‘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

 

Out of the Dark Claire Riley

Out of the Dark full wrap

‘Out of the Dark ’

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 front cover

W is for what makes a great story?

W for Twitter

Confronted with a blank screen, poised to  tap away,  how to go about creating that great story. Perhaps one primary consideration is the theme.  Maybe the theme should  be a ghostly shadow within the confines of the story, not screaming at the reader, but there none the less.  It may make the reader think about their own lives, there might be a moral to be learned, but a writer should not take on the role of a preacher.

Then there has to be a plot, all the conflict or struggle that the main character or characters go through. The conflict should develop in intensity and excitement, reaching some kind of climax.  If you are writing a novel there may be a number of conflicts interspersed, but a short story will have only one principal conflict.

Moving onto story structure,  the story has to entice the reader, right from the first sentence.  Equally then ending has to round things off perfectly.  You may have your theme and an outline of the story, but how are you going to tell it… a writer needs to decide about writing the story either in “first person” or in “third person.”  Will you be using “he,” “she,” and “it”—so writing in third person means telling a story as if it’s all about other people., or will you be writing using “I”—so writing in first person means telling a story as if it happened to you.  If in your head you have a rough idea of the theme,  you will also know which tense you are going to use,  either “present tense” or “past tense.” Writing in past tense means writing as if the story already happened, which is typical  manner in which most stories are written. Writing in present tense means writing as if the story is happening right now.  Normally you can’t mix the  two.

An important consideration is the characters.  I like to “live” with characters in my head, before committing to write about them.  For me the name of the character, says a lot about the character, for example in my short stories, I have a character called “Bugeyes” and the story revolves around the fact that he is person who suffers intensely, due to his oversized eyes.  Lead characters should be someone readers can feel something in common with, or feel empathy. In my stories I love to create evil characters.  My characters are far from perfect have flaws, and idiosyncrasies.  Characters are interesting if they are not too one dimensional,  even evil characters have to have some kind of redeeming feature, or perhaps they have been victims themselves in one way or another.

Settings are also paramount. In my book there is quite a range of different settings,  some are set in America, for example my story “Opium” is set in America, post-civil war.

Then there is the question of language,  it has to really correspond with your story.

A writer will tend to use actions and speech to let readers know what’s happening. Shoing , rather than telling, using  direct more “real life” quotes like “Go away!” instead of indirect quotes like “She told him to go away.”

You don’t have to write over elaborately to write well. Don’t shy away from using simple words and simple sentences, so you words and sentences cut through easily.

I often spend a long time mulling over what is the best word to use, glued to a thesaurus. Each sentence and paragraph should resonate, I often spend a lot of time, writing and rewriting so as to get the optimum sentence. Some sentences or paragraph can be redundant. You can get carried away, lose sight of the story, or go off on tangents.

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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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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Tiffany Apan’s 2015

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Tiffany Apan Interview

What has 2015 meant to you as a writer?
2015 was quite a productive year in which I saw several long awaited projects start coming into fruition. I released the first couple installments of my gothic paranormal series, The Birthrite and there were also music and film projects released to the public. In addition, I decided which direction I wanted to take my blog, interview web series, webzine, and podcast in. So at the end of it all, I can honestly say that I am overall happy with how this year played out.
The year 2015…
…was a year of stepping stones and I look forward to stepping up to the next level.

What world events in 2015 moved you?
To be honest, although I am aware of current events, I don’t pay much attention to the media because there is (for the most part, at least) a dark negativity that resides there. I also find a lot of reports to be very one sided. Therefore, how do you know that you are even getting the whole story or the real story at all? As I said, I keep myself aware enough of current events, but I much prefer reading and doing my own research. And in doing that I have found quite a bit that has moved me. I researching history as much as I do, I have discovered that there is a lot more that actually unites us and that is where I choose to set my focus. Not news stories that only create more division.

Were there any leading events in your life in 2015?
This was the year I also started work at a historical museum and integrated that into my writing, as well as my music and acting work (as a costumed interpreter). I share some of my experiences in this line of work at my blog, including learning how to spin yarn on a spinning wheel. Since much of what I write has a historical backdrop, this has also helped tremendously with my writing. Check out http://depreciationlandsmuseum.org.
What great films did you see in 2015? Did they have any influence on your work?
I tend to watch a lot of older films that range from the turn of the 20th century and up into the early 1990s. As I stated earlier, I tend to watch a lot of older and period films, based on the historical context of my works. I also write dark fiction, therefore much of what I watch tends to also lean toward “the dark side.”

Is it good riddance to 2015 or more au revoir?
Au revoir to 2015. This was a year of stepping stones and I’m looking forward to putting much of that into action in the new year.

What are your hopes for 2016 as a writer?
I don’t want to announce too much just yet, but I do plan to release the next couple installments in The Birthrite Series, and I also will be revisiting my short story series, Stories from Colony Drive series. There will also be more exploration of history on my blog, along with interviews with other artists and reviews of their works. I also plan to do more with putting my own written works into an audio format and start up my paranormal/historical podcast to go with my webzine, The Parting of Veils. You can keep up with me at my website (where you can also subscribe to my free mailing list), blog, facebook, twitter, and YouTube.
Here are the links:
Official Site: http://tiffanyapan.com
Official Blog: http://tiffanyapanwritingproject.blogspot.com
Facebook: http://facebook.com/tiffanyapanfanpage
Birthrite Series Facebook Page: http://facebook.com/birthriteseries
Twitter: http://twitter.com/TIFFANYAPAN
YouTube: http://youtube.com/TiffanyApan
The Parting of Veils Webzine: http://partingofveilswebzine.blogspot.com

Do you have any regrets concerning 2015?
Not really. 2015 was, overall, a very positive year for me. Of course, there were a few ‘down moments’ (which you’ll have any year), but I choose to think of them as lessons. No regrets!

Tell us about anything funny that happened to you/or friend/family during 2015.
I don’t know about funny, but another turning point in doing what I do was getting to play real life accused (and eventually acquitted) witch Mary Bliss Parsons for a Halloween event at the museum. It prompted me to do more research on the witch trials and hunts, and many of the details might surprise people (the whole things aren’t always what they seem comes in to play quite a bit here). I also share these findings at my blog as I discover new information, so be sure to swing on over and check out what I have to say! 🙂

Give us a prediction for 2016 that will amaze us…(Donald Trump is going to morph into a Buddhist monk)
Strictly off the top of my head, George Bush and Lady Gaga will get married with Barack Obama officiating and Buddhist monk, Donald Trump as the best man.

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Grappling with religion

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I don’t know about your upbringing, but a part of mine was to be shunted off to church every Sunday, as well as other key days in the church calendar. This pattern continued up to the age of eighteen, when much to parent’s consternation, I said “no more”. This ritual meant many encounters with Catholic priests, some of whom took to the bottle to counter those long hours of humdrum loneliness, they doubtlessly had to endure. They appeared sometimes to have to fight to hold it together, during the mass, either senility was getting a hold or it was due to the demons of drink. Sometimes with the priest obviously messing up, ripples of giggles from the altar boys or others who picked up their errors were inevitable. Sometimes they were invited to come to lunch after the mass, I remember one who came didn’t seem at all worldly, maybe too immersed in spiritual matters to be concerned about major world events, the goings in world wars.

When I got to eighteen, or perhaps before I began to wonder, what was this religion thing was really about…scan the congregation and you would find many wearing fur coats, as middle class wealth abounded. I remember those drab hymns, obediently and “religiously” sung, but with a lacking of tune, and spirit, compared to the verve of Gospel singers I used to hear when I passed churches in Brixton, London. There was a theatricality about the mass and the ambiance was added to, by the burning of incense. Easter involved lining up and kissing the feet of Jesus. Then there was the strange practice of “confession”…a bit like going to a shrink, except you tell the priest all the bad things you have done…but if you make an act of contrition…all these bad things are washed away…kind of handy really, you can be bad then the slate is wiped clean.

They say “once a Catholic always a Catholic” and maybe there is an element of truth to this, there are many things you can’t get out of your system…so a creative person will infuse it into their work.

All these images have stayed with me. In my story “Gomford” The Reverend Salmon, leads a posse of villagers round a remote village, so as to sprinkle some holy water on the fresh-hold of each house, to try to exorcise a malevolence that has overcome this tight-knit village. The story begins with a young girl arriving with an ugly businessman called Gomford. The businessman is often away and so the male villagers try to take advantage of his absence by seducing the young girl…much to their surprise she agrees to the men’s desires, but leaves them feel both sexually inadequate as well as guilty for cheating on their wives.

The young girl is more than powerful foe for the righteous Reverend Salmon…who concludes the only way to break the girl’s spirit is to dunk her in the water, in the same way such types were dealt with in medieval times. My short stories are full of darkness and fear…could some of this have been caused by all those enforced visits to church and sermons that talked about “Hell” and what would happen if I didn’t follow the Lord. Of course young minds are very susceptible, which is one of my biggest gripes, maybe if religion had not been forced upon me, I might be a church goer these days.

Quite a few preachers appear in my short stories…There is Preacher Moon in Opium, a man given the task of addressing the problems of a town that has slipped into moral decline. He confronts a man called Gecko, a gangster, who much to his consternation finds a more than capable adversary. The preacher is full of pious words and menacing threats, while the gangster Gecko, is far more humane and wise and witty.

In “Cast from Hell”, a man is sent down from Hell, because he is too good. In this story I begin by describing what “Hell” is like. The “devil” is worn out and lacking in ideas and humans are doing his job for him on earth, without a need for him to intervene.

There is no doubt about it…religion rich in imagery and a great source for writers…ask Dan Brown.

http://theflightofdestiny.yolasite.com/