‘E’ Wing – Martin Gosling
2600 words Horror / General / Fantasy
Brogan is beginning a six year sentence for the manslaughter of a prison officer. He is unrepentant and is temporarily lodged in the derelict former execution wing of the prison where he is held. A battle of wills and wits ensues. He suspects that he is being subjected to an elaborate treatment programme designed to shock him into remorse and rehabilitation. But all is not as it seems.
‘Killing Senior Officer Stewart was murder, plain and simple. And we both know, Brogan, that you should have been given Life.’ Brogan glared his defiance at the Governor and sensed the unease of the younger of the two prison officers who had brought him from his cell. He almost spat his reply. ‘The point is that they chose to call it Manslaughter and six years is what I got.’
13 Superstition Drive – Peter Lingard
3000 words Fantasy / Horror
A long empty, seemingly benign house wants to again enjoy days of caring, warmth and happiness.
I’d had enough. My life was crumbling around me. At my peak, I was worth something in excess of a million dollars. That was before ‘the incident’; the incident that ruined my existence. The murders took place in 1946. Sam Clarkson came home from the war and found his wife living with Simon Christie, a man who had evaded war service and made a fortune dealing in rubber and petrol. Sam strangled Christie, caught his fleeing wife, strangled her and then committed suicide. I was an orphan from that moment. No one has cared for me since that day.
A Moving Story – Peter Lingard
3675 word Fantasy
Geoff knew his murdered friend had been unconventional but he was about to learn of another peculiarity.
At breakfast my mother handed me The Herald Sun folded to expose the story of a man killed by the person he had rescued from the Yarra. The rescuer’s name was Michael Dodge. “Think that’s your friend, Gene Simmons didn’t he change his name to Michael Dodge?” she asked. “He was a troubled lad.” “Could be. Do you have a number for him?” “I think so. Somewhere. I heard neither hide nor hair of them since you joined up.”
A Muse for Elise – Tia Reed
5500 words Fantasy
A pianist eternally repeating the first bars of Für Elise. A dancer trapped in the first steps of a solo. And now a singer bound to repeat the first two lines of Greensleeves. It’s not medicine Dr William Oakes must employ to set these lost souls free.
Doctor William Oakes set his black bag down on the front step of the brick mansion. Ignoring the scruffy boy sitting against the wall, he took a deep breath and gave the frosty lion-headed knocker three sharp raps. The lad jumped up at the sound, the furrows in his brow deepening. “Ain’t no one answering,” he said, battered cap clutched tight in calloused hands. The flush in his hollow cheeks suggested he had been huddling against the wind for the best part of the day. William pulled a few pennies from the threadbare pocket of his tweed suit.
After Taste – Edward Ahern
2800 words Fantasy Fiction
Frustrating love sometimes survives death.
It began with the toilet seat. It was down. Roger never left the toilet seat down- it had been one of the sore points with Joyce before she divorced him. He squinted early morning eyes and propped the seat back up. His cell phone beeped as he slid a razor down his cheeks. Roger glanced at the heading -a message from Joyce’s sister. He finished shaving, wiped his face, and looked at the text, a broadcast to about twenty people. Joyce was dead. He called the sister without putting the phone back down. “Sarah, Roger. What happened?”
Alfie’s Woods – Rosemary J. Kind
48,000 words Fantasy
Alfie is fascinated when Hedgehog is recaptured following his escape from the Woodland Prison. Too young to understand money laundering, Alfie assumes that Hedgehog should be given sympathy for washing his money.
Hedgehog, overwhelmed that any other creature should care about him, finds the strength to change his life. As an ex-convict Hedgehog meets with opposition at every step and it is only the faith of his friends and their unwavering support that enables him to turn his life round.
Alfie’s Woods is a story of the power of friendship and the difference it can make to all of us.
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Algol Rising – Tia Reed
7500 words Horror / Fantasy
Jake Granit is taking a leave of absence to look after his orphaned niece. It’s more challenge than he needs while suffering from PTSD. So protecting his loved ones from marauding ghouls just might tip him over the edge.
Jake eased the battered Ford onto the overgrown verge, turned the key halfway and looked at Emily. She had her knees tucked into her black dress, the heels of her shiny black shoes on the worn, chip-stained seat. She was staring straight ahead at the wrought iron gates, not crying any more though the tear tracks down her baby cheeks rivalled tank tracks. “Emily, we’re here.” Her lip quivered as the radio news wrapped up the diamond robbery story to drone on about some inconsequential house fire which had left everyone halfway to all right in that family. She made no effort to unbuckle the seatbelt. Jake grasped his dog tags but they were fresh out of Dutch courage.
Between the Rains – Lilliana Rose
1700 words Fantasy
A pact with Hades to take away your memories may be the best way to live, but the deal comes with a hidden price.
She watches the droplets of rain dribble down the window. The evening shadows conceal me as I watch her, sitting, holding The Record Book. I know what’s about to happen and I swallow the rising bile. Maybe she survived? After the rain is the time for waiting, a time for those left to remember and to nurture those caught in the rain. I wonder how the others are coping. How many were caught this time?
Between Times – Henry Mitchell
7 5* Reviews on Amazon
88,000 word novel Folk / Fairytale
Author royalties from the sale of this book will be donated to Saluda Community Land Trust.
The second book in the Benjamin Drum Trilogy – Spanning three continents and half a century, this is the second in the series of books charting Benjamin Drum’s life. Between Times traces the lives and wanderings of the families along Sorrow Creek in mythical Marshall County, North Carolina.
Fans of The Summer Boy will delight to recognize some familiar characters and discover new ones to love among other mountains where Drum grows up and the Laurel remains as elusive and hidden as it is real and powerful.
Read reviews HERE
Paperback sales UK ONLY – the book will be sent to your Paypal address unless advised otherwise.
For other sales please use your local Amazon store HERE.
Billy and the Sketch Pad – Jon Beight
6600 words Children 7 – 11 years / Fantasy
Billy likes to draw as a means of escape. That is the one place he can go where he can control what others do. One day he happens upon a sketch book that gives him more than he bargained for.
Twelve year old Billy wanted just two things. First, he wanted to be in charge. He was sick of everyone telling him what to do, including his bratty little sister, Sarah. Second, even more than being in charge, he wanted to draw. It was the thing that gave him the most happiness and provided his escape when life got difficult. He wasn’t much of an artist, and drew stick people mostly, but that was just fine with him. His sketch books were filled with stories about adventures in far away places with strange names and stranger happenings, but he kept the same few characters wherever his stories would be.
Blood is Thicker Than Dimensions – Chris Cooke
1100 words General / Fantasy
In the real and paranormal worlds, destiny can be linked by shared experience and bloodlines. Can a gambler avoid a gunfight with help from the future?
Jesse Livermore stared at his tormentors, slowly eyeing each one of them as his gaze moved around the poker table. He held the best hand, he knew it . . . but why would Bart Blackwell raise him only to have “One eyed” Jimmy raise again? Jesse smelled a rat. Looking down at his cards Jesse still held four kings. Nothing had changed except that if he called these two men and lost, he would lose his horse, “Cactus Jack” and it was a long walk to Reno from Virginia City.
Brad and Jen – Peter Lingard
2700 words Humour / Fantsy
An ardent fan of Jennifer Anniston is shocked and excited when one of the aliens who move into the next flat masquerades as her.
It was a shock when a thin shaft of light suddenly shone out of a hole in my bedroom wall. How long had the hole been there? Given the busy wallpaper, it could have been a while. What had the previous tenants watched me do? My mind raced back through bedroom time, searching for potential embarrassments. There were a couple but, considering the watchers had gone, I didn’t need to put my head in the oven. I arched my back, bent my knees and looked through the hole. The room was bare. I kept looking, believing that because the room was illuminated, something must happen. My thighs started to ache and I knew I had to re-arrange the furniture.
Bullied on the Bus – James McHarg
4200 words Fantasy / Teen Fiction
Moving to the country was bad enough but now twelve-year-old Jeremy must endure daily bullying. With his mother’s life threatened and his great-granddad close to death, all seems lost. Only a dark family secret might save them, but first he’ll have to turn thirteen.
“Jeremy, please hurry! I can see the bus coming. Come along, quickly now,” Victoria Rayder shouted to the dawdling boy. “Aw, Mom, do I have to go to school? It’s too nice out. Come on, Mom. Please, let me stay home.” Jeremy Rayder dashed up the narrow lane, skidding to a stop in the loose gravel alongside his mother. “Look what I found,” he said excitedly, waving a grasshopper in her face. The bug’s legs clung to his index finger; antennae twitching and eyes bulging out from a blue-green face. “Yes, I see it quite clearly, Jeremy. You don’t have to stick it up my nose.” Jeremy giggled, a playful spark lit up his eyes. “Yeah, and it’s green, too. Just like snot. See!”
Come Tomorrow – Martin Gale
1280 words Horror / Fantasy
Nuclear Terrorism – The Creme de la Creme of suicide bombings
Have you ever been frightened? I don’t mean nervous I mean that cold, empty dread that you feel when they tell you that you might have cancer. Wendy is being sick again but, so far, I feel normal. I have done my best to make the cottage airtight by using anything that comes to hand to seal the windows and doors. We are in what is known technically, I believe, as a Hot Zone.
Demain – James Coates
2700 words Fantasy Fiction
The last surviving man wanders a barren post-apocalyptic landscape, trying to reconcile the loss of his future with the pain of his past. When you’ve lost everything, the thing you miss the most is the thing you never had.
I spend a long time studying her oval face, and that most famous of expressions. With my head tilted at a slight angle I seek to appreciate what I was once informed is an unparalleled example of cunning brush strokes and masterful vision. And while I study her, that iconic smile beams down on me. I recognise its shape; knowing, apprehensive, blessed. She’s almost glowing. She’d been called Leonardo’s finest, but if I’m honest, now that we’re finally face to face, I think her shoulders are too narrow and her hands are a touch puffy. Although it’s not her I have issue with, but what her expression represents.
Enchanted – Eleni Konstantine
1700 words Fantasy
Katharine’s life has become static. She has no friends and her workaholic husband hardly notices her.
Enchantment and fascination comes in the form of a mysterious painting.
Enchanted, Katherine could not move from where she stood. In front of her was one of the most glorious sights she had ever seen. She did not know why the wooden framed painting held a special appeal. A connoisseur of art she was not, but something told her this was an extraordinary piece. The scene of the lonely unused cottage, the emerald coloured forest in the background, the unkempt fields and the rising sun all evoked a sense of enchantment. Coming up a path on horseback was a broad shouldered man who wore a brown cloak and a sword strapped to his side. His face was obscured in shadow and…
Essence of Dust – Annette Siketa
6850 words Fantasy / Romance
After rejecting a host of arranged suitors, the wizardene, Sukor, uses her powers to marry the mortal King, Gerrain. But one of the rejected suitors has other ideas, and is determined that if he can’t have her, nobody can.
To the south of the city on the edge of the Great Forest, where the roots of the trees are kissed by the waves of the sea, stand the ruins of a once imperial palace. Directly in front and either side of the crumbling entrance gate, are two weatherworn statues. Once bedecked with gold and jewels, the now naked stone is a reminder of the fickleness of fate. Some of the old ones still worship these statues, for in their hearts’, the tragedy of King Gerrain and Queen Sukor still lingers. The young ones however, regard these symbols of the past with undisguised resentment, for it was the strange, untimely, and simultaneous deaths of the royal couple that instigated the war.
Everyone’s in the Box – Russ Bickerstaff
1100 word Fantasy Fiction
Everyone has ended up in a box. I don’t know how it happened or why. I guess I’m the only one who isn’t in the box. I am, after all, the one who was holding the box that everyone else is in.
Everyone has ended up in a box. I don’t know how it happened or why. I guess I’m the only one who isn’t in the box. I am, after all, the one who was holding the box that everyone else is in. I really don’t know how it happened so I don’t know how I’m going to be able to explain it all, but I’ll try to do so to the best of my ability.
Fang Rot – Teresa Howard
4200 words Fantasy
Wackiness ensues when a lecherous vampire and his long suffering ex-wife consult a dentist in an effort to save him from a dreaded disease.
A horrific screech echoed through the crypt as the massive door was forced open, not an easy feat even for someone with preternatural strength. An all too familiar voice called out a quick greeting. “Hello Jeffrey? Are you risen, Love? Sun’s down and I fancy a bite to eat. Want to join me?” A loud groan answered the cheery call. Jeffrey Bellington-Kemp managed to pull himself up in his coffin and snarl at his ex-wife. “I’m really not feeling up to it tonight, Velda. Go away!” He fell back into the dark satin folds and closed his eyes.
Flight of the Sea Eagle – Dorothy Williams
3200 words General Fantasy
Does the Flight of the Sea Eagle bring a blessing or a curse to a prehistoric couple fatally banished by their isolated tribe after failing to prove themselves strong at initiation? Steadily starving, locked between sea and the mountain Barrier, Moonambel leaves to end it. Sonniel, left alone, sees something fall from the Barrier, before he is led to discover what lies beyond.
It was early dawn when they set out. Frost crackled under the shoes the cobbler had stitched for them in the clear light of their mother – the Moon – full and pregnant, burnished by star shine on the night of the equinox. The eastern sky glowed faintly salmon, the day promising to be bright and fair. As they strode along the cliff top way the first rays of the sun reached out to them across the water, blessing them with a golden promise. They turned to it, hands raised in gratitude, and watched the glittering pathway widen towards them. ‘Our Father blesses us,’ whispered Moonambel, awestruck.
Gavin the Afternoon Angler – Christine Genovese
6000 word Fairytale
This is a modern fairy tale based loosely on Grimm’s story, ‘The Fisherman and his Wife.’
When Gavin discovers some fraudulent goings-on at the museum where he works, his wife decides to use the information to get out of their dismal lodgings and improve their life-style.
This story is included in the collection Thrice Upon a Time
When Gavin woke up at the usual time of 1pm he was pleasantly surprised to see an oblique band of golden sunshine creeping in over the bedroom windowsill. It beckoned him out into the so-called garden – a minuscule pit of a plot next to the steps that led down from street level to the door of their basement flat. It was paved with uneven flagstones, and a few straggly weeds struggled up between them. In the far corner, however, there was a leggy buddleia, and as this was late June the sun was high enough to touch it for a few hours around midday.
Giving It a Rest – Allison Symes
1100 word Fantasy / Science Fiction
Narrated by an alien collector of specimens, disillusioned with their job. They reveal what their job entails and leave evidence to warn humans not every alien is as honourable (by their standards) as this one. They know the consequences of their actions could be fatal.
I’ll leave my notes and universal translator here so you can read why I jacked in my job to explore different worlds for my enjoyment, rather than my bosses’ profit margins. I’m not going into how those profit margins were shared but I’ll be the year’s top earner at the end of this trip if all goes well. It’s why I’ve stuck it out for so long. The penalty for disobedience is an electric shock applied to one’s intimate areas. Not fun I can tell you. I’m still the best worker, despite having the treatment five times, which is why I’m here and not dead.
Gold – Anette Siketa
5000 words Supernatural
Tired, over-worked, and disillusioned with the world, scientist and alchemist Charles Broadside sets out to prove the existence, or otherwise, of the Philosopher’s Stone. But then a mysterious visitor shows him the darker side of wealth & power.
Being orphaned at an early age, I was left in the care of a bachelor Uncle who was a retired Admiral. Considering his former vocation, the family surname of Broadside, was often the subject of many regrettable jokes. He was a rather lively old man, with deep-set brown eyes and shaggy, over-hanging black eyebrows. His weather-beaten face and rubicund nose, were more the result of his years at sea than indulgent living, as was his hobbling gait, for he had lost his lower right leg in a battle.
Green Door – Allison Symes
4000 word Fantasy / Science Fiction
Emily Shanton is lonely, she has recently been forced out of her job. She discovers there is more to her new neighbour, Jemma, than meets the eye. Jemma is everything Emily isn’t: young, outgoing, comfortable socially, but has a secret. Emily discovers, the hard way, what this is.
The blonde woman over the road was painting her front door in British racing green. ‘And about time,’ Emily Shanton told herself, finally letting her brilliant white net curtains drop into their usual position. ‘Given she has visitors at all hours all week her house needs a decent spruce up. Mother said women who always had visitors could never be up to any good. Mother was so right and on so many things.’ Emily paused. I shouldn’t have thought that. Mother would’ve thought it. She relished thinking nastily. Mother was difficult. Will I ever forget about her? I won’t be like her. I won’t. She was a tyrant. I must make myself think nice thoughts.
Heat of the Noon Day Sun – Margaret Pearce
2750 words Fantasy
Why should a brilliantly talented window dresser ever be linked to the odd fact that people from the same store go missing? What have they got to do with his window displays?
At mid-day the sun casts no shadow, so why should I have even suspected? The shadows puddled beneath everyone, as if hiding from the fierceness of the sun. Behind the shelter of my sunglasses and hat brim, everything was two dimensional, stripped and faded of colour, black and glaring white. The street was crowded. We had bumped against each other. He apologised. We exchanged casual words about the crowd and the unseasonable heat. Inside the building my companion still appeared two dimensional, black hair and black eyes in a white face.