Friday 31 March 2023



Inheriting Her GhostsInheriting Her Ghosts by S.H. Cooper
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

I was in the mood for another gothic tale, and this one definitely fit the bill.

Eudora Fellowes is happy to live on her own in the city. The only companions she needs are her loyal wolfhounds, Cerberus and Black Shuck. But when she inherits her estranged great-aunt's seaside manor, High Hearth, she decides to move there. Unfortunately, the house is full of dark secrets...

Well, this novella is fantastic! It's a Victorian Gothic story that features everything you would expect from one, with its own unique twist. I mean, who doesn't want to read about a secluded manor by the sea, a mysterious locked door (love this so much I've used this trope in my own gothic stories), ghosts and secrets? I know I do.

Not only is the writing engrossing, the atmosphere creepy, the location perfectly suited to a gothic tale, but Eudora is an amazing character. Loved how she wanted to live her own life and didn't care what people said about her. And her wolfhounds are such an awesome addition to the story.

The sense of creeping dread is there as soon as she arrives at the seemingly abandoned, High Hearth. And although this is a slow burn horror, you definitely want to stick around for the revelations.

Asides from being a moody piece, I also really liked the characters. Mr. Bentley and his wife, Tillie, are absolutely charming. Morwen's story is both intriguing and sad.

I LOVED this!

Thursday 30 March 2023



The Fall of the House of UsherThe Fall of the House of Usher by Edgar Allan Poe
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

I've been meaning to read this story for ages, but have no idea why it kept escaping my attention. So, this afternoon I decided it was finally time to check it out.

After he receives a letter from his old friend, our unnamed narrator decides to visit the ill Roderick Usher. What he finds is a house that seems as sick as his friend. And when Roderick's sister, Madeline, dies everything gets so much worse...

I have to admit that at the beginning of this tale, I kept wondering when the super creepy horror would hit. But that was my mistake, because the dreadful gothic horror was there all along. Woven into the intricate observations of the location, the descriptions of the mansion, the strange behaviour of his sickly friend. Even in the wild weather.

This says a lot about how good a writer Poe really is, and how well he sets up the mood.

The events sneak up on you, and before you realise it, hit you right at the very end. Everything comes together as soon as you finish reading the last word.

I can already tell that this is one of those stories that I'll subconsciously carry with me and will keep coming back at the most unexpected and random times, because something new has unravelled inside my head.

WAIF by Samantha Kolesnik


WaifWaif by Samantha Kolesnik
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

Weird. Strange. Bizarre. These are all words I would use to describe this novella. Unique. Unexpected. Unpredictable. Are also words I would use for this unflinching and very disturbing tale about a battered woman who's had enough.

This story starts out normal enough: a trip to the grocery store to get away from an abusive partner. But soon turns into SO MUCH more when Angie starts obsessing over a stranger.

By the way, this is as much as I'm going to say about the plot because the less you know going in, the better your experience will be.

I really enjoyed this messed-up, surreal, and very graphic ride that took me to different levels of human depravity. But you know what, I enjoyed every minute of this hellish tale. Angie is a great narrator. Not the best person exactly, and definitely deals with situations in the oddest way, but her voice is addictive. And I couldn't stop reading until I got to the shocking—but very satisfying—end.

This book takes aim at the unfair and immoral way the patriarchy deals with women. Whether seen as beautiful, ugly or disposable, the patriarchy aims to control and destroy women. Angie's story is one of many, both real and fictional, that perfectly conveys all of this.

The real horror in this story is, unfortunately, very real.

View all my reviews

Wednesday 29 March 2023

IT DOESN'T GO AWAY by Wendy Dalrymple


It Doesn't Go AwayIt Doesn't Go Away by Wendy Dalrymple
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

Today's novella pick was another fantastic story! And I'm not surprised, because I loved Wendy's White Ibis.

'Barb' has decided to hike the Appalachian Trail by herself. This isn't her real name but she doesn't want anyone to know who she is, so this becomes her trail name. Something awful happened several months ago and she feels that this might be the best way to purge all the horrible memories and move on. But when she finds herself in one strange situation after another, she wonders if danger is the only thing that lurks in the darkness...

Wow. This is one tense psychological horror, with the sense of dread lurking around every corner. Sometimes it's hard to know if what she's seeing is actually happening, but that's what makes this story SO terrifying.

The main character has gone through a lot of trauma during her life, things she's decided to bury deep inside her mind. But trauma is one of the ghosts that haunts the hardest.

I loved how well the location played into Barb's descent into darkness. How the lush atmosphere and isolation dragged me into this incredible tale so fast that I read the whole thing in one sitting.

Yeah, this is a fantastic read. And super creepy because nothing is scarier than our own minds. Loved it! 🍄

View all my reviews

Tuesday 28 March 2023



The Growth Lives!: A Horror NovelThe Growth Lives!: A Horror Novel by Adam Hulse
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

After the explosive first novella, I've been looking forward to getting back into this apocalyptic world to find out how it ends.

Not only has the UK been ravaged by The Growth, but the gas the military used to try and kill it has turned people into mindless killing monsters. And that's before considering the despicable religious freaks targeting the few survivors...

Just like the first one, I enjoyed the hell out of this final installment! It starts shortly after the events of the The Growth. Tax is being held overseas by the military. Kevin believes he's found an answer to getting rid of the gross thing destroying their country. Emma is still, somehow, alive. And the disgusting Michael still has a god complex.

The story is once again told in the alternating POVs of a bunch of interesting (and callous) characters, as they take us on a fast-paced, violent journey to survival (and ruin). Everyone has their own agenda and as everything unfolds, I couldn't read fast enough. 😳

There are several revelations that totally shocked me. In a great way.

This turned out to be a really dark and excellent apocalyptic story. And as bad as things get, as horrible as the greedy people are, there's still a good dose of hope woven into this tale. Thanks to the brilliant characterisation of Tax, Emma and Kevin.

Man, I love those three!

Although I found the ending to be bittersweet, the conclusion to this harrowing—also, cautionary—tale is fantastic.

HEARTBURN by Damien Casey


HeartburnHeartburn by Damien Casey
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

Today, I was in the mood for a novella, and I'm really glad I picked this one because it's a blast!

Dana is unlucky in love, so she signs up to the Ten-in-Ten app. Ten blind dates in ten days. Sounds like a great opportunity to find someone. Or a recipe for disaster...

OMG. This story is SO MUCH FUN!!

It's a modern romcom packed with very familiar pop-culture references and real-life frustrations, all wrapped up in a lighthearted zany humorous package that kept me glued to the page.

On the surface, this novella might be all fun and games, with situations we all know very well, but there's also plenty of commentary about introspection. Among all the gatekeeping, mansplaining, everyday sexism, and sheer stupidity that people like to hide behind, there's also the very real responsibility we each have when it comes to being judgmental. No one's immune, and I loved how this is dealt with in one woman's quest to find romance.

Also, I have to comment on the dialogue because Damien sure has an awesome grasp on it. I laughed out loud SO many times. Especially during the wrestling chapters and the Mortal Kombat 2 'illegal' move. 🤣

This is a wonderful story.

Monday 27 March 2023

THE BLACK CABIN by Wayne Fenlon


The Black CabinThe Black Cabin by Wayne Fenlon
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

Well, I started reading this amazing book this afternoon and finished it this evening. Why? Because I couldn't stop reading. This is the kind of story that hooks the reader in right away. The more you read, the more you have to keep going. I only put the book down a few times, and I couldn't wait to get back to it.

This thriller/horror hybrid is told in the alternating POVs of Eric, a delusional man haunted by his tragic past. Evelyn, an overprotective mother obsessed with righting wrongs, at the expense of her daughter. Maddy, the daughter who is a loner and much smarter than anyone gives her credit for. Aiden, a kind and helpful man whose selfless nature gets him involved in harsh situations. And Jonny, a selfish and violent man who helps put everything in motion.

Every single one of these characters is strong and real in their own way. While most of these adults aren't entirely bad people, this story does a fantastic job at highlighting how the line between good and bad blurs as easily as the line between good intentions and downright destructive behaviour.

I also enjoyed how unpredictable it was. And how the pace keeps everything moving so well I was frantically turning the pages, excited to see what would happen next. Also, Wayne's writing style is unique, smooth and addictive.

I LOVE this book and have no doubt that many of the events that take place, as well as the characters, will flow back into my mind for a long time to come.

Friday 24 March 2023

March Revision Update!

Hey! How are you? Is everyone ready for the weekend? I know I am.

I spent all this week working on the final read-thru of Tuesday.

This is the novel I wrote during NanoWriMo 2022. It's a dark tale about a complicated family who live in a small Australian town that has as many secrets as the residents. It's told in two POVs, one set in the past the other set nowish. I originally planned to revise it last month but a lot of life changes happened and I pushed it back to March. 

Here's how I did this week:
  • Monday: 62/234pgs (85,816w)
  • Tuesday: 121/237pgs (85,795w)
  • Wednesday: 198/234pgs (85,354w)
  • Thursday: 235/235pgs (85,025w)
  • Friday: 235pgs / 85,050w

That means this novel is DONE! ☺️🎉

Yeah, this was actually the final read-thru. When I put the story on my Paperwhite and read it away from my laptop. It's amazing how many things I find with a simple change of screen.

Mostly, I ended up cutting quite a bit of excess. Things that over-explained or confused the narrative. I also added fragments throughout that helped move everything along, or strengthened relationships. In some cases, ruined them even further. 😬

Spending three weeks fine-tuning this tale of woe and mystery was a lot of work, but it's always rewarding when I get to the other side. I also formatted the Doc and backed everything up.

Tuesday (without considering trunk stories) happens to be the last revision I have left to tackle. That means I get to play around with new ideas and dream about other stories and characters. And I find that very exciting.

AND READ! I've neglected my reading so much I'm like FIVE books behind on my Goodreads Challenge. 😫

But first, I need a break. So, bring on the weekend.

Have a good one! ☺️


Thursday 16 March 2023

The Revision Continues...


Hey! How are you today? 😊

Well, this week I got stuck into the third draft of the novel I'm currently revising and not only did I reach the end tonight, but I also had enough time to take care of the changes/additions list. Yes, there's always a list leftover. It wasn't a long one this time, but I took care of everything.

That means I get tomorrow off. Yay.

Anyway, this is how this week's numbers looked: 
  • Monday: 85/237pgs (87,948w)
  • Tuesday: 146/237pgs (87,573w)
  • Wednesday: 218/237pgs (87,050w)
  • Thursday: 236pgs / 86,158w 

Very excited that the third draft is done! Yay. 😁

As you can see above, I ended up cutting quite a few words. All excess that didn't need to be there, or could be condensed in some way. I also ended up chopping the last four pages of one chapter because it didn't add anything to the story. Actually, I think it confused things.

Sometimes, you just gotta make sure the character doesn't go off on a tangent that doesn't fit.

I'm happy with how it's turned out and added it to my Paperwhite so I can read it one last time. What I love about the last stage/proofread, is how reading the story away from the laptop makes other things stand out. One thing that always catches my attention on the Paperwhite is word repetition.

But that's something to tackle on Monday. I'm going to take three days away from the story. Looking forward to the weekend, but that's still a whole day away.

Have a great day!

Friday 10 March 2023

It's Revision Time!


Hey! How are you today? Great, I hope.

The last few weeks have been a bit strange. Draining and sad. Asides from losing Loki and getting used to hubby's new working hours, we got our next Pfizer booster on Friday. So we were feeling pretty crappy last weekend. That Covid shot sure makes you feel like shit, but it's worth it. And the effects wore off by Monday. Phew.

Well, it's been a while but this week I got stuck into a bit of revision. That's right, after finishing my outstanding Revision Projects last year, I promised myself that I would stay on top of my drafts from now on. There's no point in piling them up for years. It's much better to stay on top of things.

So, this is me getting stuck into the first draft of last year's NaNoWriMo story. I still like to put distance between myself and the first draft, one or two months is good, but I don't want to put them aside like I used to. It gets out of hand too easily.

So, here's  my progress:

  • Monday: 83/235pgs (87,603w)
  • Tuesday: 154/235pgs (87,601w)
  • Wednesday: 235/235pgs (87,568w)
  • Thursday: 235pgs / 87,845w

The second draft is now done! Yay. ☺️

I'm very happy with how this story turned out. This draft involved cutting away excess, and adding necessary details I missed during that first-draft writing frenzy. It wasn't too messy, so I'm looking forward to tackling the next two drafts.

The plan is to have this novel finalised by the end of March. I really like these characters and the story gets quite dark and goes places I didn't think it would. The relationships in this story are as messed up as the horror side of things. I also feel like there's definitely a true-crime influence in this one, which solidifies the narrative.

It feels good to have started the process. I'll put it aside until Monday, but I'm sure I'll be adding notes to tackle during the third draft. LOL.

I enjoyed the revision, but I missed my writing buddy. Loki used to sit next to my desk whenever I was working, and I really felt his absence. 😔

Have a nice weekend!

Wednesday 8 March 2023

Saying Goodbye to Loki

2007 - 2023

I've been meaning to write this post for almost a week now, but couldn't bring myself to do it because it was too sad and very painful.

Last Monday we lost our beloved cat, Loki. 😥💔

Calling Loki a cat doesn't seem right. He was my writing buddy, our companion, a little comedian, our familiar, and a sassy boy with a huge attitude. He was the king of the castle. He knew what he wanted and because he was so cute, adorable and loud, he always got his way.

He turned 16 last month, but shortly after that he started changing. Loki was always an active kitty who loved to run around and jumped onto most surfaces. Even after he became a senior cat, he had a lot of energy. But he lost that spark recently, and when he started withdrawing, we got worried because he loved following us around. Especially me.

After he stopped eating, that was when we knew there was a serious problem. Eating was his favourite thing to do, so ignoring his food was not normal.

This was all very strange because he had blood tests in late December that confirmed nothing was out of the ordinary. 

Either way, we made an appointment with his usual vet. Who cancelled an hour before we were meant to go because their main vet was on holidays and the one covering wasn't sure she was up for the challenge. 🤬

It was frustrating, and we scrambled to get him an appointment at another nearby vet hospital. Fast forward to last Monday, and we got the bad news. There were too many problems. Age had finally caught up with him and there was nothing left to do but to put him out of his pain.

It was hard to let him go because even though we suspected things were dire, when the reality hit it was unbearable. But there was no other way. He was wasting away before our eyes. We were not going to let him suffer for the sake of keeping him around.

I'm glad I held him until the very end. Saying Goodbye to our sweet boy was horrible and there were many tears. There still are. Not having him in the apartment has created a strange void. We miss the everyday routines we had with him, and it's strange—and feels so wrong—to not have him around.

Even writing feels weird without him. He always sat nearby while I was on my laptop and reminded me when it was time for a break. I'm a little lost without his presence.

The apartment sure is empty without him. But we have to get used to this. I hate it and wish he was still here, but the wooden box of ashes is all that remains of our precious kitty. 

I'm glad we've got so many happy memories of him. As well as hundreds of photos taken during his long and happy life. We loved our little guy.

I miss you every single day, Loki. And will never forget you. xxx

Monday 6 March 2023

Cover Reveal!


In case you missed it, the awesome cover for my upcoming DarkLit Press horror novella was revealed at Uncomfortably Dark over the weekend.


Isn't this work of art wickedly dark? 

This beautiful cover was made by Truborn Design and Kristina totally nailed the eerie atmosphere of my story.

Here's the synopsis:

Kae Roscoe's daughter went missing in the woods sixteen months ago but when she returns, she's not the same person. She hardly speaks, doesn't eat, responds with extreme violence, and things get worse when she's released from the hospital. There's definitely something very different about Molly, and her reappearance is making strange things happen to everyone around her.

Did you read the amazing blurbs listed at Uncomfortably Dark from a bunch of awesome authors? I was very lucky to get such wonderful blurbs from authors I admire.

I'm SO excited and can't wait until this book is out in the wild!

Friday 3 March 2023

THE GROWTH by Adam Hulse


The GrowthThe Growth by Adam Hulse
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

Well, that was a fast-paced blast of a story! It's packed full of action. I couldn't put it down until I reached The End. 😳

While clearing out a fatberg from the sewers, the cleaning team discover something monstrous lurking beneath the city. Dubbed The Growth by the media, it doesn't take long for this blob to take over the entire country. And for humanity to collapse...

Yikes! Like I said above, I enjoyed the hell out of this story. I enjoyed the introduction of different characters that eventually lead into the very serious problem plaguing the UK, before settling into the POV of three outstanding characters.

Emma is a fighter searching for the woman she loves. Tax is a tough man who finds himself alone and without purpose. Kevin is convinced he's a coward, but is determined to try and make a scientific difference against this monster. I liked these three so much!

One thing that never fails to be true is that during an apocalyptic event, the monster/s isn't going to be the only threat. And I liked how well this is portrayed in this novella. The violent, perverted, and religious freaks are littered throughout the landscape and pose a terrifying threat.

I think this is an excellent apocalyptic story that introduces the reader to an alternate, and totally awful, version of our world. Yet, the most horrifying thing is how easy it would be for us to find ourselves in a similar situation. I mean, we're constantly polluting our waterways and sewers.

Also, the ending left me wondering about several things... Can't wait to read the second one! 💀



Alone With MyselfAlone With Myself by Kev Harrison
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

This story captivated me from the first line. And I couldn't put it down until I reached the end.

Graham is a lighthouse keeper who's just lost his wife and scattered her ashes into the sea. When a storm hits the next night, he rescues the sole survivor and finds himself in a very strange situation...

I loved the atmosphere throughout the entirety of this short story. And the location is so vivid I felt like I was there, at the lighthouse. It's not long, but the emotional impact is huge. Witnessing what Graham goes through after the loss of his beloved wife, as his memories slip away, is both sad and beautiful. This is a mournful, heartbreaking tale that leaves a lasting imprint of grief behind so strong you can taste the ocean air.


Thursday 2 March 2023

DEAD EYES by E.V. Knight


Dead EyesDead Eyes by Ev Knight
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

This is another E.V. Knight story that didn't disappoint!

Lisa Thompson is obsessed with the murders that happened twenty years ago in the house across the street. Actually, she's writing an article that she hopes helps secure a college scholarship. When a new girl and her mother move in, Lisa knows this is her chance to investigate. But things aren't always as they seem, and there are eyes everywhere...

Wow. This novella packs quite a punch, and totally hooked me in from beginning to end. Seriously, I read it in one sitting.

The 80s are captured so perfectly, this story could've been written in the 80s!

The slasher vibes are awesome. The family mystery intriguing. The characters are all fleshed out and feel/sound real. The teenage situations are perfect echoes of countless 80s movies. And the shocking ending really ties everything together, in the creepiest way possible.

Yeah, I enjoyed the hell out of this novella!

Wednesday 1 March 2023



This is Where We Talk Things OutThis is Where We Talk Things Out by Caitlin Marceau
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

I've been meaning to check this out for a while now, so I picked it up last night and read it in one sitting.

Since Miller's father died, she's kept her distance from her controlling mother. She has a nice life and is about to marry her girlfriend. But when her mother, Sylvie, starts stalking her online, she agrees to go away for a weekend to mend their relationship. And unfortunately, no good deed goes unpunished...

Wow. This story is heavy. Not only in the deep psychological stakes that keep mounting with every chapter, but also because the sheer horror of the situation Miller finds herself in is one that some of us have unfortunately experienced to some extent. 😳

There's a lot about this very-well written novella that gets under your skin. Sylvie is a master class in gaslighting and made my blood boil. What she puts her daughter through is infuriating. Grrrr. As for Miller, I felt so bad for her. All she wanted to do was give her mother one last chance, and instead ends up starring in her own horror show!

I really enjoyed this creepy little tale of familial horrors, and the ending is fucking chilling. SO DAMN CREEPY.

Anyway, you should definitely check out this screwed-up tale full of guilt trips and emotional manipulation.
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