Huzzah! A new year, a new website, and new beginnings. Including a brand new book, called The Thief of Christmas…or at least that’s what it’s called for now. I’ve always loved chilling winter tales filled with ghosts and all manner of scary things. They make perfect reads on long dark nights.
There are no ghosts in my book, but there are plenty of other scary things… including a certain nightmarish lord of misrule who brandishes birch sticks and throws children into sacks. Or at least those who have behaved badly, and there are possibly no worse children than Gabrielle Greene. Or so it may seem…
I also finished The Shadow Collectors, a tale of Gothic dread and creeping horror set in Victorian London. The book was finished in the autumn, and after a few final touches it will be ready to go out into the world. The Shadow Collectors features two of the characters from my short stories, namely Professor Thistlequick and Jake Shillingsworth. If you’d like a glimpse into their strange and creepy worlds, you can read more about The Ghosts of The Tattered Crow, and The Demon of Gloamingspark Yard on the books page, or by clicking those links.
Beware, the Pumpkin Men are coming…
I have further news following yesterday’s post. Today I’m excited to announce that I’ve just released a new short story. A lost tale from The Book of Kindly Deaths, called One Dark Hallow’s Eve and it’s available on Amazon now.
Do you love spooky Halloween stories? Then this twisted tale is for you. One Dark Hallow’s Eve is a complete story in and of itself, and gives readers a glimpse into the world of The Book of Kindly Deaths. I hope you will check it out.
The front cover was made by the wonderfully talented Lisa Amowitz who created the cover for The Book of Kindly Deaths.
Here’s the synopsis from the back cover so you can discover more. Should you dare…
Beware! It’s Halloween and the Pumpkin Men are coming…
Fourteen year old Owen is not having a good day, it’s All Hallow’s Eve and things are not as they should be. Something is lurking in the lake by his house, dead leaves are falling and the brambles are twitching.
Nothing is right.
When Owen meets a strange old man hiding in an abandoned farm, things go horribly wrong. Soon Owen catches his first glimpse of a real-life monster, one that raises a terrifying horde of nightmarish creatures to descend upon the village.
As the villagers hide in their hall, there’s only one place left for Owen to go; across the lake. The very same lake where a horrifying legend is said to stir deep below the waters…
Can Owen cast aside his terror and save the village as the clock ticks towards midnight?
One Dark Hallow’s Eve is a lost tale from Eldritch Black’s The Book of Kindly Deaths. Read it now for an adventure in a dark fantasy world, with more than a touch of Halloween horror.
But wait – there’s more!
To celebrate this month of unquiet pumpkins, terrible tricks and tantalizing treats, I’m holding a GIVEAWAY for The Book of Kindly Deaths on Goodreads.
For a chance to WIN your very own copy, simply go here.
Good luck and Happy Halloween!
The following excerpt came from a weathered old tome I found on the shelf of a tiny bookshop in Edinburgh. Both the bookshop and the street where it resided have long since vanished, and all attempts to find either have proven fruitless. Thankfully, I was so puzzled by the following passage that I made note of it. You may question, as I had, if the following is fiction or a prank, but the odd…qualities of the original manuscript convinced me of its truths. The book itself held declarations of another realm; a place called the Grimwytch. A land where a monstrous people seek to protect themselves from humans on Halloween night. Or Narroweve as they call it.
On protection from humans on Narroweve
It is a singularly strange fact that human beings, or Drearspawn as most of us more accurately call them, are absolutely terrified of Narroweve. On this night, which they call Halloween, they wear costumes that make a mockery of us denizens of the Grimwytch. Ironically, the purpose of this is a wretched attempt to fend off the very same spirits we too seek to be free of on this night.
But alas, human beings tend to wander like lost sheep on Narroweve and from time to time they slip through the veil into the Grimwytch. And from there cause all manner of havoc, disturb the peace with their perpetual screams and gibbers, and even go as far as to attack our citizens. So here, for your consideration, are five ways to repel humans.
Distilled Essence of Fear
Pure Essence of Fear is both difficult and expensive to acquire. Fortunately there are merchants, particularly in the market on the Vashhaal wharf, who can procure such things. So if your funds are plentiful, Essence of Fear will make a most effective remedy to repel humans. Simply spray it into their ears, allow it to spread and creep, and their fevered minds will take care of the rest.
While Lumpathumps are difficult to find on account of being invisible, you should be able to lure them using fried rat tails or copper pennies. Lumpathumps make perfect deterrents and are especially effective in warding off young humans. This is due to their propensity for hiding beneath beds, as well as the fearsome noises they make when threatened by a din of snoring.
Oddly, spiders are a very common fear for Drearspawn. Why these friendly and articulate pets bother human beings is certainly beyond this writer’s comprehension. And whilst I’d never condone frightening a spider with a human, needs must as the drivel drives.
As there are spiders, so there are flies. And the almost indescribable stench of a Cheesedung fly, especially one gathered at dusk, is enough to deter even the angriest of Hoardspikes let alone a Drearspawn. Needless to say coating oneself in a scent so vile should be a last measure as the wearer can expect to carry this most noxious scent for the rest of their life. Or lives.
While it should be noted this author has little regard for Drearspawn, I do not mean them harm. I only wish they’d leave us in peace and that our citizens would stop opening the portals between our worlds. But if a human is armed and intent on causing mischief, then let the Hackthins at them. And whatever’s left will almost certainly make a most pleasant purse or scarf.
So now you have five means to repel humans. Although removal and disposal of them is another problem entirely. See chapter five for more on this troublesome topic.
After noting this intriguing passage, I discovered a so-called novel by a writer called Eldritch Black titled ‘The Book of Kindly Deaths’. This rather strange author has portrayed the Grimwytch as fiction in his book of very curious stories, but it’s quite clear to me that the monsters he chose to write about are terrifyingly real.
You can win a copy of The Book of Kindly Deaths on Goodreads from now until November 9th 2015, and read a lost tale from the book here.
As you can probably imagine, Halloween marks my busiest season. October is the month I traditionally rise, sweep the last of the sun from my lair and prepare to unleash my dark fantastical tales on the world. I write a lot over the summer, forced as I am to retreat to a heavily curtained room with the sound of rain playing to ease my sun-addled mind.
This year has been a busy one. I’ve finished a novel, have nearly completed another short Steampunkesque novel, and am starting a new book in the next few weeks. In between I’ve revamped several of my book covers and I’ve also written two short stories. Both tales are based around The Book of Kindly Deaths. One has been shelved because it felt like it deserved to be a full length book, the other, One Dark Hallow’s Eve, is coming very, very soon.
Here’s my short story cover makeovers:
There will also be another new cover coming over the next few days. This one for that darkest of lost tales from The Book of Kindly Deaths, One Dark Hallow’s Eve. So ask your spidery familiars to return to this site next week to discover more, or wait for a tap-tap-tap on the window…