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New Publishers Website

Shared from Red Cape Publishing

Note: I will be transferring all info and posts from this site over to the new one, so please do go over and follow there. There’s some awesome stuff to find!

Welcome to Red Cape Publishing

These past few months have been super busy for us, building our new website and launching Boxes of Blood. Alongside this we have still been putting together the magazine, Indie Writers Review, as well as making time to read some fantastic books, build a presence on Pinterest, and even finding a little time to write!

Here’s a little tour of what you find on the website;

Boxes of Blood has gotten off to a fantastic start, with our mystery horror books being shipped across the world from the first day. Find out more here www.redcapepublishing.com/boxes-of-blood

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Indie Writers Review is growing its readership steadily each month, and we have now published Issue 7, with the next few months already filled! On the website you have the chance to enter the giveaway each month, as well as being able to buy discounted back issues. www.redcapepublishing.com/indie-writers-review

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We have now put together a list of author services, from social media promotion to business card and bookmark design and printing. We also offer advertising space within Indie Writers Review. www.redcapepublishing.com/services

Advertising Space IRW pinterest

On www.redcapepublishing.com/our-authors you can buy exclusive tote bags, signed paperbacks, and discounted e-books from P.J. Blakey-Novis.

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And finally, we have built a profile on Pinterest showcasing everything we offer, and a range of recommended reads from a talented bunch of writers, at www.pinterest.co.uk/redcapepublishing

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So take a look about and hopefully find your next great read!

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An update on Boxes of Blood

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Coming May – ‘Mystery’ horror selections delivered to your door, to include a range of paperbacks, and exclusive swag. We are currently working through the books to be included, but the images below give some idea of what to expect; from novels to novellas, anthologies to single-author collections, Boxes of Blood has it all!

Follow on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram for updates.

Discount horror books this weekend!

***ONLY 99p UNTIL MARCH 5th***

2 horror collections. 12 terrifying tales

NOW ON KINDLE UNLIMITED

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/B0778KWQ1M

A quick horror thrill and scare. – 5 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/1548536407horrorPromo[619]

Free book!

**FREE**
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The Broken Doll was released 1 year ago, and is available FREE from Feb 23rd to 25th
A really good read – 5 stars
I could not put it down – 5 stars
Brilliant – 5 stars
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 Broken Doll is a fast-paced, steamy, psychological thriller which has been compared to Fatal Attraction.
The Broken Doll:

Boxes of Blood – Coming May 2018

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Boxes of Blood – Coming May 2018

 

So these past few weeks have been a little slower than usual as the children have been on school holidays, meaning there has been little time for writing. That said, I have been working closely with Red Cape Publishing to put together Boxes of Blood, an exciting mail-order service for horror paperbacks and other goodies.

From May, we will be offering hand-selected horror books, beautifully presented with cotton tote bags, bookmarks, and other swag. There will be a choice of three different sized boxes, with the option of regular deliveries, or one-offs.

We currently have almost 60 books listed, from a host of incredible writers, and including everything from novels, to novellas, to anthologies and even graphic novels.

If you enjoy reading horror, and its range of sub-genres, but struggle to choose from the many less-known authors, let us do the choosing for you.

The social media pages have recently been set up, so give them a follow at

www.facebook.com/horrortoyou

www.twitter.com/RedCapePublish

www.instagram.com/boxesofblood

My interview for Writing Scared Blog

I was fortunate enough to be interviewed by J.A. Sullivan for her blog, Writing Scared. Check it out for other reviews and interviews from the world of independent horror.

www.writingscaredblog.wordpress.com

www.twitter.com/ScaryJASullivan

Book Review & Interview – Tunnels and Other Short Stories

Tunnels

Review: 5/5

Six Gripping Tales

The cover of this horror anthology piqued my interest immediately, and the stories that followed completely delivered on the promise of disturbing and terrifying tales. Serial killers, mysterious objects, haunted houses, things that scratch in the night, and other deadly encounters await the reader on every page. No matter where your deepest fears are seated, there will be something in this collection to make your skin crawl.

Unlike many other short story compilations released by a single author, Tunnels and Other Short Stories constantly varies both the subjects and narrative points of view, creating unique twists and turns that will have you unable to put this book down. As a strong voice within the indie horror community Blakey-Novis is an author worth following, and I look forward to reading more of his works.

 

Interview:

On my search to read new up and coming horror writers, I was fortunate enough to make a connection with P.J. Blakey-Novis, and he was kind enough to spend some time with me for an interview.

WS: The cover for this collection is very evocative, and I wanted to start reading as soon as I saw it. Who did the cover art? And where did the concept come from?

PJBN: The cover has had some great feedback, and it really does stand out! My wife, Leanne, has recently finished studying graphic design, and has started offering a number of services which now includes low-cost book covers. This was the first one that she did, and I think it looks amazing. As the title story revolves around the ghost of a woman accused of being a witch, the choice of cover image reflects this.  (If you’re interested Leanne can be found at www.facebook.com/redcapegd).

WS: My favourite story to read was the title story, Tunnels, where we join a couple on a ghost hunt. The wife was a believer, but the husband was a complete skeptic. Which side do you fall on? Have you gone on ghost hunts?

PJBN: In Tunnels, the couple were closely based on myself and Leanne. And I would say I am strongly the skeptic, but Leanne is much more open to supernatural things. We haven’t been on any ghost hunts yet, but they do run them at the fort near to our home. We have been on a number of other Halloween adventures, largely walk-throughs during which we would be chased about by chainsaw-wielding mechanics, zombie nurses and, of course, clowns.

WS: Which story in the anthology was your favorite to write?

PJBN: From this collection, I would say I’m most proud of Tunnels. The feedback has been amazing, with multiple 4 and 5-star reviews. I also really enjoyed writing 21, as it’s told from the perspective of a serial killer, so it was fun to get into the mindset and see how shocking I could get away with making it.

WS: Since the collection covers many different fears, I’m curious to know what frightens you the most? Have you tackled writing about that subject?

PJBN: In real life, I don’t believe in anything supernatural, so I’m not worried about poltergeists or zombies. People are far more terrifying! I think the fear that something was going to happen to Leanne, or our children, is the strongest. In writing 21, I think it would have been more difficult to tell the story from, say, the father’s perspective, as it would seem too real for me. In another story, which is due for release in February, the main character finds himself forced to harm his partner and that was quite a difficult part to write.

WS: Speaking of perspectives, it was refreshing to see the stories in this book vary in narrative voice, with some told in first person and others from a third person perspective. When writing, how do you decide which narrative voice to use?

PJBN: I rarely plan the stories out before I begin writing, preferring to get an idea or image in my head and jotting down a first paragraph. If I’m aiming to convey the horror that a particular character is suffering, or inflicting, then I tend to write in the first person. If it’s a story like The Box, with multiple victims, I will tell it from a third person perspective to give a better insight into each of the characters. That said, I do find writing in the first person easier when it comes to horror, but both of my novels (The Broken Doll series, a Fatal Attraction type story) are third person.

WS: Since you do write both novels and short stories, how do you recognize an idea as a short story? Do you just start writing and see where it takes you, or do you know it will be a short story from the beginning?

PJBN: When I get a vague idea, or image, in my head I tend to start writing. Usually this will end up as a short story, as I need a much more detailed mental image if I think it has the potential to become anything longer. The story makes itself clear as to how long it can be, I think, in that it’s obvious when a tale is stretched out for the sake of wordcount. The novels that I have written are both around the 90k word mark and could have been much longer had I not tried to keep them fast-paced. The short stories I have written vary in length; the shortest being around 1,500 words, through to Tunnels, and my next release, at almost 8,000 words. I believe most of my stories fall in the 2-3,000-word count.

WS: When did you know you wanted to be a horror writer?

PJBN: Not until I wrote the first horror short, for an anthology. I saw the call for submissions and thought it would be a good way to try writing a story shorter than my previous work. Leanne and I watch a lot of horror movies, so I was well prepared for avoiding the clichés, and trying to put a different angle on the story. I expected to receive a rejection email, and planned to use any feedback from this, but the publishers actually liked the story. They even paid me for it, in real money! That was when I started putting together my first collection of short horrors, Embrace the Darkness.

WS: With your upcoming project, Boxes of Blood, which we’ll get to in a minute, you are becoming a strong advocate for indie horror writers. What lead you to become an indie author?

PJBN: I wrote my first novel, The Broken Doll, more as a hobby than anything. I started it, put it aside for a while when life became busy, then picked it up again every now and again. Then I had surgery on my foot, (the inspiration for the short medical horror, Opened Up), and was laid up for a few weeks so I went back to the novel. Suddenly it was finished, but I had no idea what to do with it, and it was only then that I started researching self-publishing options. It’s been a lot to learn, but so much has happened over the last year that I really feel that I am getting somewhere with my writing.

WS: One of your next projects, as I mentioned, is called Boxes of Blood, where readers can purchase a mystery box of indie horror books, and other swag. Where did you come up with the concept?

PJBN: Boxes of Blood came about very recently, as I was looking for ways to help get other indie authors’ work seen, aside from just online posts. With the insane number of books being published daily, from a reader’s point of view it’s almost impossible to make a choice, particularly as the majority of indie writers are not well known outside of small circles. The idea is to offer varying sizes of boxes, most likely 2, 4, and 6 books, which will also include cotton bags with some of the book covers on, bookmarks, magnets, coasters etc. Within the first 24 hours of announcing Boxes of Blood, we had almost fifty books submitted for consideration, ranging from novellas, to anthologies, to full-length novels. Now we are at the point where we need to read them all and ensure they meet the standard we require. I can’t confirm the prices as yet; we are still working on the costings and, most importantly, the shipping cost. We are in the UK and are currently looking for the best option to enable us to offer worldwide shipping. The intention is to make the boxes available from the start of May 2018.

WS: Sounds very exciting! I’ll be sure to follow you on GoodReads to see your reviews as you make your way through the submissions. Are there any short story authors that have influenced your writing?

PJBN: I started writing short stories only a year ago, at least with a view to actually publishing them, and it was then that I started reading others. I’ve been really impressed with a number of short stories and novellas over the last few months, but the writers that I’ve most enjoyed so far have been D.J. Doyle, Kevin J. Kennedy, Mike Krutz (check out Pleasure Seekers), Renee Miller, and C.M. Saunders. Also, although not horror, Noah Finn & the Art of Suicide by E. Rachael Hardcastle was one of the best stories I’ve read recently.

WS: Since you’ve written both short stories and novels, do you think short stories are a harder sell to readers?

PJBN: When I started writing, with a view to publication, it was a novel. I knew little about short stories, and my assumption was that novels were the way to go. The two novels that I have written have done fairly well, gaining great reviews, but both of my horror collections have sold far more copies. I think, especially when it comes to e-books, the market is better for low-cost, short stories. People who don’t have a lot of time are more likely to take a chance on a collection of shorts that they can dip in and out of, than a full-length novel by someone they may not be familiar with. In turn, as has happened with my books, people have taken a chance on my short stories, enjoyed them, then gone on to buying my novels.

WS: What’s the most challenging part of writing for you?

PJBN: Time, which is probably what everyone says. Fitting time for writing into the day would be easier, if it wasn’t for the marketing, blogging, and other aspects of the work. And then I come up with ideas like the e-magazine we publish, Indie Writers Review, and then Boxes of Blood, and the hours become more and more full. Realistically, I have one full day each week to write, and as long as I have a vague story idea then I can get the first draft of a short done in that time.

WS: And lastly, any advice for novice writers?

PJBN: Keep writing. When you aren’t writing, read. It’s a long, slow process so be patient. Support other peoples work as much as your own, if not more. Learn to take criticism (something I still struggle with. I woke up one day to a 4, 5 and a 1-star review and could only focus on the 1 star, even though it said nothing in the review, and they had probably not even read the book). Enjoy it; if it feels like a chore then the story will suffer.

I’d sincerely like to thank P.J. Blakey-Novis for taking the time to speak with me. I hope you enjoyed this interview, and if you would like to know more about the author and his works, feel free to connect with him on the following social medial platforms:

www.pjbnauthor.wordpress.com www.facebook.com/pjbnauthor www.twitter.com/pjbn_author www.instagram.com/pjbn_author www.patreon.com/pjbnauthor https://www.amazon.co.uk/P.J.-Blakey-Novis/e/B06XJ7CY31

January – Reading, Writing, Plotting, and Panicking

January is a funny month for me; part of me hates the post-Christmas near-bankruptcy and bitter weather, but it also a birthday month for myself, my wife and one of our children. The return to normality that comes with the start of the school term usually pushes me into formulating some kind of writing plan, whilst replacing the previous writing plan when I see how far off track I am. Not necessarily behind, just having launched off in a completely different direction to what I had expected. So where am I at, and what am I working on?

In September I began outlining my third novel, something different to the previous two. I’m only on chapter five, which is much further behind than I expected so I have no idea when it be finished; the story isn’t flowing quite right so I’m leaving it on the backburner for a while.

So, January has involved much too little actual writing, but I have a new short story called Unearthed, which will form part of the next collection and be available exclusively on Patreon before that (www.patreon.com/pjbnauthor).

I have also put together a plan for something entirely different, which at the moment is top secret but I can confirm it is it planted well within the extreme horror category.

I have also read three books so far this year, reviews for which are all available to read in the magazine Indie Writers Review. All the stories were great; The Unwilling Recruit by John Evans, Church by Renee Miller, and The Gatekeeper by Kevin J. Kennedy.

The magazine is coming along nicely, with some great giveaways and interesting author interviews so why not take a look? We are currently open for short story and poetry submissions, more details on the Facebook page. It’s also free to read on Kindle Unlimited. UK Link; https://www.amazon.co.uk/Indie-Writers-Review-Issue-January-ebook/dp/B078QCT5N4

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US Link; https://www.amazon.co.uk/Indie-Writers-Review-Issue-January-ebook/dp/B078QCT5N4  

Follow at www.facebook.com/indiewritersreview

Finally, I want to thank everyone that grabbed copies of my two horror collections during the free weekend at the beginning of January. Embrace the Darkness hit number 1 (on my birthday!), with Tunnels reaching number 8.  It really does mean a lot to me, and I hope you have enjoyed them. As always, any reviews are hugely appreciated.

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Thanks for taking the time to read this, feel free to leave any comments, or connect with me at www.facebook.com/pjbnauthor, www.twitter.com/pjbn_author, www.instagram.com/pjbn_author, and www.pjbnauthor.wordpress.com

 

Peter

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

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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

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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

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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

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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

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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

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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

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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.