‘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

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

 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:

 www.clairecriley.com

www.facebook.com/ClaireCRileyAuthor

http://amzn.to/1GDpF3I

 

‘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

 

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Y is for “you might not want to read this if you are a writer, musician or artist”

Y for Twitter

It is very hard being a writer, a musician, or artist…what are the rewards?  Unless you make some dramatic breakthrough, you are stuck in some kind of limbo…among many others just like you.

A writer’s objective is to be published…you send your precious manuscript, you have slaved over, perfecting each chapter, each sentence, each word, far and wide.  Rejection letters arrive on your doorstep, unwanted like a bout of flue, each one like a stab in the heart, each one drains away your self belief in your work.

At last a window opens, a small publisher says they would like to publish your precious manuscript…but this is only the start of it…If you are published but nobody is paying any attention to your book what then? There’s depressing reading seeing your Amazon ranking…Favorable book reviews give you a lift, but to get genuine readers to give a review is hard going.

Being a musician to be heard you don’t necessarily have to have a record contract, you can post  your songs on soundcloud or similar sites.  You can do gigs, but then only a handful of enthusiastic friends show up…but will they come to your next gig, friend’s loyalty can go far, but even this has limits. All those hit songs, you thought you had written, you are confined to anonymity.

As a painter, you love painting, it is almost a necessity for you, but when your paintings are finished, what to do with them?  You need to find a gallery owner who is interested in your type of work.  You can post images of your work on facebook, start a website with your work., but your work gets put in the back of a cupboard,  soon to be unseen and forgotten, a film of dust gathering, as they fester.

Whatever form of creativity you are into, unless you are blessed with good fortune,  are miraculously discovered, your lack of recognition will remain a constant thorn in your side

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

http://theflightofdestiny.yolasite.com/

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V is for Vita Sacville West

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

If I could make use of a time machine, one person I wouldn’t mind acquainting myself with would be Vita Sackville West.  It is obvious that there was much more to her than being an acclaimed poet and noted gardener.  She appears to be a woman whose character resonates and sparkles, the Latin translation of her name is “life”. She was a woman who really “lived” her life. She loved to travel,  she seems to be a born adventurer and her adventures included affairs outside of her marriage, well documented in a controversial book called “Portrait of a Marriage” .

Her life seems to be scandalized in tabloids even in the present day,  check out this Daily Mail headline

Stately home seductress who makes Downton’s wildest plots look tame: Vita Sackville-West was known to have affairs with men AND women but she is reveals she was more voracious than anyone thought

The beginning of the article states Tall, dark and magnetically attractive, Vita Sackville-West had the dubious knack of inflaming passions wherever she went.

Marriages crumbled in her wake. Grown men and women threatened suicide. One lover even produced a pistol and threatened to blow her own brains out.

Yet, on the face of it, Vita led a life of serene Edwardian upper-class respectability. Feted as a poet and novelist — her most successful book was The Edwardians — she was a baron’s daughter who had married a diplomat and borne two sons.

All this despite the fact that she died in 1962,  a year after I was born.  People love to delve into the more “lurid” aspects of her life. I have vague memories of her husband Harold, a brief encounter in the garden at Sissinghurst. She was married to my Great Uncle. My Mother spent a lot of time during the war and has many fond memories of Vita and to this day loves to relates stories about her and was dubbed Vita’s favorite niece.

Here is a woman who had elements of her life being fashioned into a story called “Orlando” written by one of her paramours Virginia Wolf.  The great love of Vita’s life, despite spending a troubled childhood there was Knole, a house with six hundred years of history, but a house she was not allowed to inherit, on account of being a woman.

Here is a woman whose relationship with Violet Trefusis, was dramatized by the BBC, Vita being played by the imposing figure of Janet  McTeer.

Vita seems to represent a woman who was ahead of her times, married to a man who was homosexual  and yet despite each partner involving themselves with other people, they still managed to sustain their marriage as well as bring up two sons, Ben and Nigel.  It is hard to imagine they planned such an open marriage from the onset, but this is how it panned out.  They must have had inklings about  their sexual orientation before they were married,  things were different in their era.

One thing is for certain Vita seems to have all the hallmarks of an eccentric, wearing her trademark jodhpurs,  trying to pass herself off as a man,  while on a amorous sojourn with Violet.  She might have left a trail of pain in her wake, with her risky affairs,  but she seems a spirited woman.

I have met people while living  in France who are avid admirers of both Vita and the Bloomsbury set.  Her legacy seems strong and enduring as ever…

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

http://theflightofdestiny.yolasite.com/

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R is for Roald Dahl and Rupert Thompson two outstanding writers.

 

R for Twitter

I read Roald Dahl’s Kiss Kiss, so many years ago, I can’t exactly remember when.  Whatever I was really struck by it. Maybe some of the concepts in this book seem a bit dated…but then it was published in 1960 and times were rather different then. Would you call your short story “Parson’s Pleasure” and the main character Cyril Boggis? If you don’t know this story it is about a shady antiques dealer, who takes advantage of naïve country types, and comes across a priceless Chippendale commode, which he acquires for twenty pounds with the intention of selling it for twenty thousand. What we can safely say about Roald Dahl’s stories is that there is a significant twist at the end of each story. It is this aspect that really influenced my short story writing.
With my own short stories, like Dahl, I try to include an unexpected twist at the end. With short stories, you face limits, you have create characters, that the reader will immediately identify with. You have to create strong dialogue. You have to create an opening sentence like no other, that grabs the reader’s attention. Some people believe that authors graduate from being short story writers into full novel writers, a kind of literary rite of passage…me…I really like this format of writing. My work might be much darker than Roald Dahl might have dared…but I really admire his work and “Kiss Kiss” for will always be very special to me.

Rupert Thompson.
I encountered this author while he was writing his first book “Dreams of Leaving”. I was an Art student at the time, my dream to become a famous painter…Rupert at the time was the boyfriend of an Art College friend and was a bit older than me. He came from a similar boarding education as me, but he and his brother, who I also got know, were of a rebellious nature. His sentences are always sharp, his observations equally cutting. More recently I read a book called “This Party’s Got to stop” which is not fictional, but based on the period when I was in contact with him…it is a moving account of when his father died. It is moving, witty but it has a real edge to it.

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

http://theflightofdestiny.yolasite.com/

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G is for Gomford

G finished

Gomford is one of the longer short stories in my book Flight of Destiny.  Gomford is an ugly businessman, who arrives in a secluded village,  with a beautiful young girl on his arm.  This immediately causes the village to go into a hive of gossip and speculation.  The libidos of the men in the village are sent into overdrive, each desiring the young girl.  When Gomford  leaves for one of his regular business trips,  the men try to take advantage of his absence and  try to seduce the young girl, who is surprisingly willing, but at the same time far from being amorous.  She treats each with utter disdain, making each man feeling sexually inadequate, which causes the men to go into deep depression.  It is like the village is under the spell of this young beautiful woman,  which grabs the attention of a Reverend Salmon, who sets about to address this situation.  When he tries to perform a ritual on her doorstep, accompanied by the other villagers,  he falls foul to the young girl’s brusque tones  and is made to look a fool.  Despite being set in modern times,  the Reverend Salmon, chooses to use a method, long confined to the history books, namely dunking the young girl in the local river. The girl is abducted by the Reverend and a vigilante group.

Gomford is a story about somebody who is deeply wronged. Like in many of my stories,  Gomford in the end gets his revenge.

Gomford returned to the village with more than his customary ragged suitcase. Clutched firmly in-hand was the vision of an angel who went by the name of Clarissa Honeychild. A man with seemingly all the particularities of a businessman in his thirties, Gomford nonetheless cut an awkward figure. His face was perpetually bloated, and when he spoke, it was in sniffles and snorts. His eyes resembled those of a crocodile. His thick neck, likened by many to that of a tree trunk, gave him the illusion of massive strength, and left others feeling diminutive and anxious in his presence. Gomford, through no fault of his own, was shunned by his fellow villagers and ostracized by all.

Seemingly due to his looks, Gomford was condemned to a life of celibacy, and had shared his bed with only a handful of women, all of whom demanded pre-payment for services rendered. Some outright refused him, despite the fact that as a businessman he was extremely adept, over the years having amassed a considerable fortune, and always paid notoriously well for their services. The idea of this stumpyman smothering them, even for a sizable fee, filled most working girls with aversion. Even Glynnes Trout, the local prostitute responsible for introducing practically every male denizen to sex, an old pro inspired by abject greed and with a reputation of willingness to perform eve the most depraved of acts in any and all manner and with any and all manner of men, had disrespectfully declined Glomford, despite his waving at her a sizable wad of bank notes in each fist. The event, told, retold and by now highly embellished, became a favorite topic of social conversation in the local pub when conversation had run out.The fact that he had returned with a woman on his arm, and furthermore, a young woman of such incomparable beauty, sent the village into a frenzy of agitated speculation. When it was further revealed that he had married the woman, the whispering campaign hit an unprecedented high, drowning out every other possible topic.

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

http://theflightofdestiny.yolasite.com/

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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.

http://theflightofdestiny.yolasite.com/

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When a writer needs to add a bit of romance or sex to their story!

love is blind

It seems the writing world is crammed full writers whose genre is romance. Romantic novels seem to be a money spinner, as are kinky sex books a la Fifty Shades of Grey. But what if your stories are not of this ilk, but romance and sex play a part in your stories? My stories are dark surreal short stories, that have elements of horror.

There are  some of my stories that contain sexual elements. One story even starts off with… Mercedes Shwartz had just had the most incredible orgasm, but her pleasure was still incomplete.

I would say if you are a horror writer, or a suspense writer, or whatever your genre, the sex parts in your stories, should not seem like they have been pasted in, to add a bit of spice to your story, but should be natural elements that enhance your stories. There has to be the same tension that pervades in the other elements in your stories. It has to be in keeping with the characters of the stories as well the moods.

In my story Cast from Hell, I created a character (previously a middle aged man) who has returned to earth from Hell, in the body of a woman. She becomes a predator, without any scruples, using men to own ends. I had to battle with my editor to make the parts that involved sex, in keeping with my style and how I imagined them. I got the impression my editor’s imagination was running wild at times and he was being far more explicit than I would have ventured, while moving away from the subtlety that is characteristic in other parts of my book.

http://francishpowellauthor.weebly.com/love-is-blind-blog-hop.html

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