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I Published a Book!

I published a merry bloody book!

And now that we’ve got Halloween and Bonfire Night out of the way, I’m finally able to flog it. It’s Christmas-themed, y’see. Yes, sensible old me thought it would be a cracking idea to make my first foray into the self-publishing world with a seasonal book that folks will only ever want to buy for around 6 weeks of the year. I mean… you live and learn, right?

Merry Bloody Christmas is a multi-genre short story collection which I originally wrote and posted on this blog last year. I was reasonably chuffed with the stories then, but I knew they weren’t as polished as they could be. Not only that, but they soon got buried as I continued to post new stories and book reviews. So, I pulled them from the site, dusted them off, whipped them into shape, and published them. Continue reading “I Published a Book!”

The Hazel Wood by Melissa Albert | Book Review

Alice’s reclusive grandmother is the renowned writer of Tales from the Hinterland, a book of dark fairy tales, but Alice has never really known her. Instead, she has spent most of her life on the road with her mother, running from bad luck which always seems to find them whenever they try to settle down. When her mother is snatched by unsavoury characters from the Hinterland, Alice must delve into the fantastical world of her grandmother’s stories in an attempt to break the curse of bad luck for good. Continue reading “The Hazel Wood by Melissa Albert | Book Review”

Secret Santa | Short Story

“Lacy knickers?” Leslie’s face is crinkled with confusion. “Is this a joke?”

“They’re not for you,” Gerald grumbles. “They’re supposed to be for Lesley.”

“I am Leslie,” says Leslie.

“The other Lesley.”

“But I picked the other Lesley out of the hat – I bought for her.”

“Hang on. How do you spell your names?” Continue reading “Secret Santa | Short Story”

We Get It, You Vape | Microfiction

“You damn hipster,” Olrug said with a sneer.

Xalmun took a long toke on his electronic cigarette and blew plumes of vapour straight into his friend’s face. “It’s better for you.”

“Is it now?”

“Yup. Filters out all those filthy toxins. The dark thoughts. The sins. The impure fantasies.”

Olrug sighed. “But they’re the best parts. They give that nice, bitter burn at the back of your throat. It’s not the same without that kick, y’know?”

Xalmun rolled his eyes. “You gonna put this one out of its misery?”…

CONTINUE READING ON MEDIUM >

The Hunt | Microfiction

Park, park, park. Leaves, leaves, leaves. Park, leaves, park, leaves. Damn, I wish I had more information.

The park’s huge. There are leaves everywhere. I’m never gonna find those damn bones.

I should’ve grilled him. Should’ve got some more to go on. Should’ve asked him outright, “Where’d you put the bones, Punk?” But I’d have probably just spooked him, I guess. At least he has no idea that I’m about to raid him. Continue reading “The Hunt | Microfiction”

An Incarceration | Short Story

The cretins have locked me in again. I can only assume it is down to the cold, white fluff which is falling from the sky. It may be chilly, but it’s awfully pretty to look at and rather fun to frolic in. I suppose it will have to suffice that I watch it through the window, since I have been unjustifiably incarcerated.

The worst thing about the locked door? Having to shit in sawdust, like a damn rodent. I don’t think the humans quite understand the importance of feeling grass beneath my paws when I relieve myself. Imagine if I took their strange, porcelain throne away from them; they’d feel degraded. Perhaps one day, if I ever manage to sprout opposable thumbs, I’ll do exactly that and present them with a plastic box instead. I think they’d soon realise that it pays to let a cat keep to his normal toileting habits. Continue reading “An Incarceration | Short Story”

Sourdough by Robin Sloan | Book Review

Sourdough tells the story of Lois Clary, an overworked robotics software engineer whose sanity is saved by sourdough and spicy soup provided by a local sandwich shop. When the owners of the sandwich shop decide to leave the country, they offer Lois the starter of their delicious bread so that she can make her own. She soon embarks on a bizarre new career path, blending robotics with baking in a strange new food market, while attempting to understand why the microorganisms in her sourdough starter seem to have a mind of their own. Continue reading “Sourdough by Robin Sloan | Book Review”

Wasn’t Me | Flash Fiction

Trev gnawed viciously at his stubby fingernails, which incited a curled lip of disgust from the detective.

“Don’t do that. Let’s have a chat, shall we?”

Trev wiped his moist fingertips on his tracksuit bottoms. “I didn’t do it.”

“But we have CCTV evidence which suggests you did.”

“Wasn’t me. There’s a bloke who looks a bit like me, y’know? You police are always getting me mixed up with him.” Continue reading “Wasn’t Me | Flash Fiction”

The Memory Keeper’s Daughter by Kim Edwards | Book Review

During the middle of an unprecedented snowstorm in 1964, Dr David Henry delivers his wife’s baby with the help of a nurse in his empty clinic. It turns out to be twins. The first baby is a perfect little boy. The second is a girl with Down’s Syndrome. Believing that he is doing the right thing for all involved, David hands the child off to the nurse and asks her to take it to an institution out of town. He tells his wife, Norah, that the baby girl died. The nurse, Caroline, can’t bear to leave the little girl in the cold, clinical institution for the rest of her life. Instead, she goes on the run, starts a new life and raises the child as her own. Continue reading “The Memory Keeper’s Daughter by Kim Edwards | Book Review”

Poohsticks | Microfiction

Stick after stick they flung into the water before tearing along the muddy riverbank in chase.

Each twiggy sacrifice hurried along the current to its destiny; a big leap over the edge of the rocky outcrop. The sticks plummeted into a deep, dark pool and disappeared beneath the surface. It wasn’t long until they rose again, buoyed by the amber, peaty water. Continue reading “Poohsticks | Microfiction”