Here's a little catch up on my and others' news:
- First things first. Hip, hip! I have finished the final draft of Magenta Shaman Stones The Crow. I'm just waiting for the cover to be completed and intend publishing it on Amazon by the end of next week.
Twice as long as the first story in the Magenta Shaman novella series, this tale finds the shaman thrown to The Gates of Hell in the realms between modern and ancient Prague. Here's a little excerpt to tease...Heavy clouds sped across a waxing moon. At least the magnetic pull was on their side. Magenta hated journeying during the waning period – the closer to the dark moon the more difficult the trip. She lay back on the ground, Tom’s arms clasped around her from behind. To use her meditation cave to enter the trance was a first for Maggie but the protection she had built up in the chalk cavity over the years meant she’d be grounded; that nothing but she, Tom and her ethereal messengers could enter or leave the sacred place.
A small fire flickered at Magenta’s feet, throwing light around the small space. Mugwort smouldered with sticky frankincense in a brass dish on one of the coals. Maggie had chosen the mildly noxious herb because of its dream recollection properties. She had returned from the previous Houska experience humming with nausea and grief – knowing she’d fought and lost to a demon more ancient, more vicious than any she had battled before – knowing her father Sam had been swallowed into the depths and killed – yet Magenta had no memory of it. The demon, if it were even that, had wiped her head of all but the emotions associated with the event. If her body hadn’t been covered with storm-bloom bruises that swelled and dissipated within thirty minutes of her return, then the emotions were the only residual evidence of the day Samuel French had died.
Unlike the journey four years before, Maggie had prepared herself better this time. Her former, unfounded confidence had taught her a lesson and she was taking no chances. A thick line of salt made a circle around the couple, its crystalline make-up flecked with crumbled myrrh to protect the cave and its inhabitants.
“Are you ready?”
Tom stared down at his wife; her breathing had shallowed almost to nothing. She opened her lips. Tom took a laurel leaf and slipped it beneath Magenta’s tongue. As soon as he felt her weight shift, the flames at her feet died down and he sighed as his wife’s spirit evanesced into the shadows.
Not read Magenta Shaman, the first story yet? Grab it from Amazon.co.uk or Amazon.com
- Writing Magazine recently commissioned me to write a couple of articles on why e-publishing was right for me, and a 'How To' on preparing and uploading your manuscript to Amazon using Kindle Direct Publishing.
The articles have both been published in the latest, December issue of the Magazine. You can buy it from WH Smith and can also subscribe.
I also recommend Writing Magazine's online forum Talkback; I joined in 2009 and - it sounds trite - but it has opened so many doors, and I have 'met' some wonderful writers and editors, including Thrillers Killers 'n' Chillers Col Bury. And we know what THAT led to! ;-)
- And talking of Thrillers Killers 'n' Chillers - as you know, I'm now hanging out as Horror Editor in its dark passages and am currently hosting a week-long Hellicious Halloween showcase.
Thirteen stories from twelve excellent writers including Predictioneers Chris Allinotte, Phil Ambler, Erin Cole, Sean Patrick Reardon, Dorothy Davies (our Antonia) and our new and inimitable Absolutely*Kate. Plus more brilliant stories from J. Bramwell Slater, Harris Tobias, Keith Gingell, Patricia Abbott, Gill Hoffs and Kevin G. Bufton.
Here's the line-up. Do give your feedback and support. Thank you.
- new e-book by fellow editor Col Bury 'Manchester 6'.
This collection of "Six Gritty Crime Stories" is a must-have. You can download it from Amazon.co.uk for just 86p (bargain!!!) It's also available from Amazon.com and in other formats - see Col's blog for more details.
- Finally, I was highly delighted to discover my Pentacle Drummers mate, the Big Man Draven - who has already drummed in Dizzee Rascal's Dirtee Cash video, also performed in Florence & The Machine's Dogs Days Video! How I missed him, I'll never know. Go Greg!!!
I'm a big Flo fan. Her new album Ceremonials was dropped into my hands this very morning. Dropping it into my ears now...