Chilling Ghost Stories

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I received an update from Flame Tree Publishing regarding the release of ‘Chilling Ghost Stories’ in August, and everything is progressing nicely. It is one part of a triumvirate of gorgeous looking books that include Horror and Science Fiction.

And here they are,

Gothic Fantasy

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Eco-Horror

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I’m very happy to have had another piece chosen by Sirens Call Publications for their ezine. My short story, ‘Nettle Milk’ is in the latest Eco-Horror inspired issue.

I started writing it after I heard some bland, blah of a TV ‘comedian’ on a panel show, saying that the most dangerous natural thing in the U.K. is the stinging nettle. So I thought, well what if there was masses of them, and they were very protective of where they grew and did not like to be disturbed…

The ezine is choc full of great stuff, download it for FREE here,

http://www.sirenscallpublications.com/index.html

There are other issues you can download if you feel like a horror binge. My last piece for Sirens Call Publications is in the ‘Women in Horror Month’ edition called ‘Do Not Play’.

Chilling Ghost Short Stories !

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I am extremely pleased, happy and overjoyed to have a piece in Flame Tree Publishing’s ‘Chilling Ghost Short Stories’. A terrifying collection of stories old and new.

http://www.flametreepublishing.com/Chilling-Ghost-Short-Stories.html#

My story, ‘Flaming Fuses’ is a simple tale of two ordinary blokes who have to complete some building work on an abandoned island in the middle of a river. I used the very beautiful Hilbre Island in West Kirby, Wirral as inspiration. Lovely on a sunny day when you can walk across the beach to it and have a look around, but many people don’t read the tidal times information on nearby boards and end up stranded there.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Hilbre_Island

I am honoured to have my story nestling in among some of the greats, and the cover looks amazing. It is available on August 15th.

Whitby- our days out pt 2 !

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We had another small excursion, all in the name of research, to a place I have always wanted to go to ever since I read Dracula as a young teenage Goth. My dad had read it years before when he was in the navy and got that spooked by it he threw it overboard! Sorry Bram.

Whitby is a small fishing town in North Yorkshire. We almost stumbled onto it as we kept shouting about not being able to see the sea despite the fact we had nearly driven across the country.The town seems to nestle into its surroundings.

It's there. Whitby hides itself.

It’s there. Whitby hides itself.

It is so picturesque that my rubbish pics don’t do it any justice at all.

Harbour side

Harbour side

Getting there early is a must because toward lunchtime the place is heaves with visitors. Queues form in roped off areas, like eager nightclubbers on a Saturday night, outside the copious Fish and Chip cafes and restaurants. After wrestling with an aggressive giant seagull to save my scampi, we decided to cross the swing bridge and nosy around the little lanes and streets. I found a lovely shop called ‘The Owl and the Pussycat’ which sold vintage clothes and jewellery, not at inflated prices. After parting with cash and clutching bags, we decided to head toward, ‘the ruins’ or St Mary’s Church. Being too unfit to walk the 199 steps that lead from the town to the church, we drove up and parked.

The only pic that was any use! Taken while hanging over a wall.

The only pic that was any use! Taken while hanging over a wall.

The weather was very mild, almost summery, but from this cliff top it must be wretched in winter. The North sea storms must batter it, but the ruins and church just about cling on. There have been reports of landslides and bones being found from the graveyard that is adjacent to it. We have agreed to wrap up warm and return then to experience it and watch out for any shipwrecks off the coast…

Our Days Out ! (pt. 1)

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Still in holiday mode and before Jim returned to work, we had ‘days out’. Not really packed lunches and flasks of tea, but flying visits to places we always meant to go to.

First visit was to Wales, lovely Rhos-On-Sea, an absolutely gorgeous little town that a lot of people bypass on their way to the bigger Llandudno, although it seems its popularity has grown, a few of the shops have been taken over by those that sell dangling wooden hearts and dream catchers, but never mind, the harbour is still untouched by the Breton Top wearing brigade.

Rhos-On-Sea

Rhos-On-Sea

We drove up to the summit of the Great Orme, which is ‘a prominent limestone headland, next to the town of Llandudno’. It’s bloody massive! It juts out into the Irish sea and attracts various birds, seals etc. People live on it, work on it and there’s a graveyard, which being a Goth at heart gladdened me. I had to have a look.

OrmeGraveyard

View from 'the Orme'

View from ‘the Orme’

Wales is beautiful, and holds so many childhood memories for me, camping and staying in the caravan parks ( The Robin Hood caravan park is still just getting over the last family visit in the 70’s! )

We passed through a couple of places that the recession had not been kind to. A place of fun and frolics no more, Rhyl seems to be a dying town. The familiar ‘SunCentre’ which attracted thousands, was closed down. Shops were boarded up, the fairground shifted, it was depressing. A few hardy visitors were searching for something to do other than hang around the remaining arcades. Come on Rhyl town council or whoever signs the cheques for the place, do something!!! It felt like the joy that was once there had been sent down the coast to play, the town felt defeated. Rant over, Back to staring at this photo of Rhos-On-Sea.

Perfect.

Perfect.

Malta

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We returned from holiday this past week. To Malta. I love Malta, not what they do to songbirds but BirdlifeMalta.com and 44,000 Maltese people who want the hunting banned will, I’m sure, make a change.

I write ‘holiday’, the hotel we stayed in ( very rarely stay in hotels ) was a bit shabby for the cash and you were woken up too early for housekeeping … oh and they asked you to keep your room door open while you went out. Yes really. Breakfast was the usual bunfight between the Brits, the Germans and the Italians. We chose to absolve ourselves from it after two days.

But, I still love Malta. We hired a car and got away from the crowds and here is where I become the holiday bore with the photos, you will be glad there is no video/dvd/youtube stuff!

Marsaxlokk

Marsaxlokk

I’ve been to Malta a few times,but never to Marsaxlokk (not easy to say after a couple of glasses of red ). It’s a picturesque little village with a cracking market on Sunday. Fresh seafood served in all the restaurants everyday. And some lovely doors. I have a thing for doors.

Marsaxlokk and it's doors.

Marsaxlokk and it’s doors.

We also visited Mdina, also called ‘the silent city’ because there are no cars allowed in the ancient walled town. This, however, is a blatant lie, last time I was there I had to dive into a doorway to avoid a reversing skip wagon! It is a lovely place despite the hazards, with fantastic views over the islands and an eerie atmosphere. No wonder they filmed ‘Game of Thrones’ there.

300 people live in this walled 'city'. Mdina.

300 people live in this walled ‘city’. Mdina.

I shall finish, with some pics from my favourite place, the capital, Valletta. An overspilling rabbit warren of streets, beautiful sand coloured architecture, shops and cafes, dominated by a main square and the impressive dome of the Carmelite Church. You can enjoy the city without being hassled or fearful. The crime rate is very low on the island. Stop to appreciate the hidden spaces as well as the tourist hotspots. Valletta has been picked to be a European Capital of Culture in 2018. I look forward to seeing what it offers.

Public conveniences and Cabaret!

Public conveniences and Cabaret!

The corner shop.

The corner shop.

I bought these for a friend ...

I bought these for a friend …

https://www.birdlifemalta.org

http://valletta2018.org/news/

Latchkey Tales

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Just a mention that I have a piece in ‘Latchkey Tales, Clockwise:The Afternoon Storms Vol.2 Issue 2’ by Solarwyrm Press. Each story in the anthology revolves around a specific time, linking the journals throughout the year.

cover designed by Oscar Dominguez.

cover designed by Oscar Dominguez.

My story, ‘His Final Storm’ is about a lighthouse keeper who is about to be retired from a job he has loved. I love writing about the sea, especially the tales that are associated with it.

Latchkey Tales is available now. You can subscribe to the journal at a very reasonable price here:

http://www.patreon.com/latchkeytales