Free competition on Patsy Collins’ blog to win an e-book copy of Maggie of my Heart…

If you fancy reading a great, informative and fact filled writer’s blog then go on over to Patsy Collins‘ blog (which I’ve been following for several years now and whose info I use when teaching my writing workshops).

Today she is running a week long FREE to enter competition to win an e-book copy of my crime novella, Maggie of my Heart published by Demain Publishing.

This is my 1940’s set novella, starring Maggie an escort girl/femme fatale, and her lover, the spiv and black marketeer, Johnny. They run blackmail scams in London, which escalates to murder, so Maggie escapes into marriage with an older man only for her past to come back to haunt her.

Seasonal anthology, Nativity, is out from Bridge House Publishers, and I have a funny story in it…

This time I haven’t written a horror story, but instead a spoof on the village nativity play and the competition between the yummy mummies for the children. It’s called ‘Sharing Mary’ and is one of the stories in this seasonal anthology from Bridge House Publishers.


Cover reveal and table of contents for women authored horror anthology I have a story in…

My story is The Doll’s House, inspired by my fascination both with dolls and by a visit to nearby Ilkley Toy Museum tucked away up a side street from The Grove.

Cover Reveal & Pre-Order for Strange Girls – Women in Horror Anthology

If you follow this blog or follow me on Twitter, then you may know that I’ve been busy putting together another Women in Horror Anthology. The good news is, I’ve finally set up a pub date! Strange Girls: Women in Horror Anthology will be coming out February 18, 2020. (I thought a February date would make the most sense since it is Women in Horror Month!). But if you wish to be uber cool and support some amazing talent, then the book is set for pre-order here (a print copy will be available to order upon publication date).

Curious about what kind of stories you may find? Below is a quick synopsis for each short story found in the anthology:

Strange Girls - High Resolution

Her Garden Grows by Maxine Kollar

I belong to Rosamund now. You can’t save her.

Revival by Madison Estes

While grieving the loss of his sister, a medical student begins to suspect his laboratory cadaver is still alive. She shows signs of life, leading him to question his reality. He must decide how far he is willing to go to save her—if she can be saved at all.

Sideshow by Jude Reid

Everyone knows Ritchie and Sylvia are the perfect couple—everyone, that is, except for Sylvia, who’s walking the narrow line between the “yes” she doesn’t feel and the “no” she can’t bring herself to say. It takes a trip to the travelling Carnival, a tin duck, a strip show and a snake with amber eyes to teach her—and Ritchie—a lesson they won’t forget.

Jenny’s Bobo by Hillary Lyon

He’s her best friend; more stealthy than a cat, more loyal than a dog. But what happens when a clever teenage girl hijacks her parents’ most demonic asset for her own ends?

24 Hour Diner by Charlotte Platt

A young server in a 24-hour diner wiles his life away, watching the clock and waiting for something interesting to happen. When a beautiful homeless woman brings a colourful arc of intrigue in with her, he has no intention of letting that slip through his fingers.

Campfire Tales: The Bloody Rings by Emma Johnson-Rivard

A small-town legend is remembered in brutal and sometimes extremely dry detail. It concerns a man, a woman, and a strange town up in the North Woods.

Personal Demons by Angelique Fawns

It’s not easy being a teenager who identifies as non-binary. Especially when your new crush turns out to have some very dark appetites….

My Mirror Wife by Ash Tudor

Amelia’s beauty is formidable, but Ethan is a professional and introduces himself with the deadly charm of a true hunter. As their encounter changes into something intimate it becomes unclear who is hunting who, and beneath her mask of loveliness Amelia hides a simple yet lethal truth; she loves her husband.

Tribal Influence by Erica Ruhe

A skirmish in a detention center on the Texas-Mexico border uncovers an opportunity for a unique weapon of mass destruction — an innocent asylum seeker with the power to influence the emotions of others. And the U.S. military wants dibs. For Colonel Carl Holden, harnessing Joaquina’s supernatural abilities have proven challenging and he is forced to bring in his old colleague and bitter rival, Dr. Hector Espinoza, for help. Working through his own moral reservations, Hector’s efforts will reveal Joaquina’s terrifying potential and Carl’s hidden agenda but the breakthrough will come at a heavy cost to them all…

Night Terrors by Angela Sylvaine

In an isolated mountain town centered around a secretive research facility, a teen girl struggles to distinguish nightmares from reality after a near-fatal accident leaves her with terrifying nightly visits by masked tormentors.

Extinguishing Fireflies by Rebecca Rowland

Lea wanted nothing more than to have a child. When her daughter Arielle was born, Lea believed, as every new parent does, that her child would be special. At nine-years-old, Arielle is athletic and precocious and curious, and sure enough, has a very special—and terrifying—gift.

The Eyes of the Dead by Danielle R. Bailey

The Eyes of The Dead is a shocking perspective of what lies ahead for us all. Fighting for survival, a young woman discovers the realm of true horror.

The Girl Who Never Stopped Bleeding by Sam Lauren

The Girl Who Never Stopped Bleeding is a literary charcuterie of menstruation mythology. Everyone has heard of at least one, but is there any truth to them?

Blood by Red Claire

In a racist and repressive theocracy, a princess ponders the nature of power and symbols.

Friends with Benefits by E.F. Schraeder

Linked to a powerful mother, one girl doesn’t know if memory or magic holds her family together; can she trust anyone but herself to find out?

The Doll’s House by Alyson Faye

After Sophie’s mother is imprisoned for murder, Sophie inherits the doll’s house; whose inhabitants she believes are alive. As family secrets are revealed, is it Sophie or a supernatural force committing the crimes? Is anyone safe in Sophie’s family?

Leda and the Fly by Marnie Azzarelli

Leda has a problem and stares at a white wall to cope. That is until a fly decides that her precious space is its new home.

Self-Portrait with Pears by Rachel Bolton

A young man’s crush on a classmate slips into obsession when things don’t go as he expects.

A Song Only She Can Hear by Wondra Vanian

High school is hard enough when you don’t have to hide scales from your classmates. Unfortunately for Jewel, she’s about to learn that there are worse things than high school – and she might be one of them.

Angel of Death by Phoebe Jane Johnson

The mass murderess known as La Angel Muerta has been sentenced to death, the first woman to be executed under the newly restored death penalty. Although many scream for justice, a political power play proves justice is not blind. Simultaneously, a nation realms away follow the case as two worlds are destined to collide.

Cracked by Regan Moore

Gabby is about to find out that sometimes someone else’s treasure could become someone else’s curse.

Patterns of Faerytales by Azzurra Nox

The night before his wedding day, Cillian learns a dark secret about his wife that not even she is aware of. Her ignorance could be their bliss, but if she finds out what it is, then life as they know it might very well no longer exist.

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Interview with publisher Dean Drinkel and a mention of Maggie and me…

Here is part of the interview below where Dean talks about Demain publishing.

“DEMAIN to some might be a strange/funny name but I’ll explain it. First it’s a mixture of mine and my French writing partner’s name (DEan and RoMAIN). It is also French for ‘tomorrow’ (our motto is ‘publishing tomorrow’s horror stars today’) and phonetically it sounds like demon—which I’m happy about.

It was a bit of a slow start as the artist I had to do all my covers, etc., had a personal crisis so had to drop out which left me a bit in limbo for a while BUT through Trevor Kennedy I was introduced to the brilliant (and life saver!) Adrian Baldwin and we haven’t looked back. Since March 2019 we have published almost 50 books in the Short Sharp Shocks! Series, a novella (A Quiet Apocalypse) by Dave Jeffery, House Of Wraxby Raven Dane, a Murder! Mystery! Mayhem! novella by Alyson Faye and a stand-alone/non-genre novella Joe by Terry Grimwood.

DEMAIN’s business model is that we publish everything in e-book form first and then move into print. As you can imagine it’s been an exciting but extremely busy time. We’re already reading for releases in 2021 as 2020 is pretty sown up.

Of late I’ve been building relationships with reviewers from all around the world which is really important as well as looking at aspects of marketing and where applicable ‘tie-ins’. There is nothing worse (and I can attest to this) than working damn hard on a book, having an exciting launch and then it dies of death. We’re working extremely hard to make sure the books, once out there, stay visible. What helps is the authors too and I have to say that I’ve been humbled/ honoured/impressed that they’ve stepped up to the plate and got us coverage on the radio, podcasts, interviews, etc.

I’m really happy that DEMAIN itself has been receiving some great comments/reviews. It truly means a lot and the fact that the hard work is paying off. A lot of this is down to the branding (as well as the great stories, which goes without saying) and Adrian’s covers.

We’ve now partnered up with Kendall Reviews which is really exciting. I’d love us to do more podcasts too and are currently looking at audio-books.

The future is extremely promising.


Maggie – my 1940’s crime novella is up for sale / teaching a writing workshop/ Rejected charity anthology is up for sale …

My 1940’s crime novella is up for sale as an e book for £2.37- published by Demain Publishers, a new(ish) up and coming indie press.

If anyone would like a review copy please email me or get in touch with the publisher Dean Drinkel at

Reviews mean a lot to us indie authors.

I have a short story in this charity anthology now up for pre-orders on amazon, all profits of this one go to an animal rescue charity in the US. I have as you probably all know by now, 4 rescue animals at home with me; plus the new arrival of the rescue hedgehog living in the WWF house in our back garden.

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Yesterday, I taught a creative writing workshop at Keighley Library, (see pic above) on How to Write Ghost Stories.

It was a fantastic afternoon, with a lovely group of folk, which included my writing friends, from Otley Writers, Martin P Fuller and from Cleckheaton Writers group, Karen Naylor. Thank you to the Library services co-ordinator Dionne Hood, for booking me and facilitating the running of the session.

A big thank you to everyone who bought my books too. Ghost stories and horror are very close to my dark warped little writer’s heart, (see below) so I really enjoyed myself.Image result for image of a dark heart


Review on Goodreads for an anthology I have a double drabble in…

Guilty Pleasures and Other Dark Delights by Ramsey Campbell

***** 5/5 stars

Guilty Pleasures and Other Dark Delights is a drabble anthology, released by the Tasmania-based publisher Things in the Well, a month after their previous themed anthology, Trickster’s Treats 3: Seven Deadly Sins. Drabble anthologies, books that collect flash fiction that are precisely 100 words each, seems to be en vogue currently, with publishers such as KJK Publishing, Fantasia Divinity, Reanimated Writers Press, and Blood Song Books all having published such collections in 2019. Guilty Pleasures and Other Dark Delights deviates somewhat from the typical horror drabble formula in that the anthology collects not just standard drabbles, but double drabbles (stories that are 200 words), has a few entries in the tail end that are not drabbles (such as the presence of Ramsey Campbell’s short story “Dolls”) and finally, has a focus on not just horror, but erotic and sexy horror. The end result is a fairly lengthy tome of flash fiction from an array of proficient authors. The sexy subject matter straddles several different story ideas: there’s a fair amount of werewolf action, kidnappings, adulterous vampires, a surprising amount of sex-robot uprisings, and even a few end of the world scenarios.

What follows in this review are a handful of the standout, well written, inventive, unique, or interesting drabbles proffered by by the anthology:

“Invisible” by Jay T. Levy – A retro piece that sounds like it takes place during America’s Atomic Age, is has a peeping tom in the form of an invisible man.

“The Woman in the Woods” by Melody Grace – Two youths stumble upon a nude woman in a secluded glade but a bear emerges wanting a snack.

“The Anniversary” by Joe X. Young – Sixth Sense meets a sex tape.

“Joy-Kill” by Anthony Simeone – An outed vampire uses her sex magic to get revenge on the ladies who are responsible for exposing her true nature.

“Bluetooth” by Megan M. Davies-Ostrom – A sexually comfortable couple purchases a high-end vibrator, however someone or something winds up pleasuring the protagonist with it instead.

“The Final Test” by Stephen Herczeg – A sexy sword and sorcery tale of a damsel in distress who is not what she seems when her knight in shining armour arrives to rescue her.

“Love at Death’s Doorstep” by S. T. Lakata – One last romantic moment as the zombie horde advances in.

“Selkie Love” by Lee Murray – One of the more poetic and magic drabbles in the collection.

“The Contemptibles” by Brian Craddock – Military horror meets taboo as soldiers have one last tug on the battlefield but inadvertently summon a golem who does their dirty work.

“The Bus Ride” by Rebecca Fraser – Guy who takes no for an answer gets what he deserves as he continues to try to harass a woman on a bus.

“The Rutting Room” by Stephen Herczeg – Sexy Marquis de Sade ghost comes to pleasure a young woman.

“Captain Hook” by Andra Dill – A different and humorous take on the urban legend about a hook-handed hitchhiker assaulting folks in their cars.

“Garter Belt Bots” by Russell Hemmell and “The Devil Incarnate” by Robyn O’Sullivan both get special mentions as being the few stories in the collection that features stockings in the narrative, a criminal omission from the other entries for us readers who like our erotica mixed with a large helping of Elmer Batters-esque imagery.

The anthology concludes with a short essay by editor Steve Dillon elaborating on how the collection came about, followed by a printing of Campbell’s “Dolls” which is an exquisite folk-horror erotic story and supplemental commentary by weird fiction scholar S. T. Joshi. Overall the collection promises exactly what the title delivers as the anthology showcases a wide arrange of sexual desires, dark and taboo, in the speculative fiction format. Some of the drabbles could certainly be the foundation of even greater stories, while others are succinct and perfect the way they’ve been compose. Dillon certainly has assembled a unique and fun drabble collection (and after all, isn’t sex supposed to be fun?).