn’t risk coming back tomorrow only to find they had gone.
The site was perfect in so many ways. It was relaxed, especially from a security aspect. It was accessible on three sides to anyone willing to walk through the dense trees; the only vehicular access came from one long, unlit lane. There was no gated entry, nothing to stop the guests coming and going at any time that they chose. Such a stroke of luck that I found it; this will be much easier than last time. That place had turned into an absolute nightmare, and it could so easily have been my final time.
The build up, the routine, the planning. These were the parts that held the most excitement for me. The watching. It was like a military operation, and I was good at it. Even if the army didn’t want me. That was their loss, their mistake. Maybe if they had taken me in, I wouldn’t be doing this now. Perhaps that pretty family would have been able to enjoy their holiday without having it cut short. For an hour I stood among the trees, motionless, just my eyes moving around as I surveyed the other campers.”

From the author of Embrace the Darkness, Tunnels takes you on six terrifying journeys full of terror and suspense. Join a group of ghost-hunters, dare to visit the Monroe house on Halloween, peek inside the marble box, and feel the fear as you meet the creatures of the night. Grab the full collection here;
UK link: https://www.amazon.co.uk/dp/B0778KWQ1M
US link: https://www.amazon.com/dp/B0778KWQ1M

Big News Time!

Adventures in Self-Publishing;  Big news time!

Well, October went out with a horror-filled bang! Each day I featured a different story by a different writer and the response was fantastic. I think that everyone involved had a great time and hopefully some readers came across some new books in the process. If you haven’t gotten around to it yet, you can view the full list, including synopsis and links here: www.pjbnauthor.wordpress.com/31-days-of-horror-october-2017

October also saw the release of two of my short stories, Tunnels and Opened Up. Tunnels has been very well received, with a number of reviews, all of which were four or five stars. It’s currently available to read on Kindle Unlimited and is this month’s story on Patreon for subscribers. Opened Up is currently free to download from Amazon, and will be until November 4th, so grab a copy of this short, medical horror story. (Links to both are at the bottom).

The other piece of rather huge news is that I am launching a digital magazine in December! Entitled Indie Writers Review, it will feature short stories, author interviews, poetry, giveaways and reviews. I’m pleased to announce that there will be a free ebook for everyone who enters the giveaway in issue 1 for the chance to win a signed paperback of Confessions of An English Psychopath by Jack Strange. You can keep up with news on the magazine via social media at www.facebook.com/indiewritersreview and www.twitter.com/indie_writers

If you would like a signed edition of any (or all!) of my books, bought in person, then come along to The Underground Theatre in Eastbourne, UK on November 11th where I will be attending a book fair, along with a multitude of other local authors.

I hope that you are all well, and thank you for taking a few minutes to read this.  Feel free to get in touch with any comments or questions and please do take the time to grab a copy of one of the new short stories.

Tunnels UK:   https://www.amazon.co.uk/gp/product/B076C5G728

Tunnels US:    https://www.amazon.com/Tunnels-Short-Horror-P-J-Blakey-Novis-ebook/dp/B076C5G728

Opened Up UK:          https://www.amazon.co.uk/Opened-Up-Short-Horror-Story-ebook/dp/B076TZRZGC

Opened Up US:           https://www.amazon.com/Opened-Up-Short-Horror-Story-ebook/dp/B076TZRZGC

 

Best Wishes

Peter

 

Tunnels – A sample

Tunnels, a Halloween Ghost Story is available now as a stand alone story, and will be featured in an upcoming collection of short stories. Read the sample here;

“If everyone can take a seat please, we will make our first attempt to establish contact with any spirits present, before we move on any farther,” Matthew ordered. I looked across at the row of plastic, green chairs lined against one wall; eight of them. In front of the chairs stood a table with a Ouija board on it. When we had all taken our seats, I watched intently as Matthew played his part, eyes closed, moving things around on the board. He called out loudly to the spirits of Elizabeth and Henry, almost begging for them to reveal themselves to the group. Nothing. Then Matthew fixed his gaze straight at me. “Everyone needs to hold hands or this will not work,” he said, unable to conceal his annoyance as he glanced at my right hand. Instead of holding Lily’s, as we had been told to, I had rested it just beneath her skirt, touching her thigh. Under the stare of everyone, I removed my hand from its inappropriate location and took Lily’s. Matthew began to call upon the spirits once more. This time something did happen; all eight of the lanterns went out simultaneously. The whole group, myself included, gasped, largely due to the sudden darkness that we had been plunged into. There was a nervous laugh as everyone fumbled with their torches. Our hosts did a good job at looking worried, as if they had not been responsible for the lights going out. I shone my torch towards the ceiling, looking for something that would give away the trick, but found nothing.
“That was pretty cool,” I admitted to Lily, a little annoyed that I couldn’t figure out how it had been done.
“Where’s the blonde girl?” I heard someone ask. Turning to my left, I looked down the row of seats to see that Chloe was sat at the far end. The chair next to her now sat empty. The man who had asked the question stood up, looking around, puzzled. He had been sat to her right.
“What do you mean blonde girl?” the goth asked. “I thought you two were together.”
“Nope, I came on my own. Looks like she did too.”
“Were you not holding her hand?” Matthew asked, looking concerned.
“I was, but she let go as soon as the lights went out.”
“Bravo!” I declared. I couldn’t help myself laughing at this point. “So, one of the guests disappears, one who happened to come here alone, and who happened to be sitting next to Chloe at the time. You know there’s a passageway at that end of the room, right?” The others stood to have a look. I was right, of course, having been in the tunnels before. The passageway entrance was indented into the wall in the far corner and could easily go unnoticed. Everyone seemed to relax, seeing the hoax for what it was. Everyone apart from Matthew and Chloe, who just exchanged worried glances.
“What’s her name?” goth girl asked, looking to Chloe. “We should call her back.” Chloe looked to Matthew, unsure of how to answer.
“She wasn’t with us,” Matthew said. “I don’t want to cause any panic, but she honestly did come alone, as a paying customer like the rest of you.”
“Bullshit,” I announced, but I was beginning to doubt my own confidence. The two hosts looked far more worried than anyone else.
“Then maybe she just thought it would be funny,” said the guy who had been sat next to her when she disappeared. “Sure she’ll be back soon.”
“I hope so,” goth girl said. “But it was you that put out the candles, wasn’t it?” she said, looking nervously at Matthew.
“You came for a ghost hunt; don’t start to freak out when you actually encounter one.” He seemed to have lost his friendliness, however fake it had been, and now appeared on edge, as though he had made a mistake.
“He’s got a point.” I turned to see Lily standing up, addressing the group. “Whether we honestly thought we would have some kind of paranormal encounter or not, we all came for the frights. We’ve been to a lot of things like this, and this one doesn’t seem much different. Matthew and Chloe are in character, and are unlikely to break that unless there is an actual emergency. Whether blondie was an actress, or she thought it would be funny to hide of her own accord, is neither here nor there. The point is, we had a scare, and now we move on to the next part of the tour; isn’t that right?” She looked at Matthew, desperately wanting her words to be true.
“Erm,” he stuttered, glancing at Chloe, “Yes. That’s right. And as someone said, I’m sure the other guest will reappear in due course. Probably quite soon, in fact, as that passageway is where we’re heading next.” Matthew shone his torch into the narrow entrance, failing to hide his hesitance. “It’s a squeeze in here, but this is where the soldiers used to bring the stores of food. There are numerous small store rooms, which come off of the passageway. It is also the location of the most frequent sightings of Elizabeth, so keep your eyes peeled.”
Four of the group followed behind Matthew, torches flickering to cast as much light as possible in the tight space. I followed, with Lily close behind. I could feel her grabbing on to the back of my jacket. The walls were no more than a foot and a half apart, causing one of the larger guests to turn a little to the side as he walked. No-one spoke, the only sounds being those of heavy breathing and the scraping of clothing along the damp walls as we made our way along. We passed the first two store rooms, one on either side of the passageway. When we reached the entrance to the third, Matthew halted the line.
“If everyone could come in to this room please; I have another little story to share with you.” We all shuffled in, and it was a relief to see some large electric lights attached to the wall. The brightness was a little dazzling, but certainly made us all feel safer. Everyone turned off their torches, all except Lily, who pointed hers at the floor as if preparing for another blackout.
“Everyone still here?” I asked, glancing around. Eight people; still one less than we started with but no new surprises. Yet. The group murmured as if to confirm their presence and Matthew began to talk, summoning his theatrical voice once again.
“This room is a key part to the story of Henry Oats. It lies directly beneath the location of his home. During our research, we were told by several eyewitnesses, that an image of a bearded man had appeared in this very room on numerous occasions. He did not seem menacing, so please do not be afraid. I will call out to him, and perhaps he will make an appearance.” Matthew began calling Henry’s name, asking him to make his presence known, but to no avail. The next ten seconds were a blur, however. The electric lamps all went out, again plunging us into darkness, aside from the light from Lily’s torch. Everyone made some kind of sound, ranging from a slight gasp to a full-blown scream. Then there was laughter and the room was illuminated again. As I looked toward the sound of the laughter, I saw that it was coming from the man who had been sat next to the blonde lady. He was in hysterics, his hand still resting on the switch for the lighting.
“Fucking arsehole!” the goth girl said.
“I’m sorry; I couldn’t resist,” the man said, still laughing at his prank. The entire group was looking at him, trying not to give him the satisfaction of actually having terrified all of us. Which is why the whole group saw his face change, from a self-satisfied smirk to pure fear. His eyes widened. His jaw fell slack, as he gazed beyond us. Lily was behind me and as she turned, was the first to let out a scream.

Free on Kindle Unlimited – https://www.amazon.co.uk/Tunnels-Shor…

Adventures in Self-Publishing; 31 Days of Horror

It’s October! As a horror writer and fan, it is one of my favourite times of the year and this time I wanted to put together an experiment.  I reached out to a number of other horror writers, putting together a list of 31 different stories by 31 different authors. The response has been fantastic. I have out the full list of 31 on my website as a kind of suggested reading list as we approach Halloween, and what a list it is! Short story collections, full length novels, blogs and novellas. You can choose between serial killers, ghosts, devils, vampires, zombies and some even crazier themes! Each day of the month I am pushing a different book, so if you see my posts on Facebook, Twitter or Instagram please feel free to give them a share.  The majority of the authors have also added links to their own websites and social media so get involved, connect with them, and find some scary stories to fill your October evenings with!

View the full list, including synopsis and links here: www.pjbnauthor.wordpress.com/31-days-of-horror-october-2017

One quick reminder that the sequel to The Broken Doll is now available from Amazon, and other retailers, including Barnes & Noble and Apple. https://www.amazon.co.uk/s/ref=nb_sb_noss?url=search-alias%3Daps&field-keywords=the+broken+doll+shattered+pieces and to celebrate, the first novel is on STILL ON SALE at just 99p for the ebook.

If you would like a signed edition of any (or all!) of my books, bought in person, then come along to The Underground Theatre in Eastbourne, UK on November 11th where I will be attending a book fair, along with a multitude of other local authors.

I hope that you are all well, and thank you for taking a few minutes to read this.  Feel free to get in touch with any comments or questions and please do take the time to browse this October’s essential reading.

Peter

The Box

An excerpt from my upcoming short horror, The Box

It was as the four adults were chatting in the kitchen, watching pans bubbling away on the hob, that they heard the little shriek. It was a familiar sound, the same noise that Maisie had emitted whenever she had broken something that did not belong to her. As everyone turned to look in the direction of the sound, Steven let out a sigh.

“You may have to start child proofing the house!” he declared.  Lisa did not take the comment as a joke.

“Maybe you shouldn’t have allowed her to bring a weapon with her!” she stated. “I really think that you need to get her seen; it isn’t normal to be breaking stuff all the time.”

“She’s just being a child,” Jack said.  “I’m sure it’s fine.”  Steven made his way towards the living room and stopped in his tracks.  His daughter was kneeling on the wooden floor, with her back to him, making a heaving sound, as though she were choking on a hair ball.

“Maisie?” he asked. Slowly, she turned towards her father; her hands scrunched tightly into fists.  As his gaze moved from her hands to her face, Steven’s eyes widened as he saw that the skin around her face was covered in some kind of black powder.  The heaving sound stopped as she looked at him, smiling widely, her teeth blackened by whatever substance was on her face.

“Dad!” Steven called, the hint of panic being apparent.  Jack made his way into the living room.

“What’s happened?” he asked, staring at Maisie.  “Shit, she’s bleeding,” Jack pointed out, noticing the deep red trickles emanating from his closed fists. Steven approached his daughter, taking her hands.

“Open your hands, honey,” he said, as calmly as he could manage. By this point, the two women were stood in the doorway, trying to assess the situation before making any suggestions.  Maisie continued to grin at her father, looking him in the eye, as she unclenched her fists.  As her fingers unfurled, she displayed the fragments of marble, having changed from white to red with the blood. “What is that?” Steven asked, turning to his father.