Friday 29 September 2023

Beast of Burden...

Hey, how are you today? Well, September is coming to an end. Are you all looking forward to Halloween month? Yeah, me too. 

Today I have some news to share. My latest novella was released last weekend! ☺️🎉 

This one is a bit of horror, a little urban fantasy, and a lot of hellish chaos.

Two sisters. A demonic battle. Only one can win.

Elis and Willa are sisters, but they're definitely not friends. Elis was forced to imprison Willa because she's hellbent on destruction, but her imprisonment was never going to last forever.

Now, Elis has no other choice but to use the dark power she resents. With the help of the person who matters the most to her, she'll have to raise some hell in order to end the demonic chaos before it begins...

Read an excerpt HERE.

And you can pick up a paperback copy from Amazon.

Wednesday 27 September 2023

This Novella is Done!

Hey, how are you today? What's new with you?

This week, I've been busy working on the final read-thru of my current revision project. That's when I sit down with my Paperwhite and read the story from start to finish. It's also when any weird sentences or  repetition really stands out. I get very focused on the nitty-gritty details and usually end up mentally exhausted by the end of the day. But it's SO worth it.

I ended up cutting quite a bit, then adding some back. There were a few things that needed to be tightened and had to match the previous story. But it's finished now! I wanted to get this draft done by the end of September and I did it. Yay. 😃

The final word count is: 30,037.

I'm immensely proud of how this little dark tale turned out because when the idea initially came to me, during one of my afternoon walks, I pushed it away. Didn't want to waste time writing it. To be honest, I didn't think it was going to work. Yet, the characters wouldn't shut up and pieces of dialogue kept appearing out of nowhere. That's not even considering how vivid the imagery was... 

Anyway, I'm glad I gave in. And now it's finished before the long weekend.

I'm looking forward to spending three days with my husband. It's also daylight savings time. I can't wait for the longer days. It's really starting to feel like spring around here. When it doesn't feel like summer. Yeah, we had a few really hot days last week.

Well, that's it for now. I think it's time to enjoy the fact that another writing project is wrapped up. Instead of sitting on my hard drive for years. 😅

Have a nice day!

Friday 22 September 2023

Checking In!

Well, I thought it was time to post something new on here.

I never intended to stay away this long. My initial plan was to post a newsletter/update weekly, but then I got stuck into revision and signed a new novella contract, and before I knew it… time slipped away.

As I said above, I’ve been busy revising, which takes a lot of time. I spent most of August working on a 45k novella I wrote back in June. It was one that helped me cope with the sudden loss of our beloved cat earlier this year.

Loki was with us for 16 years and spent most of his life by my side. He was my writing buddy, and was always nearby. He pretty much personified our apartment, so losing him left a huge hole in my creative process. This story helped me deal with all the sadness and sense of loss I struggled with for several months after his passing. I mean, I still miss him terribly and get really sad when I least expect it, but writing always helps me deal with things.

After finishing the story, I realised how strange it is that a simple spark about grief turned into a novella about a woman who ends up finding self-acceptance and inner strength after a devastating loss.

In between this revision, I also edited a novella called, BEAST OF BURDEN, which will actually be published by Alien Buddha Press this weekend. This is the dark tale of two sisters who don’t get along, how necromancy destroyed their lives, and the inevitable chaos they unleash.

I’m very excited, and can’t wait for Elis and Willa to be out there in the world!

As for this month… I’m working on yet another revision. This time on the 30k-horror novella I wrote on a whim. An idea that wouldn’t leave me alone even though I wasn’t sure it should be written at all. I’m happy I did, though, because I really like how it’s shaping up. I hope to have it finished by the end of September.

So, while we’re talking about writing, this week I found out that SUFFER THE DARKNESS has hit 205 ratings on Goodreads, and 86 on Amazon. Wow! I still can’t believe it! It’s SO exciting to see that people are actually reading my story. And I’m very grateful to all the readers giving it a go.

The only other thing I want to add is that I’m going to go back to more regular posting. I haven’t decided on whether it’s going to be weekly or fortnightly yet, but I’m determined to make this newsletter a lot more regular.

Thanks for reading!

Thursday 21 September 2023

THE FOLLY by Gemma Armor


The FollyThe Folly by Gemma Amor
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

I was lucky enough to get an eARC copy of this novella and couldn't wait to get stuck into it.

After being convicted for the murder of his wife, Morgan's father spent six years in jail. Now that he's been released, she's determined to help him get back into the swing of life outside of prison. It starts with selling their tainted house and heading to the coast to stay in The Folly. A place in a lovely but harsh setting that hopefully helps heal past wounds. But strange things happen almost instantly, and Morgan has to face a reality she's been trying very hard to avoid...

Wow. What an intriguing novella!

I was hooked on this story straight away. Morgan's tragic situation dragged me in as quickly as the strength of her voice. It doesn't take long to realise that although she shares so much, she's obviously holding back certain details. And I couldn't stop reading.

When the weird and super creepy stuff hit, I was riveted. Totally hooked on the events that turned everything upside down. Suddenly, nothing seemed normal anymore, or remotely okay, and I shared Morgan's confusion and suspicion.

This is the kind of tale that grips the reader so tightly, it refuses to let go. I wanted to speed through, to get to the nitty-gritty of the mystery at the heart of everything. At the same time, I wanted to take my time because I didn't want it to end.

I think the pacing is as perfect as the ominous shadow that seems to follow Morgan and Owen. No matter what's happening, the dread is always there, dripping from every page.

Another beautiful thing about this novella is the location. This coastal structure Morgan and her father are staying in seems to have a life of its own, is as cruel as the ocean always ready to steal away careless souls. Not to mention how well the pandemic fits in with everything that's going on.

The Folly is an amazing story that delves deep into the effects of close familial ties after a horrifying tragedy. It's about how the past is never really gone, and shows that secrets have a way of festering. Until one day, everyone has to face their greatest fears.

I really loved everything about this tale, and the ending was unexpected. In the best way possible.

Wednesday 20 September 2023

Still Revising...


How are you today?

Well, it's spring in Australia, but you wouldn't know it because we've been having summer temps since the weekend! 😳

Whenever I hear someone trying to argue that climate change isn't a thing, I get so pissed off because the evidence is there every single fucking day.

Anyway, enough about what annoys me. That list keeps getting longer and longer.

This week I got stuck into the third draff of the novella I'm currently revising, and it's going very well.

After I finished the second draft last week, I started a pretty long and extensive list of changes and additions that I made before I even sat down to tackle the next draff. I wasn't surprised, though. This kind of thing always happens during my revision process. The deeper I get into the story, the more I analyse every detail. Not to mention how my subconscious works in the background and always decides to deliver these gems while I'm out for my daily walk.

I've mentioned this before, but going on long walks around the local river always fills me with inspiration. It's when I work through the kinks, or develop new ideas.

Actually, both of the unexpected novellas I wrote this year were a result of letting my imagination run wild while enjoying a lovely walk. 😊

During this stage I ended up cutting quite a bit. I also added new bits and pieces too, but the word count went down again.

New word count is: 30,483.

I'm really happy with the overall progress of this project. I'm also excited about this story being only one more step away from completion. Not bad for a story I didn't think would work, and I fought all the way. Even while writing it. 😁

Well, the novella is now sitting on my Paperwhite ready for one last read-thru. I always enjoy this final step because this is when everything looks different and anything that doesn't make sense stands out. But that's a task for next Monday because I'm going to take a mental break for the rest of the week.

Asides from the revision, we also started some spring cleaning. Spent most of the weekend going through our built-in wardrobe. Ended up throwing a few things away, donating a bunch more, and even had to walk to IKEA on Saturday night to pick up a few things.

Well, that's it for today.

Have an awesome week!

Friday 15 September 2023



Pre-Approved for Haunting: And Other StoriesPre-Approved for Haunting: And Other Stories by Patrick Barb
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

I'd like to thank the publisher for sending me an eARC of this short story collection.

The first thing I want to mention is the cover, which seems very simple at first glance, but perfectly sets the tone for the eighteen dark stories within.

PRE-APPROVED FOR HAUNTING AND OTHER STORIES is packed full of strange and weird tales featuring a cast of very different characters who lead their own personal haunted lives. No story is the same in theme or even format. But they're all an interesting variation of horror in its many forms, and each one stands out for its own eerie reason/s.

As is typical with collated tales, some grabbed me more than others. My personal favourites are: Lost Boy Found in His Bear Suit because of its subtle but strong horror, A Portrait of the Artist as an Angry God (in Landscape) because it's a fever dream of art and obsession, Rose from the Ashes because it's an intriguing revenge fantasy, Iggy Crane and the Headless Horse Girl because it's fascinating, and The Giallo Kid in the Cataclysm’s Campgrounds because it's slasher with a difference.

Another thing I really like are the actual story titles. There are some very clever and creative titles in this bunch.

Overall, I really enjoyed this collection.

Thursday 14 September 2023

PARASOCIAL by Wendy Dalrymple


ParasocialParasocial by Wendy Dalrymple
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

Firstly, I want to thank the author for sending me an ARC of this very freaky book.

Casey is nineteen and barely pays attention to the people in her real life. She likes animals and works in a pet store, but her obsession is social media. She's especially into StreamVid and idolises Della. When Della gets sick, Casey decides to set up a fund for medical expenses, but her helpful nature leads to an unexpected nightmare...

Wow. 😳

This novella is one hell of a ride! As soon as I started reading Casey's story, I was hooked and didn't stop until I finished. That's right, I read it in one sitting.

There's nothing better than a cautionary horror tale wrapped in a seriously messed-up social commentary package. And this one packs quite a punch.

I really liked Casey, and often sympathised with her helpful nature. While also cringing because the way she gets swept up in someone she doesn't really know is a situation that is often seen online. For every authentic person, there are a hundred with nefarious intentions. And this story takes that reality and spins it upside down, turns it into a super creepy story with a touch of body horror and plenty of gross imagery.

Like I said, this is highly addictive and relentless, kept me on the edge of my seat until the very last word.

Well, this is another Wendy Dalrymple gem! I seriously love Wendy's addictive writing style, and can't get enough.

View all my reviews

Wednesday 13 September 2023

I'm back in Revision Town!

Hey! How's it going?

It's me again.

I took a week off to rest my brain after spending most of August revising a 45k novella, but now I'm getting stuck into another lot of revision.

Yeah, I can't stay away.

This time I'm working on this story. The one that came to me out of nowhere and I was convinced it wouldn't turn into anything. Then it became a 30k novella. 😬

I wasn't sure if I was going to enjoy re-reading this tale of woe. Even thought I might end up scrapping it after all. But nope, once I got started I couldn't stop reading. It only took me two long evening sessions to revise. I cut quite a few words, moved a bunch of stuff around, and even added new words. Deepened the description and emotion, intensified the horrifying stuff.

It's now 31k, which is pretty cool for a story I didn't think would go anywhere. LOL.

Anyway, this is another horror novella. One that revisits old territory from a very different perspective. It's bleak and dark, takes the main characters on a pretty shitty journey that—of course—doesn't end well. But I knew this going in.

Funny thing is that while I was out walking this afternoon, my wicked writer brain decided that the ending I have right now needs to be changed. And even presented me with the new, darker ending. Ultimately it leads to the same place, but in a much faster-paced and more screwed-up way. I like it.

So, now I've got a bunch of notes to tackle during the third draft! 😳

That means I'll be taking the rest of the week off, and will get stuck into the third draft next week. The final read-thru the week after. Yeah, the plan is to have it finished/finalised by the end of September. That way, I can take October off to concentrate on reading creepy books while figuring out what novel I'm going to write during this year's NaNoWriMo.

Well, I've got a few crafty things I want to do during what's left of this week. And plenty of stationery/toy organising. 

Until then, have a great day!

FUNNYBONES by Allan Ahlberg & Tim Burton's the Nightmare Before Christmas Colouring book


FunnybonesFunnybones by Allan Ahlberg
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

This is a kid's book my husband showed me because he thought I might like it. Of course I was interested. Not only does it feature skeletons, which I love, but the cover glows in the dark!

And I really enjoyed it.

The skeleton family consists of an adult, a kid, and a dog. They live in a basement and decide to go for a walk one night. It's really all harmless fun that does have a bit of a creepy edge. I mean, they're skeletons. 😅

It's a lot of fun and it's going on my keeper shelf.

- - -

Tim Burton's the Nightmare Before Christmas: Adult Colouring Book (Disney)Tim Burton's the Nightmare Before Christmas: Adult Colouring Book by unknown author
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

Yeah, you better believe I'm going to review this lovely colouring book. 😁

The Nightmare Before Christmas is one of my favourite movies. It's also one of my favourite things to collect. I love anything featuring Jack and Sally. And that explains why my husband picked this up for me!

Seriously, though. The illustrations are very pretty. So pretty I don't think I'll be able to do any actual colouring in. 😅

Saturday 9 September 2023

HIDE by Kiersten White


HideHide by Kiersten White
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

This is the next book hubby chose for me, and it's another good one!

Fourteen seemingly very different people are selected to play a game in an abandoned amusement park. They have to survive a week of hiding. The last one standing gets $50,000. Except, the odds are stacked against them because there's something they didn't expect...

I REALLY enjoyed this book! I was hooked from the very beginning and couldn't wait to find out how everything was going to end. And when I eventually got there, after the heart-pounding race to the conclusion, I was very pleased.

Definitely made all the sacrifice, the lies and gore worth it. The roller-coaster might be out of commission at Amazement Park, but this story is one hell of a thrill ride.

The story starts with Mack, a woman who survived a very traumatic ordeal and carries the guilt with her. Getting a place in this game is her way out of the miserable existence she's found herself in. But she's not the only character. And we catch a glimpse of a LOT of other POVs, which adds to the tension.

Other than Mack, who I really liked, Ava was great. And so was Brandon and LeGrand. A group of selfless individuals who didn't know what they needed was the camaraderie they discover.

I also liked the very interesting reveal about what's really happening and why.

Not only is this a very entertaining horror survival story about a group of damaged people who find a common goal, but it's also a very clever commentary of the injustices in this world.

Had a great time with this book!

Wednesday 6 September 2023



You're Not Supposed to Die TonightYou're Not Supposed to Die Tonight by Kalynn Bayron
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

Yesterday, I was looking for a book to read, but because I have SO MANY on my TBR pile and want to read all of them at the same time, I got my husband to pick one for me.

And he picked this one! ☺️

During the summer, Charity is the 'final girl' in a horror camp simulation game in the middle of nowhere. Here, she works with a group of fellow teenagers who welcome groups of people who want to have the experience of 'surviving' a slasher. In the same location where one was actually filmed in the early 80s. But this year, the staff are leaving without notice, there are strange sounds coming from the lake, and it's obvious something weird is going on...

Wow. What a great slasher! I love that it fits so well within the subgenre expectations, yet still provides a unique twist. And that ending! 😳

The story is narrated by Charity, who is a final girl to the core. She takes her job seriously, her responsibilities are the most important thing, and she's a caring, concerned friend who wants to keep everyone safe. Unfortunately, this is a slasher and we all know how hard it is to stay out of danger. Let alone, survive the night.

Still, I really liked her voice and determination. No matter what, she wanted to keep pushing through all the obstacles in her way. And trust me when I say, there were many.

I REALLY enjoyed this book and look forward to reading more stories written by this author. I like her writing style. The narrative and bleak situations were as well-written as the gore. And I was on the edge of my seat all the way through.

Awesome fun! 🔪

View all my reviews

Friday 1 September 2023

The Revision is Done!

Hey! How are you today?

Well, it's Friday. The 1st of September. The first day of spring. And the coldest day we've had for a while.

I went for a nice and long walk earlier and the wind chilled me to the bone. 🥶

Anyway, enough about the weather.

This turned out to be another busy week for me. The final read-thru usually is. It's when I sit down with my Paperwhite and read the story from start to finish. Doing this always highlights repetition, sentences that are too long, or awkward wording. Things that don't add anything to the overall story. It's when I end up cutting a lot of words and replacing even more.

I don't know why it happens, but every story has a handful of particular words that somehow appear a hundred times. LOL. This time it was: focus, accept and heart. I had to make sure there wasn't too many of them. The great thing about weeding out repetition words is that when I replace them, the new word choice ends up strengthening the sentence. Or encourages me to rewrite it completely.

Like I said, it's the nitty-gritty stage that sharpens the dialogue and narrative. The draft that enforces the emotional depth and develops the character connections even more. With this particular novella, I also had to re-read the sexy scenes a few times because they add a new layer to what's going on. 

I actually finished finalising everything late last night and ended up cutting roughly one thousand words. But a tiny addition that makes a big impact came to me during the day. So I added the few sentences this afternoon, and now it's really done.

The final word count is: 46,580.

I'm very happy with this novella.

It's a story that started as a way for me to deal with the unexpected loss of our beloved Loki. Losing him earlier this year hit us hard, and I didn't deal with it very well. He was my writing buddy, spent all day with me while I created stories. In many ways, he kept me in check. Without him around I tend to take less breaks, and sometimes even forget to eat. I miss him a lot and writing this novella helped me deal with how much his absence has affected me.

From the loss came a spark. An idea that stemmed from my own thoughts. And from that, I now have a completed manuscript about grief, love, and accepting what was there all along. That it turned into so much more and took my characters to places and situations I didn't expect, is a plus. 

It's been an emotional ride, but I'm glad I followed through and let my imagination run wild.

August turned out to be pretty busy. I finished writing a 30k novella, edited another one that will be published later this month (15k), and revised this one (46k). Yikes.

Well, that's pretty much all I wanted to say today. Just an update to mention that this novella is DONE. Yay!! 😊🎉

I'm going to enjoy the weekend with my husband and then take a week off writing. After that, think I'll get stuck into another lot of revision for this novella.

Take it easy and have a good one!

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