Sunday 28 June 2015

Book Spotlight: Coffin Riders

Today we shine the spotlight on the intriguing fantasy horror novel, Coffin Riders by James W. Bodden. It looks like a great book, and a treat for horror fans, so enjoy...

Coffin Riders by James W. Bodden

The worst part about hell? There aren't enough towels. 

Bloom deep-throats the barrel, and pulls the trigger. He waits for Lorraine to follow him into the afterlife, just like they planned, but she never shows. Death has no payoff. 

He drops down to the underworld, a place called Paradise Cove, an assisted afterlife facility masquerading as a cheap hotel deep in the bowels of the earth. A modern day Dante, Bloom searches desperately for a way out of hell. He journeys through the nine known underworlds in a mad search for his lady love to take the revenge he thinks he is owed.

Death is a spiral: the deeper you go the worse it gets.

You can find Coffin Riders at:

Author Bio:

James W. Bodden’s the writer of the Red Light Princess, and Coffin Riders. He lives in Tegucigalpa, Honduras, and has hunted UFOs for a late night radio show, and after fresh corpses as a crime beat reporter.

Friday 26 June 2015

Pinterest Is A Porno Site (Among Other Things)

Pinterest Is A Porno Site (Among Other Things)

As some of you may already know if you read my previous post, or have been following my Twitter updates, I’ve been having trouble with policy violators (aka porno pinners) over at Pinterest. A gaggle of them (for some unknown and creepy reason) have targeted one of my group book boards on the site. I’m not saying this is an attack or anything, but I’ve been getting at least one of these sleazy, sexist profiles following my book board each day for weeks.

Now I’m not overly prudish, or against nudity, and I’m not talking about art shots, nude paintings, sexy celebrity photos, or even those lingerie boards. What I’ve been dealing with is full frontal, sexist exploitation of women (plus a few men as well) and the very definition of pornography. Many of these images are very graphic, very sexual (and sexist) in nature, and in some cases designed to imitate under age schoolgirls. This is not what I signed on to view, and I believe it SHOULD NOT be displayed on a public forum like Pinterest. And I’m betting NOT ONE of those sexist jerks that post these photos would take copies into a crowded public place like a mall and show them to strangers. Yet, they have NO problem doing the virtual equivalent on Pinterest.

But wait, Pinterest has a policy against these types of pins, doesn’t it? Supposedly it does. Yet by my recent experience it is turning a blind eye, and these profiles, boards and pins are flourishing on the site. And to make my troubles worse is their recent change to their reporting process. Now you have to get up close and personal with the pins to report them (so good job Pinterest—to get rid of graphic sexual photos, you have to interact with them). Plus the system is not working properly, at least for me. I may be biased, but it seems Pinterest is making it harder to report violators and to want to report violators. Making it a hassle to report a violation does not encourage people to use the process. As well, they’ve certainly been giving me the runaround about fixing my problem with their system.

I used to love Pinterest, in part because it wasn’t a place I had to navigate around creeps and sexism. I guess that’s changed. I feel like I want to chuck the whole thing, but I put a lot of time into my profile, so I probably won’t leave (though I may have to delete that book board). I do know I certainly won’t be as frequent a visitor on the site anymore. To sum up, all I have to say is this—Pinterest isn’t a family friendly site, so if that’s what you are looking for, either stay off the site or pay very close attention to who is following you and exactly what they are pinning.

Thursday 25 June 2015

Cover Reveal: August's Gardens by Michelle Barclay

Today I'm part of a cover reveal, this time for the new fantasy/horror novel August's Gardens by Michelle Barclay. This upcoming book is the sequel to Morrigan's Shadows, and it's scheduled release date is August 18, 2015. And now on to the big reveal...

Isn't it a lovely cover?

And now for a bit about the book and author.

August's Gardens

Morrigan is beyond death, trapped in a hellish nightmare from which only the Artist can save her. The Fiend is behind enemy lines learning to reap what he has sown. The Artist reaches deep into his past to find a reason for the strange woman he now must rescue from the vile Dark Man. The Winged Man is forced to wait while all of the elements he needs to start war with hell itself fall into place. Will he fight alone or will his shattered family unite with him?

Author Bio: 

Michelle Barclay is the author of Morrigan's ShadowsRot and the upcoming novel August's Gardens. She lives on the South Shore in Massachusetts with her husband. 

Follow Michelle Barclay on Twitter and Facebook to learn about upcoming giveaways and how you can get a free digital copy of her novella Rot. For author news and very occasional updates, sign up for Michelle's mailing list.

Wednesday 24 June 2015

Drabble Wednesday: Secrets

Today on Drabble Wednesday I delve into the dark shadows and even darker hearts…

A Venice Night

I slip through shadows and sunset and the drifting mist, my near silent footsteps swallowed by the ocean lapping against the bridge. A gondola is waiting; soon I will be lost among the murky waterways and alleys of the city. As I near my escape, I clutch my precious satchel close, my free hand grasping my stiletto.
Too late I see. An empty gondola, the flash of another blade. Pain in my side, my useless knife falls. I watch the assassin snatch away my satchel, the stolen papers reclaimed. Then he rolls me into the water and all goes black.


A winter snowfall blankets a crisp white across the mountain landscape, imbuing the night with a quiet beauty. Against the weather, welcoming light—cast from a human dwelling—flickers. A sliding door stands open, the frigid air swirling past the bamboo and wood.
A breeze wafts a flurry of the tumbling flakes inside the home. A tiny storm dances, and for a moment, a minuscule of time, the white suspends in air. Then it descends. It spawns a brief contrast to red stains on the floor, before it melts into pooling liquid.
Before it joins the blood of the dead.

Desert Sand

Footsteps, impressions in the sand. Two sets lead out into the desert, the tracks of friends, of two adventurous men. One man, a natural leader, outgoing, handsome, a risk taker. The other quiet, more introverted, cautious, but clever and patient.
One man kissed his beautiful wife as he left this morning, the other shut his door on an empty apartment. Two friends. One careless with his words, never letting his success go unremarked. The other smiles while resentment and envy churn in his heart.
Footsteps, impressions in the sand. Two sets lead out into the desert, only one lead back.

Wednesday 17 June 2015

Drabble Wednesday: Mishmash

An apology is needed, as I totally forgot to write some new drabbles for today's post (in part to the good news that one of my story submissions was accepted). So I dig into the vault today, and pull out some stories and dust them off...

He Had A Dream

Professor Maynard P. Gimmell built a spaceship, a green platypus-shaped spaceship, and no one knew why, not even the professor.  One morning he awoke with a burning desire to build, so he went to work and declared, “I’m going to build a rocket to the stars!”
After three years, seven months, two days and forty minutes, he finished and launched himself into the cosmos, leaving behind colleagues green with envy.
So what was the Professor’s motivation?
Some say it was the call of strange aliens, some say he watched too many cartoons with his grand-kids.  Only the universe knows now.

Avoid the Lure of the Free Cookie

A poet decides?
Who the heck made that rule?
How did I get roped into this crazy contest anyway?
I mean, all I wanted was a free chocolate chip cookie, so why am I locked in this hut with twenty writers, twenty-one pieces of paper and three crayons?
Oh, why must there be chaos and in-fighting as we jockey over the crayons?  Why must some dangle their participles?
And why does it have to be a poet that decides the winning entry?
Most of all, why did I let Tom and Jeannie talk me into appearing on Survivor: Writers Island?

Meeting Up With Your Ideal Supernatural Mate

These days, the hot new trend for women is to connect with that sizzling vampire, half-demon, slayer, fallen angel or even have that kinky zombie fling.  However, dating the paranormal has its pitfalls.

Some advice on things to avoid if looking to date that supernatural cutie:

  •      Creatures with excessive drooling
  •      Requests to “hook up” with his vampire pals
  •      Any rendezvous in a dark alley
  •      Offers of dark-coloured or strange looking drinks
  •      Dates in unfamiliar places
  •      Suggestions to meet “the family”
  •      Any and all “road trips”

So use your common sense and be safe.

Sunday 14 June 2015

Celebrations, Events, and Some Internet Radio

Today I’m here to talk about me. Yes, I have some updates and some events I’ll be participating in over the next few weeks.


First up is the BlogTalk Radio Show, THE AUTHORS WORDS: Characters Gone Mad Addition. This happens on June 23rd, hosted by JD Holiday and Agy Wilson. I'll be one of three guests (Dellani Oakes and J.P. Lane being the others) answering some questions about our book characters. On the hot seat so to speak will be my Detective Piper from Fairy Tale Fusion.

You can click on the blog post link for more details about the event and find out the where and when:

On July 8th, I’m joining in the fun on Facebook with the Sunshine Book Show Celebration. It's one of those multi-author takeover events, and it should be quite the party. I'm up at 2:30 PM EST until 3:00 PM EST, and I’ll be offering up some ebook prizes, a contest game, excerpts, and a Rafflecopter giveaway. In fact, the whole event promises to be chalked full of prizes and games, so be sure to show up.

Here’s the author schedule and the event link:

(All Times Are EST)

12:00 – 12:30 pm: Maria DeVivo
(Welcome and Roll Call) 12:30 – 1:00 pm: Karen Black
1:00 – 1:30 pm: Mysti Parker 1:302:00 pm: Cris Pasqueralle
2:00 – 2:30 pm: Viv Drewa 2:303:00 pm: A. F. Stewart
3:00 – 3:30 pm: Patty Wiseman 3:30 – 4:00 pm: Maria DeVivo
4:004:30 pm: Uvi Poznansky
4:30 – 5:00 pm: Janet Morris
5:005:30 pm: Linda Bonney Olin
5:306:00 pm: Chuck Lovatt
6:006:30 pm: Karen Vaughan
6:30 – 7:00 pm: Barbara Ehrentreu
7:00 – 8:00 pm: Eileen Register

Sunshine Book Show Celebration:

And lastly, on the weekend of August 14th to 16th I’ll be gracing the hallowed virtual forums of the Heroes Versus Villains panel at the EFestival of Words. You can check out that event here:

Saturday 13 June 2015

NEW RELEASE: The Heartbeat Thief by AJ Krafton


Let this New Adult dark fantasy surround you in shadows

and embrace you in the arms of eternity...

"Krafton not only tells you a story, she makes you experience it with your senses. You can feel the fog moistening your skin as Senza wanders around London. You can smell the city's decay. You can hear the clatter of horses against the cobblestones. And your own heart will anguish along with Senza as she despairs about life--and death--in an era when a woman's beauty guaranteed her a well-matched marriage, even more than her wealth..." --Ronesa Aveela, author of the Mystical Emona series                            
dark fantasy, paranormal, Victorian, gothic, new adult, Kindle, novel
The Heartbeat Thief by AJ Krafton

Haunted by a crushing fear of death, a young Victorian woman discovers the secret of eternal youth--she must surrender her life to attain it, and steal heartbeats to keep it. In 1860 Surrey, a young woman has only one occupation: to marry. Senza Fyne is beautiful, intelligent, and lacks neither wealth nor connections. Finding a husband shouldn't be difficult, not when she has her entire life before her. But it's not life that preoccupies her thoughts. It's death--and that shadowy spectre haunts her every step. So does Mr. Knell. Heart-thumpingly attractive, obviously eligible--he'd be her perfect match if only he wasn't so macabre. All his talk about death, all that teasing about knowing how to avoid it... When her mother arranges a courtship with another man, Senza is desperate for escape from a dull prescripted destiny. Impulsively, she takes Knell up on his offer. He casts a spell that frees her from the cruelty of time and the threat of death--but at a steep price. In order to maintain eternal youth, she must feed on the heartbeats of others. From the posh London season to the back alleys of Whitechapel, across the Channel, across the Pond, across the seas of Time... How far will Senza Fyne go to avoid Death?

The latest in dark fantasy from Ash Krafton...It's a little bit Jane Austen, a little bit Edgar Allen Poe, and a whole lot of stealing heartbeats in order to stay young and beautiful forever... WHAT READERS ARE SAYING:.
"One of the best stories I've ever read..."
"I highly recommend this novel to readers of all ages."
"A beautifully enchanting story that will steal your heart one beat at a time."


The Heartbeat Thief is on special through June 13, 2015...
Snatch up your copy for 99 cents!
(List price $3.99)

BOOK BLITZ hosted by Xpresso Tours...stop in for your chance to win. A prize at every single blog!

Stop by Ash Krafton's blog for information on The Heartbeat Thief blog tour and giveaways including the Rafflecopter below

Thursday 11 June 2015

Interview With Author Christian A. Brown

Today I have a delightful guest pop by for an interview.  Author Christian A. Brown stops in to chat about his fantasy series, Four Feasts Till Darkness, and his writing. Enjoy...

Interview with Christian A. Brown

Why don’t you begin by sharing a little about yourself?

Well, I’m a writer now—officially J I don’t have any other vocation or source of income. That’s both scary and exhilarating, since I seem to have made a career out of it thus far. Prior to that, I was a fitness manager/ personal trainer for years. Physical fitness and holistic living are very important to me. I believe that an active, healthy lifestyle has helped me—along with friends and family—through some pretty rough times. I live and work in Toronto, Ontario, Canada. 

You are about to launch Feast of Dreams, the sequel to Feast of Fates, the first book in your series, Four Feasts Till Darkness. Can you tell us a bit about the book and the series?

The smarty pants answer: Looking at the series as a whole, Four Feasts Till Darkness explores the demands of mortality and fate. It is a tale (one big tale spanning four rather hefty novels) of contrasts—dark and light, life and death, love and hate, technology and nature. But it is also compulsively readable—propelled by vivid, fully realized characters and action sequences and leavened by moments of humour. Finally, at its heart, this book is about love, whether twisted to hate or shining bright, and what people will do to earn and defend it.

The short answer: In the Four Feast Till Darkness series, you’ll find love, action, heroism, strong female and male leads, paranormal romance, horror* and lots of kick-assery.

*To the reader uninitiated with my work, please be aware that I tackle issues of violence, negative social constructs and morality. You will find beauty and horror in my work. When I talk about or show evil, it’s my goal to make your skin crawl. If that’s not your cup of tea, steer clear.

What was your inspiration and motivation for writing Feast of Fates, the first book in the Four Feasts Till Darkness series?

As I intimated above, my mother and I were very close. I can easily say that we were the best of friends. My mother’s journey with cancer as well as the struggles she faced as a woman, working mom, and single mom (for the latter half of my adolescence after my parents divorced) are all influences of my work. My own struggles as a biracial, gay man and experiences with racism, classism, and any kind of “ism” really are all subjects that I tackle in my writing. I’m also married to a M├ętis amputee, who brings his own slew of experience and diversity to the mix of our marriage.

Just so we’re clear, I’m not some ‘minority chaser’ who has sought out divisive relationships and experiences. Although, I haven’t shied away from such experiences, either. I consider myself lucky to have been exposed to the richness of opinions and diversity that I’ve known.

Why did you decide to write in the fantasy genre? Have you been a longtime fan of the genre?

For me, I consider what I write to be “speculative fiction,” more than hard-core fantasy. Sure there are elements of magic, and even science fiction, however, the underlying threads of my stories are ones of human drama. I like watching people doing good, bad, and questionable things. I don’t think the genre matters all that much when you write character-driven stories. I do, however, add elements of the supernatural or extreme science, because they allow me to push the limits of the perils and situations I create for my characters.

To answer your second question, I have always been a fan of the epic fantasy genre, as well as an avid fiction, suspense and horror reader. I grew up reading a broad range of literature: Dan Simmons, Timothy Findley, Margaret Atwood, Ursula K. LeGuin, Mr. King, Peter Straub and A.S. Byatt—to name a few. 

Recently there’s been much chatter on places like Twitter and Facebook about character diversity in genres like fantasy. What would you like to see as the future of gender, racial and sexual diversity in books?

Great question, and I agree that this is certainly a hot topic at the moment. For me,
I’m a product of many types of diversity, so naturally, I’m a little biased toward its inclusion in any and all genres. I think that diversity is what makes our world so incredible! It gives character and layers to otherwise “samey” voices. Currently, I think there’s this comfort zone with literature that is very much the same as the comfort zone with television (or any other form of interactive media). We read certain stories, because they’re easy, they’re rote and full of tropes. Our mind doesn’t have to work very hard to process the information at hand. I get that, and I’m responsible for indulging in that type of entertainment myself.

However, what I think diversity brings to the table are those other viewpoints and arguments—those elements that challenge us in positive ways. We live very insular, curated lives these days. So much so that we can become oblivious to what is really happening in the world. We need to read, see and hear things that take us out of our comfort zone. That’s how we grow as human beings. That’s how we learn to live in a global village and to work through our differences in age, race, class, sex, orientation and all the rest. You don’t have to like your neighbour, you don’t have to invite them to dinner and hang out with them every day, though you should learn how to respect him or her. Diversity, and an exposure to differing opinions, religions and lifestyles other than our own should be looked at as an opportunity to better know ourselves and our neighbour, and not as an attack on our values.

I have a number of diverse characters in the Four Feasts Till Darkness series that are representative of what I’ve just mentioned: working mothers (some of which are villainous), disenfranchised youths, indigenous people suffering under colonial rule—a hot topic in Canada at the moment, on account of the Residential School ruling. I don’t start out with a checklist for diversity, though when writing a world, a believable world, I find it impossible to avoid its inclusion.

What are your greatest challenges when writing? Do you find that fantasy has particular challenges unique to the genre?

I think the juggling act between continuously writing>editing>PR engagements was a balance that I struggled to achieve for a while. I also learned that you simply cannot do everything yourself—even if you’re a control freak like me J Defer to experts, friends and loved-ones for support. That’s what we (humans) are here for: to help each other through this rather messy thing called life.

Do you have any anecdotal tidbits or funny writing stories you’d like to share?

Years back, when I first sought an editor for the distant ancestor of what would become Feast of Fates, I sat down, compiled a list of names and meant to cold call each one until I found the right person. First call I made, someone picked up right away, and I hurried to finish scarfing down the spinach shake I had been slurping. The fellow was very professional, even though I was questionably so. He suggested I send in my manuscript for an assessment, and I did so without thinking. Once I hit send, the panic set in and I wondered what the F I’d just done. I freaked out, called my sister and we did some Googling. Turns out, I had made contact with the—at the time—president of the editor’s association of Canada. Luck, surely graced me on that occasion. A lot of success comes from luck, though I’ve learned that hard work can make up the difference. I rushed into a lot of things at first, which I’ve since learned not to do. 

One other tip that is a no-brainer, though it never hurts to repeat it for newer authors: never respond to a negative review. Unless what the reviewer says is slanderous, and there are legal grounds for your concern/ complaint, once your work is out there in the world, that’s it. People can read it and critique it as they will. For every ten people that love your work, one will loathe it. At least I feel that’s the ideal ratio for which to strive. 

What do you like to do when you're not writing?

I’m an exercise nut: 5-6 times each week—weights, cardio, plyometric drills, the works. Our bodies are the most amazing machines and we should take care of them for as long as we can. One day, I’ll be old and broken down like everyone else—I have no illusions about a vampire lover saving me from the mortal coil. Until that day (or my vampire lover), I intend to treat my body with the finest care. What else…Hmm…I’m a crazy-cat-person. I have two furry darlings that I adore: Persey (Persephone) and Zeus. I spend whatever time with my family I can. Oh, and I absolutely love Penny Dreadful. What ghastly good fun that show can be! I also binge-watched the whole season of Grace and Frankie the other day, and enjoyed that immensely. Netflix is quickly becoming the new home for diversity-based and stereotype-challenging programming.

What’s next for you?

Well, Feast of Fates is about to hit nationwide retail distribution through Chapters and Indigo here in Canada, so that’s certainly exciting! Also, Feast of Dreams will be out by the end of June. And finally, the third manuscript is nearly finished its 3rd draft and will then be off to the editors, copy-editors and such over the next few months. I would like to have the 3rd book out in time for Christmas, and the final chapter in the tale ready for early 2016. So lots of interesting things are on the horizon for fans of my work. For more information on my world and weirdness, click on over to: 

I keep a regular Sunday blog and I’m always chatting about tropes, female agency in fantasy and whatever else I believe needs fixing in the world J Thank you so much for you time, I really enjoyed this interview. All the best to you and your readers. 

You can also follow Christian on Twitter and Facebook

Wednesday 10 June 2015

Drabble Wednesday: The Glade

Today on Drabble Wednesday, it’s something a bit different. Three separate stories (the last story is longer than 100 words, but I didn't want it shortened, so I left it) all based on the same picture, the one posted below. I hope you enjoy…

After the Night

The early morning light washed away the night shadows and all trace of the visitors. A low, audible vibration, almost melancholic, settled in the air. The sound prevented any silence, dangling gravely in the air.
They knew. They knew what happened in the night.
A mellow breeze blew through the feathery branches and ruffled the grass. Particles stirred, movement, silver reflections in the daylight. A small noise, much like the sound of weeping, came from the trees.
The hoary dust scattered, floated into sunbeams and dispersed, carried away by the wind.
Lost forever.
Those desiccated remains of the murdered fairy.


She stood outside the circle of burgeoning sunlight. She felt braver in the shadows; the sombre darkness matched her cold grief. Dew dampened her slippers, wet the edge of her dressing gown, but she didn’t care.
She stared at the tree, so strong, so beautiful. She fought the urge to scratch its bark with her fingernails, to find an axe and chop it down. It wasn’t the tree’s fault.
It was his. His for being lost and weak, for… no it wasn’t his fault either. He wanted the pain to stop. She understood now.
That’s why she brought the gun.


The tire swing used to hang from that branch.
The old man shuffled forward, leaning on his cane, the woolen throw on his shoulder flapping a bit. He stepped cautiously, shading his eyes from the sun and taking care not to slip in the damp grass.
It wouldn’t do to break a hip at my age.
He stopped by the tree and leaned to catch his breath, looking out at the glade.
That’s where Mary Louise skinned her knee. Maybe I shouldn’t pulled her pigtail. She got me back though. Jumping out from those bushes.
Slowly he spread out the throw and lowered himself to sit and rest. He closed his eyes.
I’ll just take a nap until the family shows up for the picnic.

Saturday 6 June 2015

Should Pinterest Clean Up Its Act?

Is Pinterest sexist? In my recent experience, yes.

I used to love Pinterest. It was a great site to browse and spend my time as a writer, and the best part was I didn’t have to worry about being bothered by sexist creeps who couldn’t see past the female label.
In the past few weeks that has changed. One of my group book boards suddenly began to be followed by an influx of men whose profiles showed all the respect and restraint of mouth-breathing neanderthals. Now I take some responsibility here, as I had an invite policy that was fairly open. I obviously did a poor job of screening some invitees before I noticed the disheartening trend (and unfortunately this development, and other problems, has closed down the open invite policy for that board).
Now, I have no problem with nudity. The problem I have is with sexist and exploitative images. And in the past few weeks I have regrettably seen plenty, to my undying disgust and frustration.

The following is just an unpleasant sample of what I’ve come across (so if this type of thing offends, you may wish to skip this part):
  • Typical nude, Playboy type bending over or provocative poses, all showing ample T&A
  • Topless bed sprawling, with women grabbing their parts
  • A guy with his private parts exposed and ready for action
  • Bondage, with a suggestion it’s non-consensual
  • Semi-nude pictures depicting a woman dressed as an underage schoolgirl (and I really hope the model in those shots was not in fact underage)

What’s more, all of the above images (to my knowledge) go against Pinterest policy.

It got to the point that I started reporting and blocking these profiles, as my book board was (and is), for lack of a better term, being targeted by dozens of these creepy guys. Now comes the twist. In the last few days, my report button (how you let Pinterest know their policies have been violated) has disappeared from my profile. I messaged the site (albeit in a bit of an angry, ranting way), told them of my experience AND that the report button had gone missing. This was the first part of their reply:

We're sorry you came across inappropriate content on Pinterest. To keep Pinterest a place that everyone can enjoy, we don’t allow anything that's hateful, illegal, obscene, violent, or otherwise detrimental to our community.
If you’re trying to report a Pin or Pinner, please use our in-product reporting options.

Their “in-product reporting options” are, essentially, the report button, which I stated was missing. They then went on to reiterate the same basic stuff that’s on their help page.
So, at best the guy didn’t read my message carefully and behaved like an idiot, or at worst they have no interest in removing offending content violations and were trying to get rid of me.

The whole experience has soured me on the Pinterest site.

I used to be an advocate for Pinterest, but my future advice—think twice about using the site.

Wednesday 3 June 2015

Drabble Wednesday: Into the Woods

Today on Drabble Wednesday I venture into the deep, dark woods where witches, wolves and wishes lurk beyond the shadows…

The Wolves of Wickham

Everyone knew not to venture into the forests of Wickham. Every soul in the village, from the tiniest tot to the most elderly, stayed far away from the woods. Bad things happened to a person when they went into the trees. Most never came out, and those that did, well… screams and blood usually accompanied them.
Yet… here was Frederick, blundering about the underbrush, crashing through the branches in panic trying to find his way home, trying in flee the forest. Behind him something growled, and then another something.
Poor Frederick. You see, the wolves of Wickham are always hungry.

The Crone

Such a harmless figure, the old woman, a plaid woolen shawl—the colour of brown earth—drawn over her stooped head and shoulders. She leans heavily on her gnarled cane as she moves, her thin hand unconsciously smoothing a wrinkled skirt and stained apron. At first careless glance she presents the familiar picture of an innocuous granny.
But first glances can deceive. Look closer. Those stains on her apron, are they red? Like blood? Her smile, does hold a touch of wicked, a malicious grin? And those sinewy fingers, have they worked dark magic, perhaps murdered man and beast alike?


The full silver moon sprinkles stardust over the forest canopy. Light filters though the trees to cast a radiant reflection in the still waters of an old wishing well. The moon knows the ancient well intimately; they are enduring friends of long acquaintance and secrets.
A figure approaches the well. The moonlight shifts, ever so subtly, lighting her path. She tosses the golden coin she clutched, and it arcs, then hits the water with a splash, falling deep within the well.
“I wish to marry Eli.”
The water shimmers with magic cast.
In the morning Eli's wife will be dead.

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