Horror Bites Challenge #6

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Josh raked a frustrated hand through his hair, watching Felicity shovel in a handful of chocolates. “You lose the weight, feel good then stuff your face. Will anything stop you?”

     She rolled her eyes. It was worth going the whole week without, just to taste the delectable little spheres of chocolate as they melted in her mouth, titillating her tastebuds. Closing her eyes she leant back on the sofa and let out a small moan. Josh slammed the door behind him.

    The following week, sitting on the sofa with her bag of chocolates ready, Felicity studied the coffee table. There was something different.

  Josh stood against the doorframe, eyeing Felicity. “My treat as an apology.”

   “What are these?” She pointed to the transparent spheres nestled on top of darker ones.

    He shrugged. “Came with the jar. I thought if I buried your chocolate underneath, it would take you longer and you might not eat as much. I want to help you.”

   Touched by his thoughtfulness, Felicity’s heart swelled. With gentle fingers, she began scooping out the smooth, cool beads until a few of the darker ones showed. Shiny dark orbs enticed her, cool in her mouth, then tickling her tongue. She bit down, surprised by the crunch and burst of liquid. A bitter taste filled her mouth. She spat it out, once, twice, losing count as her fingers swiped frantically at her tongue. Staring wide eyed, the contents of her mouth scurried on the carpet. The untouched spheres burst and came to life, crawling up the side of the jar, spreading across the coffee table in a black wave. On invisible threads, they abseiled down, landing on the carpet, a thick, moving blanket towards Felicity. Her mouth crawled as did her insides, from her throat to her stomach. Tears streamed down her face, black, tears that crawled into her ears, her mouth, her hair.

   “I knew I’d find a way to stop you eating chocolate,” said Josh.

   It took longer than necessary for Josh to tell Felicity that the clear beads would rid her of the spiders.  


Thanks to my buddy, Laura over at Getwordy, creator of #Horror Bites. Visit her blog for more tales of horror and creepiness, and catch up with her on Twitter.  


Under The Spotlight

Jane Bwye


I know there is a slight greenish tinge on some of us, but at least it was colourful at the Eastbourne Book Festival on Saturday 19th November. Five Crooked Cats were given prime position at center stage. With me, were – from my left  – Lizzie Koch, Jeff Gardiner, Susan Lodge and Sarah Stevenson, and there was another feline colleague at stage left, (or is it right?) Marcia Wolf, manning her own table. If you follow the links, you’ll see that we are a healthy, eclectic group.

We delighted in getting to know, and learning from, each other. Lizzie, on my left, taught me a thing or two about selling. She never stops talking, she admits – except when she’s nervous – and successfully drew people in with her animated pitch, then passed the punters along the line. Jeff provided the colourful posters which we tacked…

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My First Book Festival



With the Cats and our novels; LtoR- Jane, me, Jeff, Susan  (Sarah taking pic)


I’d be lying if I said I wasn’t a teeny bit nervous about attending the book festival with my novel. The fact that I sat in silence on the way to Eastbourne was enough to convince my Hubby; “I know you’re nervous as you’re not talking,” he said. This was true as my stomach was churning and I always have something to say. Talking is a skill of mine so the silence was unusual but I think a blessing to Hubby and his ears. I think the silence made it worse as I kept looking at the clock and worrying I would be late every time we stopped at traffic lights. It was a stressful journey.

But I wasn’t late and  I needn’t have worried about anything. Upon arrival, I met my fellow Cats and immediately felt myself relax as they were extremely friendly. We chatted like old friends and laughed lots especially under the lighting that gave  us a green tinge in photos (until a nice man sorted it).

But best of all, I met new readers for my book. I don’t mind admitting it was a buzz talking about and selling my book if a little nervous signing it in front of them. I loved chatting to them about Katie, writing and what’s next. Their enthusiasm was contagious. I hope when Christmas morning comes, people are thrilled with their gift.

I loved the experience but there’s plenty to improve on for next time.

Good ideas for the next Book Event

  • Business cards
  • Complement slips inside novel
  • Book stands
  • Leaflet/info about publisher. (A fair few asked about Crooked Cat and where to find those all important books)
  • Let people know I’m attending in advance of the actual day (sorry friends for not being so vocal about it but I was really nervous, I mean REALLY nervous)
  • Have a float for that all important change!!!!!
  • Believe in myself and my novel – I really thought no one would be interested hence the keeping it quiet
  • Have a steady hand when signing

Thank you to all those who stopped by and chatted with the Cats and purchased our novels.

If you’ve had experience at a book event, what’s your top tips for a successful event?





For more information on the South East Crooked Cat gang of authors, click on links. x

Jeff Gardiner      Jane Bwye       Sarah Stephenson      Susan Lodge      me, Lizzie Koch  and Marcia Woolf who had her own table at the event.




Love Lizzie x


Horror Bites

Written for Horror Bites over at Office Mango hosted by my friend and fantastic horror writer, Laura Jamez



Walking down the high street, Jemma might as well have been invisible as people barged past her. If they could have they would have walked right through her, never lifting their heads as they chatted on mobiles. Couples didn’t even drop their hands, expecting Jemma to move because she was on own; a lesser human being because of this. To rub salt into her already smarting wounds, she saw, through a cafe window, friends all huddled around a table, laughing and chatting over their lunch. With her ex. She must have missed the invite for that, knowing full well there wasn’t one. Her insides knotted in betrayal.

She arrived at her uncle’s house, drenched in anger. It dripped from her like water from a tap, seeping into the wooden flooring. The walls loomed high around her as the room darkened and was suddenly cold.

“Keep your emotions in check,” her uncle Peter shouted from the basement. Jemma stomped down the wooden stairs doing no such thing. “The house is responding to your mood, Jem. Negative energy is building. You know what happens when negative energy builds.” All the time he spoke, he never looked up from his task, polishing a caliper with tiny circular movements. Satisfied, he placed it back in the display case, alongside other weird looking implements that Jemma thought wouldn’t look out of place in a demonic dentist’s lair or in a sadistic surgeon’s theatre. She imagined segments of skin being peeled carefully from the restrained, very lucid and alive body. Uncle Peter turned and faced Jemma, a frown etched deep across his forehead. “You want it to return don’t you?”

“He, not it. He doesn’t like to be called it. He has a name. He understands me. He doesn’t let me down. He notices me, cares what I feel and think.”

It feeds off your emotion, Jem. It does not care for you. You can’t control it once it builds his strength. Come back to me, Jem, come back to the now, think of a happy time, a happy place.” As he spoke the room grew dark as the glaring strip lighting flickered. “Come.” Uncle Peter placed a hand on the small of her back, leading her to the stairs. But the door above them slammed shut. Still the lights flickered, casting jumping shadows across the walls.

“He’s here.” Jemma stood firm, raising her head, stiffening her body in a show of strength and defiance. She refused to be afraid, clinging to her words of trust for the visitor.

“What’s it saying?” Jemma’s uncle seemed to shrink next to her as he clung to her, his eyes darting around the room that now was unfamiliar to him.

“He said he understands my desire, understands my needs. He says he’ll make it all better.”

“Jemma, please, stop th-” He flew across the room, hitting the wall where he crumpled.

Jemma didn’t run to his aid. “He says he won’t hurt you if you leave me alone. You must leave me alone, Uncle.”

“But Jemma. Your heart is good. Please stop the darkness before it consumes you.” Uncle Peter’s display case of polished tools rattled above his head sending vibrations through the wall into his body. He huddled, covering his ears from the deafening noise, then his head as his fears were realised. The case crashed down. Splintered shards of glass pierced his shirt then his skin, drilling deep into muscle, then bone. But it wasn’t enough to kill him. That was the display case, balancing precariously on his head, the corner buried deep in his skull as the contents spilled around him. A lone trickle of blood picked up momentum as it reached his forehead, running down his nose, his lips and dripping from his chin onto his shirt.

Jemma tilted her head as she studied Uncle Peter. “I thought there’d be more blood.”

“You want more?” His voice was clear now, not just in her head.

“You know what I want. Are you strong enough to leave the house and do it?”

“I am now, thanks to the sacrifice of your Uncle. I’ll miss him but we were never going to get along. He was too pure of heart. I think I’ll find a good use for his tools though.”

“Good. I want you to make them suffer, make them hurt like I hurt, make them swim in their own blood. Make the selfish bitches scream and beg for you to stop. Then go after him. He wants to have my friends, well he can join them.”

The black mass was now human form, sweeping across the room, picking up the calipers, jagged scissors and pliers. He then stood before Jemma. “I will never leave you. I will do as you ask.”

“That’s what I was hoping.” She watched as he disappeared through the wall, her heart completely black and now completely his.

Monster Mash Flash Fiction 2016

Occasionally, I delve into a bit of darkness, leaving the romance far behind.  This one includes the prompt ‘something wicked this way comes’ from Shakespeare’s Macbeth. I haven’t written flash fiction for ages but couldn’t miss this one and had some inky fun! Hosted by Ink After Dark. Thank you for reading. xxx

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Gerard screwed up the contract, throwing it across the table.”I don’t care what it says. I’m not paying.” He shouted out to thin air but it made him feel better. In a few hours he’d be gone and no one would find him. A new life. Money in the bank. And with the blessing of his wife’s family. That was important to him. At first, he was under suspicion for the disappearance of Shelley, his wife, but when her battered body was unearthed, it gave Gerard his life back. And the guts to ignore the contract. Yes, he paid for Shelley’s murder, hired faceless men to do the deed. She was a cheating bitch after all. But the brutality Shelley was subjected to made him vomit violently, purging him of any guilt he may have felt. He didn’t want that for her. He just wanted her gone. Not buried alive because the thugs thought they’d done their job.

He ignored the contract. Ignored the finer print, written in red. Ignored words even when they were read to him before he signed: Something wicked this way comes. He didn’t care what it meant. Didn’t care to ask. He didn’t notice the words in red bleed into the paper after he signed, entwining his name.

He sat in front of the TV, killing time, trying to fight sleep but it caught up with him.  A restless sleep. Gerard tossed and turned, unable to wake. Beads of sweat lined his forehead as his breathing laboured. Words rasped in his head, through his bones, his veins. Something wicked this way comes. Again and again, taunting him. He stiffened as stabbing pains riddled his body. A silent scream burst from him. Gasping for air, he clawed his face, writhing for precious air. The words were all he could hear, every syllable was a vice crushing his lungs like playdough in a child’s hands.

Knocking at the door of death, Gerard suddenly awoke. Drenched in sweat, he gulped down large breaths of air before standing. Unsteady on his feet, he managed to reach the kitchen where carved in blood on the walls were the words that had just torchured him. Then as he stared, clutching his chest, a word appeared, dripping down the wall. NOW. Something wicked this way comes. NOW. As he read, the words echoed around the room. His throat tightened. His eyes bulged. Falling to his knees, Gerard heard a laugh, a light, girlie laugh.


His suffering seemed to go on. How long did it take to suffocate someone? How long would it be before he watched his last breath float into the ether? Images of Shelley in the dirt flashed across his mind as she clawed until her nails ripped from their bed, as her mouth filled with dirt.


“Hello, dear husband.”

“Where am I?” Gerard looked around him. Nothing but Shelley standing in darkness.

“Even death can’t part us, sweetie.” She grinned. “With my last breath I begged for your suffering. I wanted you to know what you did to me. You obviously didn’t stick to your contract and I’m your punishment.”

“I have the money! I’ll pay! I’ll pay!” Gerard screamed until his throat bled. He choked as dirt spat from his mouth.

“You certainly will, sweetie, you certainly will.”

Back in his kitchen, Gerard sat motionless as he watched his soul choke on dirt in an endless cycle with Shelley’s pretty little laugh ringing in his ears.




A Week Of Celebration

This week was taken over with birthday shenanigans; both ends of the scale. My niece turned 1 and my son turned 18. It’s been a wonderful weekend of fun, celebration, family, friends, food, cocktails and cake. Plenty of cake!

And coming to terms with the fact I now am the mother of a grown man! At some point, I’ll have to stop lying about my age as he’ll be catching me up.



Purple Rain Cocktail


Pornstar Martini










A rare photo with my boy



A few pink cupcakes














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Two of my very favourite people








Now the birthday shenanigans are over, it’s back to writing my new project . . .



ThursdayThreads Flash Fic

The Struggling Artist

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Sweat ran down his spine, his body glistening with every aggressive stroke of the brush. Paint bled into the walls, unable to cover the memory he desperately wanted to erase. Buckets and gallons of paint seeped into his secret but still he continued, brush after brush as bristles frayed like his temper.

But the slate had to be clean, the walls bare, fresh and ready for his next work of art; always a blank canvas to open his mind and explore his demons. That’s what his therapist said, release his demons through his art. But he was never satisfied. The demons kept talking to him, whispering their loathing, mocking his aspirations.

At last, he could do no more. The unblemished white canvas was ready. His muse was ready. She sat on a lone wooden chair in the sparse room as he held his large palette, walking around her, inhaling her scent, studying her naked curves. He ran his fingers through her long golden hair, fanning out the strands around her milky shoulders.

There were no words as he began his art, releasing the jagged knife from under his palette, spraying his canvas in rich red as the demons cheered his work, silencing her gurgled screams. For now, his art briefly released him, his art lived as he watched crimson drip down the walls before it stopped and died.


Judge’s comment: Tina Glasneck says:

“The imagery commanded my attention, and I could truly imagine the scene. I felt like I was sitting in the room watching it happen, and wanting to intervene, and save the poor victim. It prompted emotion! Excellent job!”