‘Out of the Dark ’ by Claire Riley, released 26th of May

Out of the Dark front cover

We are temporary. Finite.

The choices we’ve made, the people we have loved. Who we used to be no longer matters.

Because now it is all about the ending. And the ending always comes too soon.

There’s fear in the dark. And behind every drop of light, the shadows creep and the darkness comes in the form of clawing, red-eyed monsters. They hunt us—stalk us…they are desperate to destroy us.

But I have a reason to fight the darkness and everything in it. A small glimpse of light that lives within my golden-haired daughter, Lilly. She is my strength. She is my everything.

Every life is an untold story, each scene unfolding until the final act. But our ending has yet to be written, and I will continue to protect us, until I can not.

Add it to your bookshelves here –> http://bit.ly/1Sd6pE4

Review quotes:

 Riley delivers a story that is equal parts thrilling and breathtaking. It beautifully illustrates the lengths we go to survive and what it means to love when we’ve lost everything.

NYT & USA Today bestselling Author A. Meredith Walters


Riley’s ‘Out of the Dark’ holds a special place in my heart. Before I’d devoured it, I’d never read a book that so beautifully and eloquently captured the distressing, aching love a mother holds for her child. It is built into the heart strings of a woman, natural and uncontainable. It goes past biological and into spiritual.

In her most unique and mysterious way, Riley has given us a transcendent picture of love in the midst of a terrifying climate. She has shown us what it means to choose your family, that it is a matter of honor and earning and not a matter of a blood bond and obligation. I am honored to have read this book pre-release and I know it will stick to me like honey, nearly glued onto the fabric of who I am as a human being.

Speculative fiction author – Eli Constant


A beautifully written story that makes you realize that you should always have hope, even in the most desperate of circumstances. It will tug at your heart strings, until by the end, there isn’t a dry eye in the house.

Goodreads & Amazon reviewer


 Claire C. Riley is a USA Today and International bestselling author. She is also a bestselling British horror writer and an Amazon top 100 bestseller.

Her work is best described as the modernization of classic, old-school horror. She fuses multi-genre elements to develop storylines that pay homage to cult classics while still feeling fresh and cutting edge. She writes characters that are realistic, and kills them without mercy. Claire lives in the United Kingdom with her husband, three daughters, and one scruffy dog.


Author of:

 Odium The Dead Saga Series (3 books),

Odium Origins Series (3 books),

Limerence (The Obsession Series) (2 books),

Thicker than Blood series (2 books),

& Shut Up & Kiss me,

Plus much more.


Contact Links:





‘She writes characters that are realistic and then kills them without mercy’ – Eli Constant author of Z-Children, Dead Trees, Mastic and much more.

Out of the Dark teaser graphic slide.png



O is for Opium

Serpent and Apple
Serpent and Apple — Image by © 68/GK Hart/Vikki Hart/Ocean/Corbis

“Opium”  is another of my short stores in my book Flight of Destiny. A town called Jacksonville has fallen into disarray, many under the influence of the celestial drug opium. A preacher (known as Preacher Moon) is sent to stop the town falling deeper into the mire into moral collapse. He is a pious man, a kind of John the Baptist figure, who believes his strong voice and powerful words putting the fear of God into the inhabitants will bring the town into line.

A town council meeting was called by the church elders. A new force needed to be summoned to counteract this seemingly unstoppable slide into moral iniquity, and, at their behest, that force arrived the next day on a spavined, overworked, mangy-looking brute of a horse, scarcely able to navigate the town streets. The rider didn’t care about appearances. He put his trust in God to provide for all his earthly needs, including those of his horse. With his wild, shoulder length hair and scraggly beard, he looked a wild man, eyes full of zeal, capable of digging deep within a person’s soul. In other rail towns he’d proven a bastion against any evil that stood in his way. His fire and brimstone sermons were legendary, and he had a reputation for smiting even the most heinous of sinners, those acting as consorts of the very devil himself.

The preacher finds himself confronting an adversary, who he deems responsible for the evil that is prevalent in the town.

And before the day was out, there was one man in particular he had placed his sights on: the local gangster chief of the Green Triad Gang, known to everyone simply as “Gecko.” The preacher’s first move would be to locate and confront this source of all the evil scourging the town. Once he encounters Gecko he finds him to be somewhat different to what he imagined, in that Gecko, is wise and witty and more than a match for him verbally. 

“You will henceforth stop your activities, or be smitten by the Right Hand of God!” Gecko considered the threat calmly. “And what form would this punishment likely take?” he asked, as if the preacher’s answer might make a difference.

“You and your family will suffer the heat of Hell’s fire throughout all eternity,” he clarified, pointing the head of his staff menacingly at Gecko, who remained completely unruffled.

“Belief in a cruel God makes a cruel man,” Gecko sighed philosophically.

Ultimately  Opium is a story about temptation.  The Preacher is drawn into eating a piece of cake. He is also tempted by Gecko’s beautiful daughter.

Gecko smiled sweetly at the preacher, twiddling the dragon ring on his finger, then glanced at the cake.

“Will you not have something to eat with us, Preacher? I’m about to cut this cake,” Gecko said in a relaxed, convivial way, reaching for a gilded knife.

The preacher’s face soured. It was clear to him that Gecko’s offer was a gesture of hospitality rather than threat, and he was extremely hungry from the long ride. In truth, he’d lost count of the time since he had last eaten, and then, it had been mostly grasshoppers he’d come across on his travels. Still, how could he accept food from such a loathsome sinner?

“Food from the devil’s hand no doubt,” he growled in a bitter tone, shaking his head in the negative and averting his eyes from the cake and the exotic fruits the young girl had placed on the table.

“No,” contradicted Gecko, “A cake baked by my daughter, here.”

Gecko beamed proudly.

“Never,” replied the preacher, lifting his eyes and hands towards the heavens as if holding up a massive rock and waiting for God to cast it onto the tempter before him Gecko shook his head.

“Isn’t it equally sinful to spurn gifts provided by God. Surely this magnificent cake is such a gift. Wouldn’t it be wrong not to take advantage of an offer of food in order to keep yourself strong in his service? Even Jesus, if I’m not mistaken, indulged in local weddings and feasts.”

Gecko cut a large slice of cake and as he brought it to his mouth, a look of anticipatory pleasure and contentment swept across his face.

ENJOY OPIUM (the short story…I mean)

Francis H Powell is a writer. His recently published book is Flight of Destiny, a book of 22 short stories.


A2Z-BADGE 2016-smaller_zpslstazvib

This article is part of a blogging challenge,



follow me on Twitter


F is for Flight of Destiny

April 7 for Twitter


Flight of Destiny is my first published book.  It was a long haul to complete this book.  There are twenty two short stories in this book,  which cover a range of themes.  The book opens with a story called “Arrival” …Flight of Destiny… “Arrival”…do you get it? It seemed a logical beginning.  The story revolves around a man who can’t place a name and this niggling problem grows into an obsession,  as paranoia starts to grip his mind. “Snatched”, the second story,  concerns  a parent’s worst nightmare when a  child goes missing, however readers are left to ponder,  is it the fault of the father? Can ever be forgiven by his bitter wife ? Does the blame really lie with him?  Another title is “Opium”.  Oscar Wilde said The only way to get rid of temptation is to yield to it… I can resist everything but temptation” in this story a righteous man is driven down this bumpy road.  Onto Bugeyes. We live in a world of body image stereo types, are perpetuated by the media. Those unfortunate beings, born with abnormalities, could face a lifetime of cruel jokes, and in this story’s case rejection.  “Seed” is a story about a woman who is simply desperate for a baby and is surrounded by young virile officers in an army barracks, while her husband can’t seem to provide her with the  offspring she craves. “Mutant” is a story about a scientist who takes the ultimate revenge on his cheating wife.  “Maggot” is a story based around a circus owner, who is forced to sell his daughter to a slimy tyrant

I suppose I will admit to having a few favorites. “Flawless” is a favorite, for sentimental reasons, because it was the first story I wrote which got published in a small literary magazine called Rat Mort (Dead Rat. It set me on the way to write other short stories. It is about a man who is proposing to the woman of his dreams, when suddenly a colorful insects arrives and he is forced to swallow it. He develops a terrible inexplicable skin disease and his life goes in a downward spiral. His fiancé soon deserts him for his younger brother, leaving him bitter and betrayed. Totally out of character he decides to take his revenge, on the day of his brother’s wedding. As he is about to enact his revenge, the insect suddenly exits and his skin is back to normal., to pay off his circus debts.  

 The book is full of quirky characters,  horrible odious characters,  oddballs, freaks. The stories usually have a dramatic twist at the end.  I have been heavily influenced by the short stories of Roald Dahl (Kiss Kiss).

 Reviewers  Comments

Francis H. Powell is a masterful storyteller. He successfully kept me on the edge of my seat as I paged through from one story to the next in FLIGHT OF DESTINY—a fantastic collection of 22 short stories. Here he weaves humor, surrealism, and contradictions into tales that reveal errors in commonly accepted definitions. Each story is uniquely different with twisting endings and story plots that challenge commonly accepted concepts. The characters are true and undeniably out-of-the-ordinary. Such stories as DUKE and FLAWLESS will bring into question all you thought you knew about people and the universe —I know they did me. These stories kept me guessing until the last page.

As with all great literature, these tales provide excellent food for thought. There is a bitter sweetness to humanity, in terms of what man is capable of doing to one another. In FLIGHT OF DESTINY this paradox is magnified, examined, and spit out in artful, literary way that is brilliantly captivating.


I love the dark tone of the short stories and how the underlying theme of each is this sense of shock over what humans would be capable of if there were no reality based limits. While the stories do not tie together, the tone of the work connects them all and makes it easy to flow from one story to the next.

I enjoyed these tales as they gave me a fantastic break from my daily routine and I enjoyed remembering them and day dreaming about them afterwards. They’re a little Ray Bradbury, a little Stephen King, but with Powell’s own unique twists. Very interesting read.

Francis H Powell is a writer. His recently published book is Flight of Destiny, a book of 22 short stories.


A2Z-BADGE 2016-smaller_zpslstazvib

This article is part of a blogging challenge,



follow me on Twitter



Author Spotlight, Francis H Powell

Spotlight : Flight of Destiny by author Francis H. Powell

A big hello to everyone visiting Literary Flairs! Today’s special feature showcases a collection of 22 intriguing short stories of the science fiction, dystopian and literary fiction genres by the award-winning storyteller and artist Francis H. Powell. The stories promise to take interested readers into a completely different world of unexpected endings and dynamic possibilities.




Winner of COMPILATIONS/ANTHOLOGIES – Flight of Destiny – Frances H. Powell (winner)

Pacific Rim winner


My book Flight of Destiny won one of the categories for the  Pacific Rim book festival,

COMPILATIONS/ANTHOLOGIES – Flight of Destiny – Frances H. Powell (winner)

Follow Francis H Powell on Twitter


Flight of destiny Is a collection of short stories about misfortune. They are characterized by unexpected final twists, that come at the end of each tale. They are dark and surreal tales, set around the world, at different time periods. They show a world in which anything can happen. It is hard to determine reality and what is going on a disturbed mind. People’s conceptions about morality are turned upside down. A good person can be transformed by an unexpected event into a bad person and then back again to their former state. The high and mighty often deliver flawed arguments, those considered wicked make good representations of themselves. Revenge is often a subject explored.

Visit, http://theflightofdestiny.yolasite.com/

How Christmas features in Flight of Destiny

Little Mite 2014

Christmas features briefly in one of my short stories. However it offers a poignant end to “Little Mite”. Little Mite  is a young girl, who has done a very wicked thing and is being punished. The story starts off with a lawn lunch party. Little Mite’s sister is to marry the man of her dreams. Both set of families are meeting to organize what will be a lavish wedding. Little Mite however intercedes, taking the younger brother of the future groom to her father’s carpentry shed, then gluing his hand to a coffee table. She then lashes him with stinging nettles.

Here is an exert…

Carpentry was her father’s passion. He loved the feel of the
different kinds of wood, and whenever he got the chance, enjoyed
working the various woods into useful furniture, which, when
complete, were placed in conspicuous places of honor around the

Little Mite called out Jed’s name in a luring sing-song voice, and
he shuffled nervously closer to her, not knowing what to expect. “Give
me your hand again,” she commanded.
Jed was unsure whether to do so. Still, he’d enjoyed the feeling of
her soft hand in his while running together from the lawn party to the
shed. She was the first girl who had ever really shown interest in him.
Though he continued vacillating between obeying this intoxicating girl
and running to his family, he finally gave in to her and bashfully
extended his hand.

The moment he did, Little Mite grabbed it and slapped it into the
middle of the glue, holding his hand there with all her might with both
her hands.

Jed, shocked by the abruptness and the unexpectedness of the act,
stood paralyzed, mouth open, staring at his hand while the glue
quickly hardened. By the time he’d gathered back his wits, protested,
and attempted to withdraw his hand, it was too late. After a hopeless
struggle, he resigned himself to waiting to see what the little vixen had
further in mind.

When the young girl’s gaffe comes to light, the wedding is soon thrown into turmoil. The young future groom soon turns his attention to an old flame, having been put off marrying a Dashville, following Mitzi Dashville’s prank. Her older sister is bitter towards her younger sister for destroying her dream of marrying Connor Johnson.

Little Mite is punished, but vows to win back her parent’s favor. This is where Christmas comes in. The Dashvilles, less Little Mite, who is grounded go to buy their Christmas presents.

Later that year, at Christmas, when the whole event should have
finally passed into ignominy, Hannah and her parents left for town to
do some last-minute shopping, leaving Little Mite behind. To Little
Mite it all seemed so unfair, but then, she was still grounded.
The time alone got her to thinking. She went downstairs and
opened the family dressing up box, tossing clothes all over the place,
until she found a bright and colorful dress from her mother’s short-lived
hippie days (her father had often ribbed her mother about it,
saying it resembled a clown outfit more than a dress). Slipping into it,
she looked in the mirror. It made her look totally ridiculous. Her plan
wasn’t her best or most original, but without a better idea, she decided
she to hide in her parent’s upstairs clothes closet, and, when they came
home and couldn’t find her, she would jump out and surprise them.

When her parents return, Little Mite’s prank goes horribly wrong…Little Mite’s parents believe they are victims of a burglary. However her older sister knows that the ongoing situation has all the hallmarks of a Little Mite prank and sees a gaping opportunity of gaining revenge on her sister…