Thursday 31 October 2013

#CoffinHop Day 8: A Halloween of Villains

On this, the last day of Coffin Hop, I present to you a little song I composed. Just don't ask me to sing, it won't be pretty.

This one is for the geeks…

This ditty is to be sung as a duet, with one singer crooning in the traditional Twelve Days of Christmas style, and the other doing spoken asides of the words in brackets. The first line should be sung together, and the last two lines are to be spoken.

On the Dark Eve of Halloween, my true love gave to me...

Twelve Trolls Fighting (Over who gets the last holiday cookie)
Eleven Witches Brewing (And it wasn’t coffee)
Ten Lords a-Sithing (Sithing, really? That’s not even a word. They’re Sith Lords; it’s a title)
Nine Nazgul Riding (Run, Frodo, Run)
Eight Wicked Pirates (Sorry, no Captain Jack Sparrow)
Seven Zombies a-Snacking (Brains! Braaains!)
Six Borgs assimilating (Resistance is futile)
Five Golden Dragons (A hot time in the old town tonight)
Four Arkham Escapees (Batman’s got his hands full)
Three A.I.’s (It’s HAL, the Matrix, and Skynet)
Two Malicious Mutants (Call the X-Men, quick!)
And an Evil Queen with an Apple (Poisoned, of course)

I'm going to need more room on my collectables shelf (you got that right).

For more scary stuff on this last day, scroll down for the list of Coffin Hoppers, and don't forget to enter the Rafflecopter contest, it’s your final chance. Winners of all the contests will be announced tomorrow.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Wednesday 30 October 2013

#CoffinHop Day 7: Inhuman

We are taking a break from the creepy world of fairies today and trekking back to the world of monsters, human or otherwise, with a guest post by fellow Xchyler Publishing author, (and fellow Canadian), R. M. Ridley. Here’s his take on the things that give us shivers…

Inhuman – a phrase used often in horror. A term which can be used to convey so much, in only one word. It evokes a visceral reaction without providing any details. What is it about that one word which makes us flinch? Why does it sum up horror itself?
I believe that word holds power, in part, because it gives no particulars. By saying ‘What he saw beyond that door was inhuman’ allows the readers to envision any, and all, possibilities. ‘Inhuman’ may call to mind an amorphous blob waving tentacles to one and a chitinous tube with a gaping mouth to another.
The vagueness of ‘inhuman’ conjures the primal fear buried deep within the reader. It is fun to write the thing you see in your own head. It is natural to want to convey the wrongness of your own imagining to your audience. However, there is purity in the works of those authors like Lovecraft, who leave the horror to the readers own worst nightmares.
‘Inhuman’ can strike a different note of fear as well. When used not to describe a creature from some dark dimension but the behavior and actions of one that is, in all other ways, all too human, such as the fascination with the individuals and characters that are killers – serial killers being a prime example.
These incarnations of the term ‘inhuman’ fascinate and scare because not only do they blend in - seem like one of us - but because in their apparent humanity, their inhuman actions become even more horrorific.
A demon from hell eating the neighbor is understandable to us because they are not human. These creatures that we create to scare us are expected to be heartless killers. We understand that, because that’s why we imagine them. But, when it is one of our own – when it is a person – it becomes harder to understand, to figure out the why.
This fear goes far beyond that it will be our own neighbor who ‘seemed so nice’ but then ate the mailman. It is, in fact, the fear that within each of us there is the possibility to be ‘inhuman’.
Tapping into that fear, making each reader question their own interior darkness, is something I have yet to achieve - but I strive for it. I want to write that story that makes each and every reader shiver in fear as they touch their own inner ‘inhuman’.

R. M. Ridley lives with his wife on a small homestead in Canada, raising chickens and sheep. He has been writing stories, both long and short, for three decades, the themes of which range from the gruesome to the fantastical. As an individual who suffers from severe Bi-polar disorder, R. M. Ridley is a strong believer in being open about mental health issues and uses his writing to escape, when his thoughts become too wild.

R. M. Ridley’s ‘The Cost of Custody’, a paranormal P.I. story about a kidnapped child, magic, and a father’s love, is one of nine short stories in ‘Shades and Shadows: A Paranormal Anthology’ – available now:

And in honour of today’s post, one lucky person who leaves a comment will win a free copy of Death by Drive-In, the Coffin Hop Anthology.

You can find out more about the book at the Coffin Hop website
All profits from the anthology will be donated to, a  non-profit organization supporting child literacy and social improvement the world over.

Plus, don't forget to scroll on down for the list of more Coffin Hoppers to visit, and enter the Rafflecopter contest.

Tuesday 29 October 2013

#CoffinHop Day 6: Beyond the Gloaming

For today I have a creepy little tale of the Faerie…

Beyond the Gloaming

Bran trudged wearily along the mountain path, tired, but determined. He needed to reach the hollow before dusk, or wait another year. He glanced at the ever sinking sun; his time grew short.
“A strange journey you're on, young man. Best think twice before continuing.”
Bran stopped, his path now blocked by a stooped old hag of a woman, dressed in a grey cloak and an odd looking four cornered hat. She smiled at him, an unsettling grin that made him shiver.
“Who are you and where did you come from?”
“Never you mind the answer to either question, young man. Just listen, and if you have the sense, heed my advice.” She took a step closer to him. “What you seek is not what you will find. What you had is lost, swallowed whole. Do not meddle in affairs of the Seelie Court.”
Bran balled his hands into fists, her words sparking his anger. “I will not be dissuaded. They stole from me. I will have what is mine.”
“You cannot steal what was freely given, young man, but no matter. I see you are unwavering. Be on your way.” The old woman stepped aside and allowed Bran to pass, casting parting words as he left her behind. “Don't drink their wine.”


Bran entered the hollow—a clearing nestled in the forest—with the first touch of dusk, and left the safety of the woodland path. In the gloaming he waited for them.
As silhouettes cast against the fading sunlight they appeared, one by one, laughing, shimmering, the host of Faerie, come to play in the world of mortals. Shadows danced around them, scattering light and air, the trees whispered names in the old tongue, and the sky turned cold.
“Who have we here, come to call this night, on the Seelie Court?” A tall Fae, with pale, blond hair and a crown upon his head stepped towards Bran. “Come human, state your business.”
Bran swallowed, both spit and fear. “I am Bran. I've come to retrieve what’s mine.”
The Faerie smiled. “You have spirit little human, but have a care. You address a Prince of the Faerie. And it sounds much as if you accuse the Court of thievery.”
Bran summoned his courage. He would not fail now. “I do accuse you. You stole my wife, Eva. Spirited her away with you a year ago, from this very glade. I’ve waited long enough, return her to me.”
“Ah. That puts a different spin on the matter that does.” The Prince snickered. “A husband come to fetch a wife.” He spun about to address his subjects. “Do we have a wife for him?”The Faerie Host laughed, an indifferent, harsh noise.
The Prince swiveled back to face Bran. “A brave soul you may be, but a foolish one. You can’t have her back, not as the woman you knew. She belongs to us now. See for yourself.”
With a wave of the prince’s hand, the Host parted to reveal the figure of a woman. She shimmered, a vision of beauty, her skin, pale, shining, nearly translucent, and her fair hair glowed in ethereal grace. But her eyes held a vacant, pensive stare, as if she gazed at something just beyond the edges of the world, and her smile held no kindness, only dissipation. In her hands she held a golden goblet.
Bran stared. “Eva?”
The woman gazed at him. “Yes. That’s my name. At least I think it used to be, perhaps not anymore.” She laughed, a mad, echoing sound. “Do I know you?”
“Eva, it’s Bran. Your husband.” He reached out his hand to her.
“Oh, I don't have a husband. I had one once, but I misplaced him. I don't mind though, because I’ll have a new one. Soon. Not yet, but soon.” She took a few steps forward. “Would you like to be my new husband? Join me. Have a drink.” She held out the goblet.
Bran felt a hand on his shoulder and the cold breath of Faerie in his ear. “You want to be with your love? Join with us, taste of our wine. You can leave this world and be with her in ours. Take the cup and drink.”
Bran reached out his hand, his fingers brushing against the gold. It would be so easy.
“No.” He let his hand fall. “I won’t. She’s mine, not yours.” He grabbed Eva by the wrist, turned and ran, pulling her along in his wake. The goblet dropped, spilling the wine.
He sprinted for the clearing edge, dragging Eva behind him. He raced for the woodland path, beyond their circle of power, but never reached it. The Faerie blocked his course, surrounded Bran, captured him, and snatched Eva from his grasp.
He stretched out his hands, as they pulled them apart, trying to hold on to her, to touch her. “No, stop it, let her go. Give her back to me.”
The Faerie Prince stepped between them. “You had your chance. You refused us, human. Now you lose the game and pay the forfeit.” He smiled. “But I'm not heartless. One last look, perhaps.”
The prince turned and took Eva’s hand, drawing her forward. “Do you have anything to say to our erstwhile guest, my dear?”
“Am I supposed to say kind words? I don't have any.” Eva smiled.
“Eva, please. Remember me, I'm your husband.” He struggled to break free of his captors.
“No. No husband tonight. You didn't join us. A shame, you seemed nice until you tried to run.” She turned to the prince. “Can I play with him instead?”
“Of course you can, my dear.” The prince clapped his hands. “Did you hear? Eva wants to play. Form a circle.”
Suddenly Bran was free. He watched the faerie as they moved silently, toward the edge of the glade. He stood alone with Eva, encircled by Faerie.
“What’s going on?”
Eva laughed. “They're making certain you can’t escape.” From a sheath attached to her belt, she drew a silver dagger.
Bran backed away a few steps. “Eva. What are you doing?”
She smiled. “It’s time for fun. It’s time to play. It’s time for you to bleed.” She laughed, with the Seelie Court echoing the sound.


The old hag of a woman hobbled into glade with the first rays of the morning sun. She shuffled to Bran’s corpse where it sprawled on the trampled grass. She chuckled as she took her knife from her belt and opened her bag made of hide. Then she knelt down beside the body.
“Told you she was lost, and not to meddle. Though I suppose, it was bad advice to tell you not to drink the wine. Teach you to listen to strangers.” She chuckled again.
“Leastwise you won’t go to waste.” With her blade, she cut open his stomach and torso. “Your body parts will make powerful spells, they will.” The old woman hacked out his organs and tucked the fresh meat into her sack. The last thing she did was scoop out his eyeballs. Then she closed her sack and rose.
Outside the glade the old woman could sense the animals. They were hungry. “I’m done. Come and finish the rest.” She turned and walked away, leaving Bran’s remains for carrion.

Now keep scrolling for the list of more Coffin Hoppers to visit and don't forget to enter my Rafflecopter contest.

Monday 28 October 2013

#CoffinHop Day 5: Finding the Unicorn

Another story for today, this time a tale that didn't make the cut for Fairy Tale Fusion (mostly because I forgot to include it):

Finding the Unicorn

On a windy evening in October, Sammy the Troll stomped into the Monster’s Bar and Grill, with a scowl on his face and anger in his heart (or at least that tiny shrivelled mass of muscle he called a heart). He scanned the twisted and misshapen faces in the bar, looking for the particular mug of Oscar the Fairy. Oscar was an investigator, of the private variety, and the toughest, meanest fairy this side of the Seelie Court. He was exactly who Sammy needed.
Sammy pushed across the crowded bar, knocking over a few tables and a hoard of pixies that stood in his path. Upon reaching Oscar he demanded, “I want you to get my unicorn back!”
Oscar slowly sipped his whiskey before replying. “Details, you pug ugly. What happened to the unicorn?”
“Emily the Ogre took him when she left me. The stupid beast took him for spite and I want him back.”
“Oh yeah, I heard you and Miss Nasty Ogre checked into splitsville. Tough break, her taking your precious unicorn, but it seems to me this is a domestic thing. I don't do domestic.”
“I'll triple your normal fee.”
Oscar whistled softly. “Okay, for triple, I'll do domestic. You care how I get the unicorn back?”
“Nope, do what you got to do. I just want my baby back.”
Oscar smiled. He figured he'd get free rein. Everybody in the Worlds knew how Sammy felt about the unicorn. “If I get my money up front, you can have your unicorn back by midnight.”
“Done.” Sammy slammed a thick wad of cash onto the table.
Oscar smiled wider and picked up the money. “See you later tonight, pug ugly.”

A few spells later and Oscar stood face to face with Emily inside her lair. She had planted herself between him and the unicorn. “Hand him over, sweets, and nobody gets hurt.”
“Try and take him, fairy, and I'll rip off your wings.”
“Don't say I didn't warn you, sweets.”
Oscar opened his hand and showed her the dust. She screamed, but it was too late. He tossed the fairy powder into her face, she went “poof” and shrank down to the size of a pixie. A very angry, yelling, pixie-sized ogre. Oscar bent down, scooped her into a sack on his belt and then retrieved the unicorn. He gave it a squeeze.
He shook his head in disbelief. “All this fuss over a plush toy.”

Still muttering about the foibles of trolls and ogres, Oscar headed to his client’s den and returned the unicorn to Sammy who was all smiles.
“My baby snookums is back.” Sammy hugged his toy. “Now get lost, fairy. I need my rest. I haven't had a good night’s sleep since my baby got stolen.”
Oscar watched Sammy snuggle into his bed of leaves still clutching his precious toy, and as he left, he could hear the sound of the troll’s snores. Oscar went back to his house, counted his cash and put an ad up on the internet: For Sale, One Angry Shrunken Ogre. Needs a Good Home.

Thanks for reading. Anyone who leaves a comment today gets a chance to win an e-copy of my book, Gothic Cavalcade (via Smashwords).

Now scroll on down for the list of more Coffin Hoppers, and continue down the dark path… and don't forget to enter the Rafflecopter contest. 

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Sunday 27 October 2013

#CoffinHop Day 4: Dark Poetry Corner

It’s time for my poetry corner, where I dig out the dark shards of inspiration…

These two poems were originally slated to appear in Fairy Tale Fusion, but alas didn't make the final cut.  But you do get to enjoy them as part of Coffin Hop.

Little Red Riding Hood... Don’t Go into the Woods

Once upon that haunted time,
a land flowed bitter in foul crime.
The woods, such a dangerous place,
travellers learned to quicken their pace.

One day, a girl with a hood of red
went off to Grandma, who lay abed.
The young lass was charming, but plain
with modest sense and little brain.

She went unaware, through the woods,
bearing her Granny a basket of goods.
While the Wolf Clan tracked every tread
their vile intentions to inspire deep dread.

Poor old Granny they dispatched
and a wicked plot straight away hatched.
Gullible Girl Red stepped into a trap,
that Wolf Clan scheme to kidnap.

She disappeared from the world that day;
there was no Huntsman to help her stay.
She ended in a dank, dark pit,
roasting on the Wolf Clan spit.

Briar Rose

A curse, time and beauty enfold her fate...

Smoke and dark magic
waft in the ether
as a small baby cries
her first breath.

Darkness rises, tendrils curling, entwining...

The past cannot be hidden,
hate seeks retribution.
Blood calls to blood,
even ichor black as pitch.

On the first moon the blight is cast to fall...

A singular unwelcome guest
spewing sins and venom.
The noxious web begins,
the magic spun along the path.

One prick upon the finger, a drop of blood...

A dream of immortality
as she slumbers, imprisoned
behind walls of razor thorns
fed by princely flesh and bone.

A rider comes, the destined last hunter...

Following the fabled prize.
He prevails, a quest fulfilled
her dreams disturbed with a kiss.
And her life becomes his,

still not her own...

This next poem appears in the Twisted Shorties II anthology (free on Smashwords: ):

In the Mirror

Reflection of light, illusion in grey,
Oh, mirror, mirror tell me true,
Who is fated to die this day?

A flicker of magic, come what may,
for kings, princes, and courtiers too,
Reflection of light, illusion in grey.

I smile, I laugh, with words betray,
Should I whisper that spell anew?
Who is fated to die this day?

A timely curse, enchantments sway;
Pawns that topple, and blood I drew.
Reflection of light, illusion in grey.

Have your children gone astray?
Perhaps a part of someone’s stew?
Who is fated to die this day?

Witches are calling, come join the fray,
To pirouette with Death, will you?
Reflection of light, illusion in grey.
Who is fated to die this day?

Thanks for reading, and be sure to comment, as one person who leaves a comment will be picked at random to win a free e-copy (via Smashwords) of my book, Reflections of Poetry.

Hope you enjoyed this shadowy sojourn, please continue down the dark road and visit some of the other hoppers  (scroll down, way down, to find the list) and don't forget to enter the Rafflecopter Contest (see below).

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Saturday 26 October 2013

#CoffinHop Day 3: Fairy Tale Confessional

Another day, another coffin. This time it’s Sleeping Beauty’s…

An Excerpt from Fairy Tale Fusion:

I Cursed Sleeping Beauty... And She Deserved It

So you want to hear my side of the story? All the dirt behind the scoundrel of the Sleeping Beauty Tale?
Well here’s the scoop...

The fact is I've gotten a bad rap. I've been branded the bad guy because I put some prissy, pink-cheeked spoiled princess under a curse and she fell asleep for a century. Big deal, so she took a nap. She woke up eventually and now she’s got her happily-ever-after and a dreamy prince. Plus, she’s over a hundred and she still looks like a teenager. I bet she'll be wishing she was still snoozing when things start to sag.
Yes, dear little Sleeping Beauty’s got it good, and what did I get? Bad PR, that’s what. Of course nobody ever looks at it from my side. It’s all, well, “she’s the bad fairy.” Was it my fault that fate chose me to be the keeper of the darker things in life? No it wasn't, I was born into it; I've been up against it since I came into this world.
A numbers game, that’s what my life started as, a freaking unlucky chance of being born the thirteenth heir of the ruling fairy families. All my life I knew my destiny would be to follow the path of Dark Magic.
As a child, I was sent to magic school with my cousins. I learned curses and poisons while the rest of my family made love potions and fancy fairy dust. On the playground they shunned me, taunted and teased me. I toughened up quickly in that school.
I spent my teen years crawling around swamps for toads and lizards while the other girls dreamed about boys and lacy dresses. No one teased me anymore, though; you turn one girl blue for a week and that sort of thing stops cold.
After graduation (head of my class, but I never got credit for that) I found myself at loose ends and an outcast in my own family. I went to live on my own, shut myself away in a lonely tower, while my twelve cousins went on to fame and fortune. They flitted about, bestowing beauty, happiness, and charm on the world; I dished out warts and bad luck spells. Is it any wonder I'm a little bitter?
It’s not like I looked for any trouble, I just did my job. I went out of my way to temper all that evil I was in charge of and make the best of it. All I asked for was some respect. Not too much to request, but still I got shafted.
You see, there’s a part of my story that tends to get glossed over, you know the part about me being snubbed, publicly. They knew the tradition, that a royal child is christened in attendance of all the fairy houses, even the Dark Fae. I wanted to go, to have a new elegant dress, and maybe dance a waltz at the after party. I picked out the right gift—nothing too ostentatious, just a touch of temper—a flaw to give her a rounded personality. I figured with all those other gifts like wit, charisma and beauty she needed a little something to make her more human.
But the King and Queen couldn't bear to have their precious daughter marred (their word, not mine) so they made the wrong decision to change the centuries old custom. Did those royals ever consider my feelings? No, they went and left me out of the christening party. An oversight they said later, they simply forgot to dispatch my invite. Yeah, right. And I was supposed to stand back and suffer that slight, take the insult? Well, not this gal, I can tell you. I had a reputation to maintain.
So I crashed their soiree and cursed the little princess. Sure, I went a little overboard with my original, “prick her finger and die” proclamation, but I've always had a tendency to overdo when I'm mad. It’s not like she died or anything. And maybe I did cheat a little on her sixteenth birthday to ensure my curse, but hey, a bit of chicanery is my trademark. I needed some insurance, to show those royals that I was still in control.
I stand by my actions. I was justified and they all had it coming. What did they expect for offending the Queen of the Dark Fairies? It’s the spin that bugs me, this whole “wicked fairy godmother” crap. Where do they get off judging me? A bunch of snooty royals screw up and for that I get labelled a villain!
Life just isn't fair.

Fairy Tale Fusion is available at:

Don’t forget to scroll down for the list of more Coffin Hoppers, and enter the Rafflecopter contest before you turn out the lights. See you tomorrow …I hope.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Friday 25 October 2013

#CoffinHop Day 2: Into the Woods

Into the Woods

Once Upon a Time…

If that phrase conjures up image of Disney Princesses and happy endings then you’re missing out on the delightfully dark aspects of fairy tales. The ones that come with the original versions of the stories, where sinister woodlands held wicked witches, vengeful spirits, cannibalistic queens, murderous ogres and all manner of things out to kill you. Even the princes had a sinister edge, with not-so-charming intentions.

Now I love the Disney animated films, but my childhood involved reading more nasty versions, namely Grimm’s Fairy Tales. These are the stories that bite, where menacing things prowl in the darkness, behind the trees and even invade your home. In these stories bad things happened, and even the happy endings could seem rather imperfect.

These stories had a spooky ambience and a lurid nature, dark and dripping in blood and terror, but being a main character in one of these fairy tales wasn't easy. A walk in the woods could get you eaten by wolves, captured by witches (who wanted to cook and eat you) or turned into some kind of animal. Even family wasn't safe. Step-mothers, mothers-in-law, fathers and siblings could all conspire to kill you. They could be hungry for your flesh, jealous of your beauty, or just greedy for your gold.

And those Not-So-Charming Princes I mentioned? Well, they tended to scoop up their Princesses without so much as a by-your-leave (I mean who whisks off girls they've just met in a forest?) and marched them to the altar as quick as they could (or do even worse, as in the original Sleeping Beauty tale). Happily ever after for these heroines often meant being forcibly snatched from the life you knew and wedded to a stranger (and sometimes being persecuted by his crazy witch mother).

So the next time you think of fairy tales, don't imagine pretty princesses, shiver in horror.  And remember:  death (and a witch) lurks around every corner, family can't be trusted, and stay away from princes.

I hope you'll visit some of the other hoppers  (scroll down, way down, to find the list) and don't forget to enter my Rafflecopter Contest.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Thursday 24 October 2013

Beware, Coffin Hop Begins!

Beware, Coffin Hop Begins!

Yes, Dear Readers, it’s that time of year again. When all the naughty and nasty things crawl out the ground (or the woods) to play…

Welcome to Coffin Hop 2013!

Every October a Halloweeny hoard of horror writers get together and turn the last week of the month into a scarefest, with the blood dripping Coffin Hop. This blog hop runs from Oct. 24th until the 31st, Halloween, and is always tons of fun, with contests, stories and ghoulish delights from all the participating writers. Plus, this year Coffin Hop is proud to present its first anthology, Death by Drive –In. All profits from the COFFIN HOP: DEATH BY DRIVE-IN anthology will be donated to to help encourage children’s literacy throughout the world. 

So on with the creep show...

This year I'm doing a Dark Fairy Tale Theme, in honour of my just released book Fairy Tale Fusion.  For the next week this blog (mostly) belongs to the darker side of Fairyland; there will be a book excerpt and fairy tale poems, some stories and a guest post from writer R. M. Ridley.

There will also be contests.  One mega Rafflecopter Contest running all week long, with three chances to win, plus a couple of mini contests for free books, including the Coffin Hop anthology, Death by Drive –In (where I have a story, yay!). 

To kick things off I'll be introducing my new book, Fairy Tale Fusion:

Welcome to Fairy Tale Fusion.
Where things get messy in the Riding Hood.

What if the characters in Fairy Tales existed? What if they lived and breathed in a place called Fairyland, a setting not too divergent from our world, situated next to Wonderland and down the lane from Camelot?

Meet Detective Piper, member of the Fairyland Metro Police. His job, to ferret out the suspects and investigate crime on the streets and in the lanes of Fairyland. Along with Officer Simon, he’s hard at work, searching for a missing pumpkin, hunting for an arsonist, wondering what the future holds in a series of crystal ball robberies, and dealing with spells, curses and other strange happenings.

His cases, and others like them, are the headlines of the day, brought to you by FTN news anchors Spider Bramble and Aurora Gossamer, with entertainment correspondent Lucinda Lovedust and reporter Chip Charming. Keep up-to-date on the latest information out of Fairyland and its adjacent suburbs, and the recent hubbub with trolls, princesses, fairies and their ilk. 

And after leaving Fairyland, you'll journey to a place where toys are born… to be bad.  When spells go wrong and playthings turn mean, where clown dolls would kill to meet you and a Rubik’s cube holds a cosmic secret.

If you survive the toy box, then head out to party with some elves (if you can outlast the celebration), battle in a far, far away galaxy, play “find the dragon”, and discover how they do crime and punishment in Oz.

And remember, always be nice to your Fairy Godmother.

Fairy Tale Fusion is available at Smashwords and Amazon.

Now for the Rafflecopter Contest. You enter via the widget below, and there’s no mandatory entry, just click the ones you want.
Here's what the prize packs consist of:

Free Fairy Tale Fusion ebook
Autographed paperback copy of Mechanized Masterpieces: A Steampunk Anthology
Digital artwork
PDF Wanted posters

Free Fairy Tale Fusion ebook
Pen and Notepad
Digital artwork
PDF Wanted posters

Free Fairy Tale Fusion ebook
Pen and Notepad
Digital artwork 

(A Note: the pen/notepad bear the original name of Fairy Tale Fusion, which was Fractured Fairy Tales; apparently that happens when you order prizes in advance and then change the name of your book.)
You can check out photos of the artwork prizes here:

That’s it for today, but come back tomorrow for a trip into the dark woods. And visit the other Coffin Hoppers  (scroll down, way down, to find the list).

Wednesday 23 October 2013

Fairy Tale Fusion Launches Today!

Today's the day for the official launch of my new book Fairy Tale Fusion, and there's a big celebration going on over at Facebook this afternoon at 4 PM Atlantic Time (that's 3 PM Eastern) until 7 PM Atlantic (6 PM Eastern). There will be trivia questions, chatting, and free swag, plus I may even bring some virtual chocolate, and peppermint daiquiris.

It all happens here:

And don't worry if you can't make it because the dark fairies are heading to this very blog tomorrow, Oct 24th, for the start of Coffin Hop 2013. Yes, that's right it's that time of year again, when Halloween starts early. So, please join me until Halloween for Dark Magic, Creepy Creatures, and the Seelie Court...

Oh, and did I mention there will be contests with lots of free stuff.

Fairy Tale Fusion

What if the characters in Fairy Tales were real? What if they lived in Fairyland, a place not too dissimilar to ours, next to Wonderland and down the street from Camelot?  
Come follow the exploits of Detective Piper of the Fairyland Metro Police, the Fairy Tale News updates and more cracked characters taken from the world of childhood.  

When you are done dancing with Cinderella and her cronies, open the lid of a very scary toy box to find where children’s nightmares begin... and end, badly.

Book Links: 

Friday 11 October 2013

Inspiration by Tolkien: A Guest Post by Sheila Deeth

Today, author Sheila Deeth stops by on her blog tour to talk about Tolkien’s The Silmarillion and how it connects to her Five-Minute Bible Story Series and her new book, Bethlehem’s Baby.

How the Silmarillion inspired a book of Bible Stories

Once upon a (student) time I got a copy of Tolkien’s The Silmarillion for Christmas. I took it back to college with me as term began, and rationed myself to reading one chapter a day—kind of like rationing chocolate to two pieces a day (which I also did), and cake to one slice. It was hard to read so slowly though. I really loved the book and was hooked right from the first tale—the Music of the Ainur. What a wonderful “creation” story! What a haunting blend of weighty prose, musical language, and thrilling fantasy. “Never since have the Ainur made music like to this music,” the author writes, “though it has been said that a greater still shall be made before Iluvatar by the choirs of Ainur and the Children of Iluvatar after the end of days.” The words begged to be sounded aloud, and the press of eternal meaning bore into me. But I was a mathematician, studying the logic of number systems and the vagaries of function and form. I was already a “mongrel Christian mathematician” though, so Tolkien’s Biblical hints dug deep. I went to Christian Union meetings, represented the Catholic Chaplaincy, and wondered—oh heresy of heresies—why didn't God use interesting authors like Tolkien to write the scriptures?

I was kind of an accidental mathematician really. When it came to a choice between studying mathematics or writing, I chose math because at least when you're right you're right and no-one’s going to tell you you're not good enough. In contrast my son, when faced with the identical choice, plumped for writing because those who judge words can only give opinions; they can't definitively declare your answer’s wrong.

So what’s an accidental mathematician, with a love of writing, a sudden total addiction to Tolkien (especially The Silmarillion), and a deep Christian faith to do? In my case, dreaming was way easier than doing, so I dreamed a set of Bible stories, written so kids (and teens, and students too) might actually want to read them, written to be fun and spoken aloud and shared, and going all the way from creation to revelation—from that first music of Tolkien’s Ainur until the end of days. Then I got a job and wrote computer programs, got married and had kids, got another job and broke computer programs, became infinitely more mongrel, learned tons of stuff about the Bible and Biblical times, lost my job… and then I started writing those stories I'd dreamed of long ago.

The kids are grown, and one of them even writes. So now the Bible, science and history feed my muse, Tolkien and faith inspire my intent, and the Five-Minute Bible StoryTM Series keeps growing, though Creation to Revelation’s already taking six books with Bethlehem’s Baby’s recent release, and many more in the works.

Meanwhile I still love The Silmarillion best of all my Tolkien books. I just found it again while tidying up the shelves, so please excuse me while I curl up and read.

Thank you so much for welcoming me to your blog, Anita.

Find Bethlehem’s Baby at:
More of the Five-Minute Bible StoryTM Series on the publisher’s website:

Connect with Sheila at:

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