Horror Tree’s summer special of horror – time to wrap up for autumn-the chills are here…


Stephanie Ellis and I both have horror drabbles in this special guys- a pairing of deadly thrills to be relished :-

No Mercy

Summer shakes its death rattle; breathes one final humid breath. Around the towering straw man the village children dance. The girls wear red, the boys blue. Red signifies their ripening into women.

“Come hither, child.” Mistress Jouncy places a gnarled hand upon each sun blonded head. “This be your husband, this be your wife. Pair bonded.”

No one leaves the village. If they do, it’s whispered, the monsters beyond devour them.

Only one girl remains; thin, sickly.

Mercy, her mother named her, in desperation.

The straw man scoops up the offering, mouth ripping open, gaping.

Insects pour onto Mercy’s flesh.

Alyson Faye

Alyson lives in West Yorkshire with her husband, teen son and 4 rescue animals. She has been a teacher, a carer, a road safety instructor and a lifetime film buff. Currently she teaches creative writing workshops and writes dark fiction, both short (flash) and long. Her short stories have appeared in print in the anthologies, Women in Horror Annual 2, Stories from Stone, DeadCades:The Infernal Decimation, Coffin Bell Journal 1 and Crackers. Her debut flash fiction collection, Badlands, was published in January 2018 by indie publisher, Chapel Town Books and her own Trio of Terror – Supernatural Tales (all set in Yorkshire) came out in December 2018. Her flash fiction has appeared in several charity anthologies and can be heard on several podcasts. Her fiction has won, or been shortlisted in several competitions.

Her latest horror story is out as an ebook from Demain publishing, on amazon, Night of the Rider.

Her blog is at www.alysonfayewordpress.wordpress.com.

Her amazon author is at https://www.amazon.co.uk/l/B01NBYSLRT and she’s on twitter as @AlysonFaye2.

Bucket and Spade

“Got your bucket and spade, honey?”

“Yes, Daddy. Got yours?”

“Of course, sweetheart.”

They soon found themselves a secluded corner of the beach. One woman sunbathing nearby.

“Can I dig?” asked Laura.

“Go ahead, sweetheart. I’ll have a swim first, join you in a bit.”

Laura dug as the sunbather looked on.

“Wow, that’s a big hole for a little girl.”

“It’s for Daddy. Test it for me? Please?”

The woman laughed as she covered her. Stopping only when the grains clogged her mouth, covered her completely.

“That’s right, honey,” said her father. “Pat it down good. Now, ice cream?”

Stephanie Ellis

Stephanie Ellis writes dark speculative fiction, finding success in a variety of magazines and anthologies, the latest being Asylum of Shadows as part of Demain Publishing’s Short Sharp Shocks! series and The Way of the Mother in Nosetouch Press, The Fiends in the Furrows anthology.  Her own collection of short stories has been published in The Reckoning and her dark verse has been gathered in Dark is my Playground. She is co-editor and contributor to The Infernal Clock, a fledgling press which has produced three anthologies to-date. She is also co-editor of Trembling With Fear, HorrorTree.com’s online magazine.


She is also an affiliate member of the HWA.

She can be found at https://stephanieellis.org and on twitter at @el_stevie.

Interview with writing friend from Otley class Ruth Middleton, in the Yorkshire Post and on youtube- proud to know this lady…

I met Ruth Middleton a few years ago at our WEA class in Otley near Leeds, where she arrived, smiling, swathed in her signature necklaces and scarves and her good humour and kindness. Guiding her electric wheelchair with dexterity Ruth was a revelation to me, as I got to know her a little better over the next few years, and especially when we were both on a Wentworth Castle writing residential run by Ali Harper and James Nash, when I learned she was sofa-surfing and living in her adapted vehicle, camping, in between selling her house and buying a new one. I was awed by her spirit, guts and determination. I’m a total wimp when it comes to camping myself. First bit of mud and rain and I’m off screaming for the nearest B&B.

She finally settled in Harrogate. Below in this interview with the Yorkshire Post she talks about the life changing accident she suffered and about living with ‘face blindness’ amongst other severe health issues.



Review of Louise Jensen’s latest thriller – The Family due out on 3 October…

I have met Louise at Ali Harper’s Wentworth Castle writing residential last summer and she is brilliant to listen to- honest, entertaining, and engaging.

This is her fifth thriller and I was lucky enough to receive an e-ARC from the publishers and net galley in exchange for an honest review.

Tip off – highly recommended- definitely worth buying and reading.

Below is my review:-

4/5 stars

My thanks to NetGalley and HQ for allowing me to read the e-ARC in exchange for my honest opinion.

This is the latest psychological thriller from best selling author, Louise Jensen, who I have both met at a writing residential and chatted to and read her previous thrillers.

The Family is a fast paced, twisty as a helter skelter, engaging and gripping novel which I read fast rather like gulping down a box of luxury chocolates and a glass of vino.

OK maybe some of the twists stretch belief a little and how much bad luck can one family have? How many secrets before they implode? My life seems very dull by comparison.

But Louise Jensen has delivered a story which I wanted to keep reading, in between my mundane daily life, to find out what happened; which is what you and me, sit down and read for- to be entertained.

The narrative is told from the first person points of view of her two female protagonists:- (mother/widow, Laura) and her teenage daughter, ( Tilly) with the occasional switch to Alex, the leader of the different sort of family Laura and Tilly move in with.

We begin with a crisis, and the novel keeps ramping up the drama. Laura is staggering under the burdens of recent widowhood, loss of money, local scandal, town hostility, grief, secrets (which are revealed as we read on), present lies and deep buried past lies which still resonant today. The family of her husband aren’t there for her or Tilly, who is being bullied and isolated at school she in desperation (and she is in a horrible situation) she turns to the hippy, drop out family (a sort of gentle cult) living in the forest whose charismatic leader, Alex, welcomes Laura and Tilly into the fold. OK yes, alarm bells are ringing here for the reader, but Louise Jensen makes it believable for her characters lives.

When you are abandoned, broke, desperate, homeless and alone where do you turn?

Within this new family the cracks soon start to show, there are creepy scenes in the forest at night, hints of a past crime on the premises, dodgy doings in the sheep shed, a missing landowner, and yet I didn’t entirely guess who did what, when and why! So Louise Jensen manages to mislead the eye enough, to spring a few surprises. Seeing events unfold through two pairs of eyes, daughter and mother, means you, the reader, get to see all their misunderstandings and mistakes unfold, and that adds another layer of interest to the narrative.

The way teenagers can see/hear/feel something totally different to what you the parent mean is well captured and I could relate to this all to well, as a mother of a teenager myself.

Laura’s ultimate and epic struggle in the final third of the novel for her own life and that of Tilly’s was exciting and powerful and tied to the prologue rather cleverly but again juggles with perceptions.

This is, for me, Louise Jensen’s most enjoyable and exciting novel, to date. She is on top of her game, a magician of misdirection at home in the hall of mirrors.

The REAL Women Writers of Horror #REALWomenWriters

Interesting and thought provoking interview with Horror Tree’s co editor Stephanie Ellis touching on her own writing journey and expressing yourself on social media.

Emz Newz

Welcome back to the blog series #REALWomenWriters to explore #REALWomenWriters who toil in the day-to-day, soul-crushing, confidence-demolishing, existence that is the life of a REAL Woman Writer. We hope you enjoy this inside look and if you are a REAL Woman Writer, email us to share your story.

Name: Stephanie Ellis
Genres: Horror, Dark Fiction, Poetry

Favorite story you’ve written and why.Favourites change over time as you develop. At present it is The Way of the Mother, a folk horror story (in Nosetouch Press, Fiends in the Furrows anthology) which finally allowed me to join the HWA. A few years back I wrote a story called The Dance (published in Horror in Bloom) which, because I loved the characters in it so much, I turned into a novel, The Five Turns of the Wheel, now currently seeking representation. And again, because I couldn’t leave that fictional…

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A sale, getting into an anthology alongside Ramsey Campbell and a review on Gingernuts of Night of the Rider…

Some lovely publication news- a sale to the tune of $30 from a US publisher for one of my stories – which is my biggest one off fee for a story- Mortal Realm are the publisher and I’ve just signed the contract.

More news to follow.


I have had a double drabble (ie a 200 word story) accepted by prestigious Australian publisher Things in the Well (Steve Dillon) https://thingsinthewell.wordpress.com/2019/08/13/updated-cover-for-guilty-pleasures/?fbclid=IwAR0ckkyBJC7xtMlmgKj4F12huoVgLqtAjgLujiFh5BHNqxEizykLPBSCvYg

for my erotic horror piece- the first time I’ve tried to write in that genre; so new direction for me.

As you can see from the cover reveal below, I will be appearing within the same pages as the mighty horror legend which is Ramsey Campbell, (another writing dream of mine come true).



There is a lovely review on Gingernuts of Horror for Night of the Rider from Kim – who has been a stalwart supporter of my writing ever since she reviewed Badlands. A huge thank you to her.


Kim gave it 4/5 gingernut biscuits – so I’m thrilled.

Kim wrote:- “I really liked this short story. It starts out like a fable you tell your kids if you want to keep them out of trouble (“Don’t go past curfew, or the Rider will get you!”). But it has a surprising ending, that is actually quite empowering for one of the characters. Overall, it has a good deal of darkness and evil mixed in with sacrifice and hope.”


Here is the link to my interview with Dean Drinkel of Demain Publishing where I talk about Night of the Rider :- https://demainpublishingblog.weebly.com/home/author-interview-alyson-faye-night-of-the-rider-book-18-in-the-short-sharp-shocks-series


Deadcades:The Infernal Decimation ed by Stephanie Ellis and David Shakes is available to borrow from Bradford Libraries; a big thank you to Dionne Hood for her support in buying copies of this brilliant horror anthology.



Otley storywalk for families and my drystone radio interview with David Driver and the news about my crime novella-

Otley writers have organised a storywalk around the town centre, for families to include children’s poems and stories for adults, displayed in the shop/business premises – to read and a quiz with prizes.

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Image result for the writers bookshelf david driver image

Also yesterday pm I had a fun fabulous light hearted 2 hours with David Driver of Drystone Radio Keighley on The Writers Bookshelf where we discussed:-

zombies/ James Bond/Hammer Horror/Frankenstein/ my writing of course/ MR James/ ghosts and supernatural and other related news.

here’s the link https://ondemand.drystoneradio.com/8471/ if you fancy listening in.

From publisher Dean Drinkel the man behind Demain:-

“Congrats to Aly Faye who was on the radio yesterday (13th August) where amongst other things she talked about her Short Sharp Shocks! but also her upcoming crime / mystery book…well worth checking out!”

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Summertime….open mic/radio interview and signing with Demain publishers to publish my crime novella

Bit of a mix going on at the moment- obviously hols near the seaside with family and Roxy the Borador ; (below on the left with a mate on the right name unknown)

Roxy Aug 2019 linking up with Horror Tree co-editor, writing mate and dark fiction writer Stephanie Ellis  https://stephanieellis .org/about/ on a joint collaboration – of dark stories and poetry inspired by Tarot cards- which is making me write more often and flex that muscle more.

I’ve had a couple of pieces accepted by the Horror Tree and Siren’s Call ezine– one of which is inspired by this picture of a very early example of a lady c.1910 covered in tattoos- provided by Otley writer Alex Williams in a writing prompt exercise which has led to me writing a poem and a story.Tattooed Lady

Steph Ellis flagged up the opportunity to contribute a line to Space and Time Mag’s ‘exquisite corpse’ poem https://www.spaceandtimemagazine.net/exquisite-corpse.html

on the theme of Revolution, 20 poets all sent in their one line and the editor stitched the poem together. My line begins ‘The knife hums….’


Exquisite Revolting ECorpse  1.jpg

This is an ongoing monthly opportunity to contribute to this well thought of mag and have fun to.


Dean Drinkel of Demain publishing https://demainpublishingblog.weebly.com/ has accepted my crime novella set in post war Britain, c. 1947 for publication later this year or early in 2020- it will appear in e book and paperback and will be part of Demain’s Murder! Mystery! Mayhem series.

So excited about this.


Open mic in Silsden this pm- Gingerlicous hosted by the indefatigable David Driver, radio host, writer, stand up performer and all round great guy.

Here’s me concentrating hard, eyes closed, reading from one of the Horror Tree anthologies and my latest poem inspired by the above tattooed lady.

Gingerlicious me at mic Aug 2019


Tomorrow Tuesday 13 August, from 7-10pm I will be appearing on Dave’s, The Writers’ Bookshelf radio show https://allevents.in/keighley/author-alyson-faye/200017328715554#

on Drystone Radio along with music and chat.

Don’t worry if you miss it, it will be available to listen to on catch up as a podcast for a month after it goes out live.