Tag Archives: dark

January

January – it’s not the easiest month and sometimes it seems to go on far longer than it should. But it’s a beginning, one of many, and they should always be celebrated. So here’s a little poem and may we meet ourselves and each other along the road.

 

In his deepest winternessdeserted road

When the dark was no longer

Velvet snug

But a black yawning void

He realised that he

Had lost himself somewhere

And being too tired to search

And too listless to care

He went out

Into the dank mist

And the sad rain

Walking

Wishing that he could just

Go away

Or perhaps meet himself

On the road, coming back.

Gothic Nightmare

It’s National Poetry Day, so here’s a little offering from me. Sweet dreams!

 

The castle scowled on the hill,

Towers and turrets silhouetted by

Shards of lightning and a clouded moon.

Storm thickened darkness hung heavy,

Dragging on each fearful breath.

I followed the twisting path,

On and on, up and up,

Feet drawn by some other force.

Around me, the forest sighed, shifting,

Creeping closer,

Tired of waiting,

Hungry.

castle door

Photo by Judhi Prasetyo

 The castle waited, baited, dared,

Rain poured in torrents from rips in the sky,

Smoothed the stones but could not wash them clean.

Faint ghost glimmer in the windows

A sorry echo of light.

Fear choked, I tried to turn and run

But my feet betrayed me.

The arched door, old wood, rusting hinges,

One side open, as though I was expected.

I could feel it,

In the shadows,

Starving.

Editor’s Perks

Somewhere in an alternate universe far, far away…

As you know, I hate writing! And I also loathe reading! So don’t you feel sorry for me, having to read amazing new books and make editorial suggestions to earn a few pennies? Oh, the trauma…

Meanwhile, back in the real world (whatever that is)…

I have been privileged to have been given the opportunity to edit three absolutely cracking new books over the last few months, and they are all due out on very soon. So here’s a little summary of each to tempt you.

‘The Dreamer’ by Sue Hampton

The Dreamer Front coverThis children’s book, set long ago and far away, is a green allegory encompassing adventure and fairy tale. Moro, a rich, heartless landowner holds a village in his power, but it isn’t enough. Lark, the mute peasant girl, can never please her father however hard she works. She finds solace in carving animals from clay and wood, her art frequently destroyed by her bullying brother. Her friend Fedor, the lame goatherd, never understood why his father left and still hopes he will return. The pair befriend The Dreamer, an old blind man who lives alone on the mountain. He introduces them to the magical world in his crystal story bowl and the myth of the Flower Bird. Their world falls apart when Moro obtains the bowl and – coveting the crystal which lies behind the waterfall – wreaks havoc on the mountain. As greed threatens to destroy the life of the village, can two children and a blind man find the courage and resources within themselves to stand up and lead the way to a better future?

The Empire of Evil by Gordon Strong

The Empire of Evil Front coverMagic is a paradox, one that can never be fully resolved. Within other worlds are mysteries beyond the imagination. It is these extraordinary realms that our psychic investigator willingly explores. Standley-Strange, arch magus, scholar and man-of-the-world is saved from becoming an eternal recluse by a surprise visitor.

Vivacious Cyndi flees to England from a dangerous darkness in America, her intuition guiding her unerringly to the very door of Standley-Strange! He offers her shelter and they speedily become magical allies when Standley-Strange is called to the aid of Debroneth, a Medieval province, inexplicably manifested in another dimension. The magus vows to protect its people from the ravages of the Evil Empire, but must also face his own challenges when he confronts the Emperor Tortius and Bredon Shaft, his vicious Chief Inquisitor.

Treachery, tyranny and a ruthless desire for power are the hallmarks of the Empire. Add in a lost lady, a magical minstrel, kidnapping, rebellion and multiple dimensions and the ride is set to be anything but smooth.

Blind Cupid by Max Brandt

Blind Cupid Front coverNick Sloane has a moral compass that no one understands but him. The last thing he needs is a touchstone that hurls it into confusion.

Simon Nicholson’s job at Freeways children’s home is tough, fighting on the front line of child abuse cases and coping with the fallout from neglect. The last thing he needs is one of his youngsters disappearing.

DCI Montgomery Flute has dark memories that are interfering with his work. It’s almost a year to the day that his life-partner, Tom, committed suicide and the last thing he needs .is a complex murder enquiry throwing fuel onto a fire that’s already burning him up.

The discovery of a tortured body in an isolated spot turns out to be an ex-resident of Freeways. Dark secrets from all their pasts are being skilfully woven together by a calculating killer. It’s the very last thing anyone needs; especially the children.

These titles will launch, with others, at a wonderful event in Lyme Regis on 14th February. Find out more here. http://www.magicoxygen.co.uk/

A Cloak of Glass by Connor Cadellin Mckee

I am pleased to have another guest post from the talented Connor Cadellin Mckee, introducing his new story, A Cloak of Glass, a short prequel to his dark, dystopian novel Children of the Crater, which was released in May 2014. And lucky us, this one’s free to download. Thanks, Connor!

 

A Cloak of Glass

Art work by Phanutchanat Chareonsap & Connor Mckee

It happened on the 19th of July, 2014. I was sitting in a Dutch coffee shop, a warm drink resting on the knotted wooden table before me. I was thinking not of drinking, but of stories. I wanted to write a prequel to Children of the Crater, that much I had worked out, but which characters to follow? One by one I ticked off Vanir in my head; many of my characters were simply too young to have much more backstory than I had already given them. At the moment my mind reached the twins, two identical women walked in and took a seat at the table across from mine. I said nothing to them, nor they to me; but the idea was planted.

By that evening I had the story mapped out, and now here we are. A Cloak of Glass has been released here on the internet (for free) via Smashwords. The twins are such mysterious characters to me, they are really fun to write about. Enjoy!

https://www.smashwords.com/books/view/472043

Summer Night

night sly

Photo: Michael J Bennett

There is nothing quite like being outside wrapped in the warm blanket of not quite darkness on a summer night. Everything takes on a slightly mystical edge and there is that tingle of excitement or anticipation, But for what? The things that we can’t see? The things that might yet be? Who knows? It’s a magical feeling, whatever it is.

 

In the darkness made undark
By the clear pure moon
And the silence that is not
silence, broken
By bat flight and small rustlings
We lay, cocooned between
earth and sky
And heard the stars sing.

Dreaming the Moon

crescent moon over seaI am delighted and very excited to say that my first novel, Dreaming the Moon, will be coming out in paperback on 25th August 2014. The fantastic cover photograph was taken by the very talented Alex Smith (thank you so much) and formatted by the amazing web wizard, Simon West (again, thank you).

It’s a modern fantasy that follows Robyn, heartbroken and haunted by strange dreams, who discovers that this world is not the only one, but is separated from another magical realm by a protective shield that is failing. Thrown into a desperate situation, she and her friends are pitted against time and dark forces in a seemingly impossible task, the search for a lost fragment that will restore the shield and save both worlds.

If you like to look at life a little sideways, if you ask yourself sometimes ‘Was that only a bird rustling in the hedge or was it something else?’, or ‘Did I misplace my keys or is something otherworldly teasing me?’; If you’ve ever thought that the woods seem darker than they should when you’re walking alone at dusk, or wondered if it was just coincidence that you called your best friend at exactly the same time as he/she called you, then I hope that this will appeal to you. And if you’re not familiar with my work, may I (very cheekily) say that I have two ‘snack-size’ stories out as e-books: When Joe Met Alice and Catching Up With The Past, available from Magic Oxygen and Amazon, just in case you fancy an appetiser.

Izzy

Connor Cadellin McKee launches Children of the Crater

I am excited! On Monday 26th May, Children of the Crater, the first novel from the very Connor Cadellin Mckee
talented Connor Cadellin McKee is launched to the world. Lucky world! Having had the privilege of editing this book, I know first hand just how good it is – a dark dystopian fantasy which raises all sorts of questions and will leave you breathless. Here’s what Connor has to say about it

 

 

Children of the CraterFive years ago, my 16 year old self had a dream. One of those really vivid ones that makes you sit up in the night and scrabble for a pen and paper because it was so vivid.
Now, I used to write down an awful lot of these, but this one was special. My recollection was fragmented, but I had the important pieces. A man tumbling down into a crater ringed with riot police. Flying above the night sky, green flames writhing across my skin. A longhouse hidden deep in the jungle. It was fantastic; I wanted to meet these characters, learn their story.
I used to do sketches from the more vivid dreams, and I got to work pretty quickly on this one. I tried making it into a graphic novel originally, but the sheer level of drawing needed for that dissuaded me. It wasn’t until that summer that I had the idea of writing it down on a computer. It weaved and shifted as the years went by; I continually chopped it up, rearranged it, threw in new sections, and it began to materialize from a myriad of different scraps of paper and text documents on my old laptop.
And suddenly the release date is upon me! It feels almost unreal; I had never expected it to come this far. Children of the Crater as it is now called, is a book sitting on my shelf, with my name and the character I once sketched out on an airline napkin. It almost makes me wonder how many undiscovered worlds are out there, sitting in desk drawers.