Wednesday, 26 October 2016

Spooktoberfest 2016

It's time for the 5th annual Spooktoberfest, hosted once again by Dani and Jax from Cover Girls. There's still time to enter - the bloghop is open until Friday.

Here's my submission, coming in at 336 words. 


The moonlight shone on the smooth black of the coffin, laid open by the side of the grave. The body, a mere skeleton now, lay on the long grass next to the weathered stump of a tombstone, the skull grinning up at the cluster of men gathered around it. A broken machete lay next to the bones, dusty and worn from it’s long incarceration under the ground.

The only sounds were the whispering of cloaks as they slithered along the forest floor, as the men encircled the lone grave. They began to chant in a language long forgotten, known only to those who passed it down, generation to generation, waiting for this day to come.

For the rise of their god.

A wind blew through the clearing, tearing through the grass, blowing down the hoods of the chanting men, but they ignored it, engrossed in their task. The clearing was plunged into darkness as clouds covered the full moon, and the chanting intensified.

The bones began to shake, rising slowly into the air. The magic wrapped around them, causing them to glow in the darkness, as they fused together once more. Flesh grew around the bones, the clearing now lit by the blinding white light coming from the body.

The light went out, the chanting stopped; all was darkness. Not a sound rent the still air.

Until the laughing started. An insane cackling, with wicked delight.

The clearing filled with light again as the clouds slowly drifted away from the moon.

The cloaked men lay strewn over the ground, unmoving. In the center stood a creature not of this world. It’s newly formed skin was mottled and dead looking, the red eyes cold, it’s mouth twisted into an evil grin. It picked up the broken machete, which was renewed with a burst of light. The creature took a cloak from one of the men on the ground, took one last look at the grave, with its unreadable headstone, and strode from the clearing, laughing once more.

Monday, 24 October 2016

Self-help 101 blog tour: L.G. Keltner Guest Post

I've got L. G. Keltner on my blog today, as a part of the blog tour for her most recent release, the third book in her 'Self-help 101' series.

Reasons Why I, As a Writer, Love Halloween

Writers are an odd bunch.  There’s no denying it.  We throw ourselves whole-heartedly into new worlds and new lives when we set pen to paper (or fingers to keyboard).  We spend vast chunks of time coming up with combinations of words that we hope will enthrall readers by pulling them into these worlds we struggled so hard to create.

Halloween is an odd holiday.  It’s filled with costumes and spooky tales and infinite possibilities.  This is a time when we have the excuse to let our inner child out to play.  There are no creative limits.  

It only makes sense that odd people and odd occasions go together beautifully.  As a writer, I revel in Halloween and all it has to offer.  Here are only a few reasons why I, like many writers, love Halloween.

1.  Halloween is one of the only times where the world gets as weird as I am.
2.  I get to see what the people around me really love based on their costume choices.
3.  If I wear a costume, I get to showcase your inner nerd and few will judge you for it.
4.  I have an excuse to tell creepy stories.
5.  Candy!  It gives you a boost to keep those creative juices flowing!
6.  Halloween encourages us to look at things in a new way.  An abandoned house may take on an extra creepy vibe this time of year.  A normal fog becomes a little bit sinister.
7.  I have an excuse to find fun ways to scare the people I love.  Or the people I hate.  It works either way.

Do you love Halloween?


We eventually made it down to the fifth floor, this time taking the stairs since it was such a short distance.  Two people were wrapped in a rather intimate embrace in one corner of the stairwell.  One was dressed as Batman, the other as Superman.  I couldn’t tell for sure whether they were making out or trying to kill each other, because it felt too rude to intrude on such a private moment by staring.  I have to say this, though.  If you’re going to engage in either of those activities in public, you should do it while in full costume.  It makes it much harder for people to identify you.
I was at the front of the group when we exited the stairwell once again, and a knight immediately intercepted me.  Instead of wielding a sword, he held a plastic butter knife, but the rest of the costume looked decent enough.  “Halt, visitors,” he ordered.
Entertained by the display, I complied.  “Of course, good Sir.”
“Before I let you pass, I must inquire.  Are your intentions pure?” he asked.
I shook my head.  “Absolutely not.”
He bowed deeply.  “Very well.  You may proceed.”  He stepped aside to let us pass.

Title: Self-Help 101 or: How to Select a Costume to Help You Deal With People
Author: L.G. Keltner
Genre: holiday/humor
Length: 29,000 words
Cover Art:  L.G. Keltner and Jamon Walker
Release Date: September 27, 2016


Book 3 in the Self-Help 101 series.

Dani Finklemeier is adjusting to life in college and the realities of living away from home for the first time.  She’s also learning to deal with the criticism that stems from sharing her writing with the world.  Some of the online criticism is even spelled correctly, which somehow makes it worse.

Fortunately, she has a Halloween party, a group of friends, and a supportive boyfriend to distract her from the things that are bothering her.  Of course, a holiday celebration wouldn’t be complete without something going wrong.  Between an unpleasant confrontation with an infuriating classmate, some shocking costume choices, and a bizarre fraternity stunt, the evening will be anything but dull.

Dani’s detractors may not like it, but she’ll definitely have enough material for another book.


L.G. Keltner spends most of her time trying to write while also cleaning up after her crazy but wonderful kids and hanging out with her husband.  Her favorite genre of all time is science fiction, and she’s been trying to write novels since the age of six.  Needless to say, those earliest attempts weren’t all that good.  

Her non-writing hobbies include astronomy and playing Trivial Pursuit.

You can typically find L.G. lurking around her blog, on Twitter, or on her Facebook page.

Purchase Links:



Add it on Goodreads.

Friday, 21 October 2016

Celebrate the Small Things

Celebrate the Small Things is a weekly bloghop now hosted by Lexa Cain. The idea is to post anything you want to celebrate from the last week, no matter how small.

This week I'm celebrating:

- I finished my entry for the WEP Blog-hop and put it up on my blog yesterday. I didn't get to spend a lot of time working on it, certainly not as much as I would have liked, but I think it turned out OK. Click here to take a look!

- Porridge with nutella stirred into it - divine! Perfect for cold autumn mornings. 

- Hot chocolate with whipped cream and marshmallows - another thing that's perfect for colder weather. 

- I dug out all of my Halloween decorations on Sunday - they're mostly candle holders and things, but they look great and they've helped get me into the Halloween spirit! 

Thursday, 20 October 2016

WEP Halloween

I haven't taken part in WEP for ages, but I just had to take part this month; I love writing scary stories for Halloween! I haven't had as much time to work on this story as I would have liked, but it's turned out OK, I think.

Unrest in Peace

I wake to a loud bang above my head. I open my eyes to darkness; squinting, my eyes adjust, and I see thin slivers of light shining through small gaps in the surface directly above me. It’s so close I can touch it. I reach up with my arms, and press my palms against the rough surface; wood. My heart begins to pound; where am I?

I lean up on my elbows and press my eye to one of the gaps in the wood, but all I see is light. I lie back down and feel around me; I’m in a wooden box, not much larger than my body. I press my palms against the lid and push; it doesn’t budge. My breath comes in short bursts as I scratch at the lid, ignoring the stabs of pain from splinters burrowing under my fingernails. I start banging on the wood, my heart pounding harder than it ever has, fists aching in protest.

“Help!” I yell; there has to be somebody around, somebody who can help me. I try to kick out with my feet, but there isn’t enough room to get a good kick to the lid. “Help me, please!”

I freeze when I hear a noise, straining my ears. Someone is chuckling softly, somewhere outside the box. A loud thud on the lid makes me jump; is someone letting me out?

Something begins to trickle slowly through the gaps in the wood; showering my body. There’s another thud, and more dust comes through the gaps. I rub it between my fingers; it’s grainy, like sand.

Dirt. Someone is shoveling dirt onto the box.

“No!” I scream, heart pounding as frantically as my fists. “No, please!”

The thumping is steady now, rhythmic, the dirt trickling through the gaps, a constant stream.

The light begins to dim, the thumping becoming more muffled.

I scrabble at the lid again, mustering all the force I can, ignoring the pain as my nails break, the ache of my fists as I bang on the lid. I push on the lid with all of my might, tears and sweat mingling on my face. All I can hear are the steady, muffled thumps and my own gasping breaths.

The thumps stop. There is no light left now; I’m in pitch darkness.

“No, please, please don’t leave me here! I’ll do anything! Please!” I push on the lid with all of my strength, but it’s impossible. I’m trapped.

I lay there, my gasping breaths becoming tighter in my chest, the smell of the dirt still trickling slowly through the gaps in the wood overwhelming. I count in my head, and my breathing becomes slower, more even.

I need to make it last. I will find a way out of here; this can’t be the end. I need to make the air last until I find a way.

Now that I’m still, I notice the cold. I start to shiver.

How can I get out? Try the lid again? It didn’t work before, but maybe if I kick it at the same time? Or use my feet to kick out the sides? No, even if I managed to get the lid open, I’d be crushed by the dirt already pressing onto the lid of the box.

It’s hopeless.

Tears run in an endless stream down the sides of my face; I can hear them dripping onto the wood beneath my head.

My mouth is dry, so dry, from the shouting and struggling. I can’t remember the last time I had a drink. Which would I die from first, asphyxiation or dehydration? Probably the former; it’s getting harder and harder to breathe.

I close my eyes; this is happening. There’s nothing I can do but wait. It’ll be over soon.

So I wait.

And wait.

And wait…

My mouth is so dry, my lungs now aching from lack of oxygen.

The air is ice cold now, my whole body aching, violently shivering.

My muscles are screaming, screaming at the lack of water in my body.

I can hear my stomach gurgling, rumbling louder than it ever has.

So why am I not dying? Surely it doesn’t take this long…

And then I remember. I remember how I got here, why I got here.

It’s punishment.

Punishment for doing a terrible thing.

Dread fills my aching body; I will never die. I will be trapped here, in this box, on the verge of death but never to die, for eternity. I will never feel the release of death.

Tears once again begin to fall from my eyes, the steady drip and my ragged breaths the only sound in the darkness, the only things I will ever hear again.

Word count: 790
Open to critique

Friday, 14 October 2016

Celebrate the Small Things

Celebrate the Small Things is a weekly bloghop now hosted by Lexa Cain. The idea is to post anything you want to celebrate from the last week, no matter how small.

This week I'm celebrating:

- I had a great weekend off, I spent the Saturday just chilling out with my mum, then on Sunday we went to spend the day with my sister. 

- I had a lot of family time this week; my dad came over on Wednesday and we went out for lunch to a Caribbean restaurant, and it was lovely. I don't get to see my dad very often, so it was nice. 

- I've done a lot of planning this week for my Halloween stories, and I can't wait to write them! It's been great actually planning new stories again.  

Monday, 10 October 2016

Goals for October

I wanted to post this up last week, but work was crazy so I decided on this week instead.

Here's how I did on my September goals:

- Spend half an hour a day blogging - Nope, definitely not. I'm working on cutting down my hours at work, but until that happens this goal will be impossible to achieve!

- Finish my outline - Another definite nope - I doubt very much that I'll be taking part in NaNoWriMo this year, which is disappointing! Hopefully I'll be able to take part next year.

- Read 4 books - The easiest goal to achieve, and I still didn't manage it. Work has been super crazy the last few weeks, and I'm happily anticipating the day that my hours get cut down. I'm not sure when this is going to be, but it should be soon. 

Here's hoping I do better on my goals for October! Here they are:

- Write stories for WEP, Spooktoberfest and the IWSG anthology contest! 

That's it for this month, since it'll be a major achievement to churn out three stories in a month, especially at the moment! However, it is my favourite writing month because of all the Halloween challenges, and I have ideas for each of the stories I want to write. Wish me luck! 

Friday, 7 October 2016

Celebrate the Small Things

Celebrate the Small Things is a weekly bloghop now hosted by Lexa Cain. The idea is to post anything you want to celebrate from the last week, no matter how small.

This week I'm celebrating:

- It was Jamie's birthday on Monday, so we celebrated by having a takeaway and watching the latest Captain America movie. I made him a red velvet cake, too, which was lovely. 

- Yesterday I handed my notice in at work to step down from the role I'm currently in. The 50-60 hour weeks are just getting too much for me to handle, so it looks like I'll be going back down to being contracted just 25 hours a week. It'll be a struggle financially, and I'll have to pick up overtime to combat that, but it'll give me more time to do the things I love, like blogging and writing, that I just don't get time for at the moment. It'll also be better for my health and well-being; doing that amount of hours for so long has left me so exhausted.