Grey Eyes In Silver

‘Grey Eyes In Silver’, a short story about a discarded mirror that brings more than just everyday reflections.

Who, or what, exactly stares back at Penny as she gazes into an old mirror? A hallucination…or portent of death?

Part of the From Elsewhere short story collection – six tales of unearthly visitors.
Read it now on Smashwords and Goodreads.

http://bit.ly/VdGSdR

A discarded mirror brings more than just everyday reflections.

Excerpt:

Pen stroked the child’s sweaty head. “Hey, sweetheart,” she said soothingly. “Did you have a bad dream again? Look – look at what we have…”

Taking her son in to her arms, she held him in front of the mirror.

Immediately the boy stopped crying.

“Who is that?” she asked him in a high-pitched voice. “Who is that in the mirror?”

Continue reading

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Encrypted Review

Big fan of Lindsay’s, you should be too! 🙂

Rachel's Reflections

NewEncryptedThumbI recently read the book Encrypted by Lindsay Buroker. I read the excerpt she has posted on her blog (here) and liked it so much I went and bought the book. And then I spent all day one day reading it. It was lovely being able to take a whole day to read a book; I haven’t done that for years. I really enjoyed myself.

The book is fantasy and perhaps also steam punk. I say perhaps because (before this) I’ve never read any steam punk, so don’t feel I can say for sure if this book is part of that genre. But it does have steamships and steam operated machinery in it, so I’m assuming that qualifies it. It doesn’t take place in Victorian England, though, so I’m not sure if that disqualifies it.

The setting, as is typical of fantasy, is an imaginary world with…

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‘Them’ ~ New short story

The Christmas spirit is with me! A second short story from the upcoming From Elsewhere collection is now available FREE on Smashwords and Goodreads.

‘Them’ – Captured. Studied. Humiliated. A tale of an alien abduction from the victim’s point of view. What exactly do these creatures want?

Captured. Studied. Humiliated. A tale of an alien abduction from the victim's point of view. What exactly do these creatures want?

Captured. Studied. Humiliated. A tale of an alien abduction from the victim’s point of view. What exactly do these creatures want?

Excerpt:

I don’t like the feel of Their skin. But there’s nothing I can do, now; They’ve taken me.

For as long as I can remember, beings that could only be referred to as ‘alien’ have been in my life. It was nothing I’d asked for.

And it’s not just Their skin that gives me the creeps; it’s Their eyes. Everyone talks about those eyes, the way they stare right through you. They’re cold and … oh, what the hell, I have to use that word again, alien.

The only way I have kept sane is by telling myself, over and over, that They are scientists just like I am. Well, Their science is different than ours, incredibly so, and it seems as though it’s sole purpose is for the study of us. Sometimes I feel as though its sole purpose is for the study of me.

When I was younger, I was totally unaware of Them. I had heard things, of course, but never in my lifetime did I think that one I day might actually interact with Them! God, just the image of Them, the eyes, the difference in height … I’ve got to get a grip.

‘Forbidden’ ~ free short story

My Christmas present to all of you – I am delighted to bring the first short story of the From Elsewhere collection as a free download in all major e-formats, via Smashwords!

Massive thank you to L K Campbell for her excellent formatting service and to Tatiana Villa for her amazing artwork for this series.

‘Forbidden’ – a short tale taken from the From Elsewhere collection – six short stories of unearthly visitors.

What are the consequences when an angel falls in love with a demon?

Forbidden - free short story

Excerpt:

The Council Chamber shone as though sculpted from light.

But for the nine male and female Council members it was a place of serenity, order. Lesser beings would shrink in here, shielding their eyes and cowering amidst the magnificence of it all. This was, after all, the Council.

“Call forth the accused.”

As the head of the Council, Saliha was always the first to speak. Tribunals always began with her. Out of the nine Council members seated at the semi-circular conference desk, she was the youngest, though exuded a special gravitas all her own. Each of the blue-clad members was equal in every way, however. Each decision weighed neatly and fairly against those of the others. Saliha was the leader, but the Council of Nine acted as one.

A young woman approached the dais. She was just as striking as Saliha, though in a markedly different way. Slim, sylphlike, with hair so fair as to be almost white. There was a glow about her – brighter than the room itself but not quite as bright as the members of the Council who now bore their eyes deeply into her soul.

The young woman stood upon the dais, chin held high. Despite the vulnerability in her crystalline blue eyes, they fervently declared to the Universe: ‘I have done nothing wrong’.

“Your designation please,” said Saliha.

“Phaedra,” replied the accused.

“And your function.”

“Angel.”

A male Council member to the right of Saliha – clearly the oldest of the nine – leaned forward slightly.

“More specific than that, Phaedra…” he said.

“Messenger,” said Phaedra. Then, after a small pause, “In training.”

Saliha kept her gaze riveted to Phaedra’s eyes. “Do you know why you’re here, Phaedra?” she asked.

The young angel messenger did not bat an eyelid. “Yes,” was her cool response. “Because I was caught.”

A question for my fellow writers…

Hey folks. I am pleased to say that the formatting and cover art for my short story collection is coming on very well indeed. I expect to announce their release after Christmas!

A question for my fellow novelists. Do you plan your novel meticulously, hammering out endless notes, snatching images off the internet as inspiration, laying out index cards on big tables so that you can play with sequences of events … or do you just begin Chapter One and see where it takes you?

I am of the latter ilk of writer. I plan meticulously, making pages and pages of notes on Word, taking months to do so, and not writing the actual novel until I am happy. I plan right to the end, as I need to know where I’m heading. But I’m careful not to plan everything to the nth degree; if one does that, I feel, you leave no room for spontaneity. But this is simply what works for me.

Stream of consciousness? I have done it once, with short story, and it worked out fine. I began it with no notion of the ending. Just a concept. I wrote, and saw where it went. And I liked where it went. But a whole novel?

I am not decrying this method – far from it. I am interested to know what you like about the stream of consciousness method as well as the mega-planning method. It is not a question of what is best, but it what is best for you.

I am very interested to hear your thoughts on this one. Happy Holidays!

Image

Index cards used for pivotal scenes in my YA novel, The Ones. While most scene planning is done on the computer, sometimes I find it is best the have a plot beat on a single card that can be physically moved around, to see what works best, and in what order.

‘From Elsewhere’ ~ Six short stories about strange visitors…

Ghosts? Angels? Aliens? This collection of short tales concerns entities which could be any of these. Unearthly visitors have always fascinated me. Could they really exist? Or are they only part of our imagination? People have reported visitations for centuries. Real or not, they inspire me more than any other subject. So, over the years, I have penned many tales about these fascinating characters, and am currently preparing this as an anthology with the title From Elsewhere. Coming as an eBook release just after Christmas.

And a big ol’ shout-out to the marvellous Tatiana Vila for yet another breathtaking piece of cover art. You are amazing, Tatiana!

About the stories…

“Them” is a story of alien abduction, published in the book Bardic Tales and Sage Advice in 2005.

“The Long View” concerns one woman’s reflections on the life she has left behind, and was published by Wet Ink Press in 2006, and also in The Hub magazine in 2007.

“The Hearing” (aka The Trial) explores what happens when a guardian angel is put on trial. This story was published in InvisibleInk.com’s book of short stories, Invisible Ink 1.

“Forbidden” is a story about the most illicit of love affairs – the secret passion between an angel and a demon. My screenplay version of this won third prize in the Gimme Credit Short Screenplay Competition in 2008.

“The Foundling”. Who or what exactly has appeared on the doorstep an old woman’s cottage in Ireland? Abandoned child, or something else? I was very happy to have this story accepted and printed by Mirador for The Mirador Fantasmagoria anthology in 2011.

From Elsewhere will also feature “Grey Eyes In Silver”, where a discarded mirror brings more than just everyday reflections.

I hope you will enjoy these and if so, will let me know what you think…and maybe spread the word as well. 🙂

(BTW – my success with short stories about angelic entities inspired me to write my Young Adult novel, The Powers – also available in the New Year. Look out for it!)

BLURB: BLOOD FAMILY

Hey folks, as I prepare my young adult vampire novel, Blood Family – Quest For The Vampire Key, for its debut on the eBook stage, I thought it would be a good idea to give you a little synopsis. This will be in the form of the back cover ‘blurb’ – the info we all see on the back of books.

A policy of mine is to give away the first chapter or two ahead of time, so look out for them peeking ’round a dark corner very soon…

BACK COVER BLURB

Life as part of a debt-free, middle-class family in the New England suburbs should have been heaven.

But when your father is a Man of God and you’re a vampire, it sure can be hell.

Until the age of seventeen, Daniel Dark had no idea of his true origins. Something was ulcerating deep inside him, striving to claw its way free. Pastor Nathan Dark and his wife, Annie, had adopted him and brought him up as their own. But Daniel always felt that there was a secret they feared tell him…

Everything changes the day a mysterious package arrives at his home. It contains blood – human blood. It is a message from his true father – a demon from another dimension known to vampire hunters as Dominus. Daniel’s vampire half awakens and takes its first step out of the shadows. Now, there is no turning back. Vampires, he learns, are not like in the movies. They’re worse, much worse, and cannot be killed by sunlight or stakes. Armed with ever-evolving powers, Daniel sets off on his quest. The once lazy, goalless youth transforms into sharp-sensed killer. On his trail is Pastor Nathan Dark, obsessed with destroying the boy…

It is a journey that takes Daniel to Mexico and the mysterious Mayan shaman woman, Xochil, guardian of Vampire secrets. From there the trail leads to misty moors of southern England, where he joins forces with Logan DuPris, a vampire hunter as attractive as she is deadly. Together they piece together the weird clues that lead to…

The Vampire Key

3D Book still

 

Movie Cliché #2

You know the scene. Our Good Guy has just had a titanic fist fight with the Bad Guy’s main henchman, splattering blood all over the floor of the disused factory. Good Guy hyperventillates, sweating profusely, as said henchman lies crumpled at his feet. And then we hear it, from the catwalk above…

CLAP…CLAP…CLAP

Our hated Bad Guy has appeared out of nowhere, gloating down upon our hero, applauding in mocking, vitriolic slow motion.

“Verrrry impressive. But you haven’t beaten me yet!”

Ugh.

bad guy clap

Movie Cliché Collection #1

We all love movies; I know I do. But the clichés are building up, folks! So, I decided to make a list of them. (Anyone who wants to submit some more, please do!).

The main character’s best friend/partner/girlfriend has just died – horribly. Outside. In the rain. Our hero sheds a tear as the friend passes into oblivion.

Cut to HIGH CAMERA SHOT…looking down on the scene.

Our hero throws his head back and bellows up into the night – ‘NOOO-OOO-OO!!’

HOW many times have we seen that? Sheesh!

wolverine nooo

birds NOOOO