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Friday, 31 March 2017

DailyFlash: In Deep Water

The water looked deep and inviting. She watched the stillness, her legs kicking in the mirror of the surface. She was a ghost floating above it. 
     From darkness, threads weaved up; a wicker basket of eels holding the lake bed hostage. As they moved, they tickled her reflection's toes, gaping open in concentric circles, forming a mouth that rose, swallowing water and devouring the sky and clouds and legs that had been lapping across the surface.
     She stood. The sturdy wooden pier rocked, now unsteady on its feet. Backing away from the edge, she watched the as arms of the whirlpool reached out, reached for all that it could pull within its grasp. 
     It sliced through a strut, lurching the pier forward until it because a licking tongue, or a length of spaghetti, whipped into its mouth. 
     She flew, momentarily. High above the sucking sound; she was its eye, staring down a cone of waterwall, only touching its edges as she reached the base of its gullet.

#TBR pile update

A quick update on my reading list. Longreave by Daniel Barnett is finished, review coming tomorrow. (Spoiler: it was excellent.) I'm currently digging into A Subtle Agency by Graeme Rodaughan, and I've added Perry Lake's Vampire Wars.

Longreave was a gem, and I hope to uncover more on my indie reading travels! Want to get your book added? Submit here.

Currently reading



Hunting Anton Slayne? 

Just get in line behind the Boston Police Department, Chinese Triads, the Shadowstone Organization, the Red Empire and the Vampire Dominion. 

Witness to a brutal murder, Anton is inducted into the Order of Thoth by the mysterious Mr Wu. He soon discovers that vicious local gangsters, determined Boston Police Detectives, and relentless Shadowstone operatives pale into insignificance as he is drawn into the machinations of the enigmatic vampire, General Chloe Armitage. 

When mastery over Anton’s soul is at stake, survival is the least of his problems.

Reading list


The Hunters by Demetrius Sherman


Killers are coming. Television hunters are stripped of their weapons by militant animal activists. Defenseless and in the middle of nowhere, the television crew find themselves in a heart-pounding chase.

A new addition to the great horror tradition of Steven King and Dean Koontz.






Hallow Mass by JP Mac

Party-loving grad student Mercy O'Connor must set down the mimosas and grab a spell book if she hopes to check the diabolical warlocks of Dunwich, Massachusetts. This tale of magic realism pits the unready, unsteady Mercy against powerful supernatural forces aiming to annihilate all earthly life.

A paranormal thriller inspired by the works of H.P. Lovecraft, the story finds Mercy in a race against time, forced to confront her own skepticism, scornful colleagues, and friends who believe the horrors of Dunwich are only quaint folktales. Aided by a country & western-loving Zulu security guard, Mercy must dig deep to discover the confidence, then the skill, and finally the courage to battle her terrifying foes on Halloween night, and stop our planet from being drug into another dimension.


Vampire Wars by Perry Lake

For thousands of years, ancient vampire lords ruled the Night. Their queen, the coldly beautiful, immortal, and all-powerful Lilith, ruled them distantly, ignoring their squabbles over territory and victims. Then came Vlad the Impaler, once history's most bloodthirsty fiend, now reanimated as an undead creature of the Night. Facing the vampire legions of the brutish Vardalekos, the loathsome Viy, the diabolical Jhiang-Shi, the monstrous Mmbyu, the cunning Erlik, and the seductive Nycea, Vlad Dracula seeks out allies, be they undead or lycanthropic or mortal.

You've read Bram Stoker's “Dracula”. Now see how Vlad the Impaler fought and struggled to become Dracula, the King-Vampire. A part of THE LEGEND OF DRACULA trilogy, this book is a collection of twenty short stories about the infamous Count and his undead legions as he strives for the ultimate goal—the throne of the supreme King of the Vampires!

Thursday, 30 March 2017

DailyFlash: Derelict

As kids, my brother and I used to play by the canal. Down from where the fairground now lights the sky, there once stood factories and warehouses; imposing brick-facades with black wrought-iron cranes left to rust. To get inside the open grounds, we used bits of wood to prise the barbed wire wide enough to squeeze through where an iron fence had fallen. From there, access to this one factory had been gnawed away at a boarded up window by something – we never knew what – and we could force our little bodies through it, into gloom. All summer we did this, bringing with us comics, playing cards, cups and bottles of Coke; pillows, that day's lunch and BB guns. We would climb the rotted rafters and perch ourselves on the top floor near the window; too high for anyone to see that we had removed the bottom couple of boards to allow in a little light. Too high for anyone to hear us scream when the creak of the floorboards turned to cracks and they snapped, cascading to the floor, along with my brother. Lying down there in the darkness and silence, he made his final breath. It was hours and dark before anyone walked by and heard my cries for help.


Wednesday, 29 March 2017

DailyFlash: An Unexpected Landing

As the module deployed its parachute, it became evident that it had missed its target. Towering blocks of concrete and glass and cross-hatched roads was not the quiet, undisturbed and discreet fields it had been aiming for. As the spire of the Empire State drifted past, cameras from high-rise gazers flashed, limbs waved, and heads leaned forward to watch it float closer to the busy traffic below. The occupant peered from a window, its nostules flaring with fear, its schunkers shaking. The four-limbed humanoids all stood in awe as the module landed, crushing a yellow taxi-cab. Slowly, the capsule door lifted up...

Tuesday, 28 March 2017

DailyFlash: Probe

From a parsec away, the wormhole had barely been visible on the long range scanners. Dropping out of warp, it revealed itself as a giant eye with an ever-changing iris. Captain Asimov noted the other fleet's ships popping into existence around this phenomenon on the viewscreen; she knew that whether from below, above, or opposite, the eye would look exactly the same. She could never get used to that no matter how much four-dimensional training she received. On her command console the 'Launch Probe' instruction flashed. "Alright," she said, "let's see what's on the other side." She launched the probe and transferred its camera to the viewscreen...

Click here for more of my Daily Flash Fiction

Monday, 27 March 2017

DailyFlash: Neon Dreams

Late night revellers queued outside a fish and chip shop, turning to each other, flashing smiles and laughing. Light from streetlamps shone brightly, while neon pinks and blues from shop-front signs reflected in the banks of windows running down the street. More revellers lined the curb at a taxi rank: they watched, half-drunk, some stooped, others leaning on brick walls, as cars which were not taxis filed by, headlights low. For some, the night was not yet over, and they hunkered in groups, smoking next to entrances or racing to the next bar, the next opportunity.


Friday, 24 March 2017

DailyFlash: A Demonic Birthday


The serpent uncoiled from the tree of life and hissed, pissed. 
     "What do you want?"
     "You don't even remember, do you?"
     "Yesss. Yesss. What do you want? A cake? To celebrate."
     "One thousand years ago, you made me a promise."
     The serpent stretched and twisted, slipping from the tree and sliding across the burnt earth, to legs like bark, planted and rooted and rotting. Your legs.
     Its tongue touched your cheek, tickling the grooves between the growths.
     "Finnne. I'll give you your freedom. Gooo. Ssselebrate."
     You try to blink. Try to move your neck. Look down to your legs. Look up. See the many branches reaching from your fingertips, the many leaves you have grown. They reach so far. So thick. So dark. 
     You feel the serpent wind up, its scaly skin passing before your eyes like a train that never ends; up into your boughs, and back: its head curling around your neck and its tongue in your ear.
     "Ssstuck?"

#Free #Kindle #Amazon Weekend for The Risen


The Risen is available for free download this weekend from Amazon, for Kindle and all good eReaders.

CLICK HERE

Don't forget to review!

Thursday, 23 March 2017

Reading list update - Longreave by Daniel Barnett #amreading #readinglist

To keep up to date with my full to-read list, view this page.

Currently reading



Some secrets aren't kept.
Some secrets keep you.

It’s dark inside Longreave with no electricity. But that doesn’t bother Mark Currier. And the way the faucets keep dripping . . . that doesn’t bother him either. Even if the water has been shut off. He’s got work to do around the hotel. A man has to take care of what’s his, otherwise he doesn’t deserve it. Look at his wife, Alice. He hadn’t taken care of her, and she'd left him. Now she’s living in his house with her off-kilter brother and trying to rebuild her life, and that definitely doesn’t bother him at all. Not a bit. He has his own rebuilding to do, starting with the crumbling wall in Longreave’s cellar.

If only it wasn’t so cold down there.

If only the boiler would just keep quiet.

Mark and Alice’s marriage might be dead, but they're about to discover some things won’t stay buried forever . . .

Reading list


Tuesday, 21 March 2017

David Mill's Stag-do: Canoeing, Gorge Walking & Archery



The adventures began last weekend at River Deep Mountain High in Coniston in the Lake District. A weekend of drinking, canoeing, gorge walking, drinking, archery, and more drinking.


Who will conquer?
Dave enjoying his 15th drink of the night, the night before the activities. Mistake?

Thursday, 16 March 2017

Flash Fiction turned into art for GRAPHITE Magazine

As Publishing Coordinator for 3dtotal Publishing, I'm fortunate to be involved in many of our amazing publications. We've recently begun a quarterly magazine for illustrators and artists called GRAPHITE; a magazine that showcases impressive artwork using traditional mediums. It's a great resource for inspiration, plus looks amazing on the coffee table.

Not only do I proofread this publication (we're about to send issue 4 to the printers) but I also contribute flash fiction for a narrative illustration section. These are fun to write, and it's really cool to see the artist's interpretation of my words. These have inspired me to challenge myself to write a piece of flash fiction every day. I've even set up an Instagram called dailyflashfiction to try and ride that hype train. While I'm getting graphics, and my headspace in the 'write' place, I thought I'd share the three that have been included so far, and the resultant artwork.

GRAPHITE 1



Comic artist and illustrator Jerel Dye created the below image.


GRAPHITE 2



Illustrator Rob Turpin created the artwork below. Otherwise known as thisnorthernboy on Instragram.


GRAPHITE 3



Illustrator and painter Daniel Landerman created his interpretation:



If the process behind these images interest you, you can always check out the issues here. Hopefully the dailyflashes will begin next week! (I have a bit of a stag do this weekend!)

Tuesday, 14 March 2017

Supporting fellow Indie novelists

I've recently been doing more and more articles for other sites (namely Cultured Vultures), as well as being more proactive on Goodreads and Twitter. I've also recently been able to cut down my reading list due to some car issues and becoming a bus wanker. The novelty soon wore off, but I did manage to finish 3 books.

Thus, I shall be reaching out to indie authors and self-publishers to offer to review their books. Reviews will be posted on Cultured Vultures, with shortened versions on Amazon and Goodreads, and linked through from here, posted on Twitter and Facebook.


If you'd like your book reviewed, drop me an email to aj.smith@writeme.com and let me know the details. PDF is the preferred format until I actually get a Kindle or proper eReader,