For Her Bones by Alec Reid #Horror


For Her Bones
Alec Reid

Genre: Ghost/Comic Horror
Publisher: Lilymoore Publishing
Date of Publication: 31 October 2021
ISBN: 978 – 163972999 -9 
Number of pages: 340
Word Count: 86,975
Cover Artist: Jacqueline Abromeit

Book Description:

Alec Reid’s ghosts of the twenty-first century seldom lurk in old houses or waft across chilly moors.  His dark tales may breathe alongside the supernatural, but they take place in broad daylight, in our daily lives.  

Their themes include dead warriors resurrected via Bluetooth, Rumpelstiltskin in the suburbs, an algorithmic fear of ghosts and the shattered dreams of immortality. 

The world they describe is the same one you inhabit, but you would live in terror were you to recognise it for what it is.  Life would, literally, never be the same again.




Excerpt

“The thing is, Tom, I did call him a few months after I left.  It was a bit of a surprise.  I was supposedly embarking on some great adventure, and there I was struck down with what felt like terminal homesickness.  I needed a friend.”

“You could have called me.”

“I know, but it wasn’t you I wanted.  Sorry.  What I never expected was that I would be longing for Frank.  How strange was that?  Anyway, it was late and the foul weather made me feel even more lonely.  I virtually forced him to come to me that night.”

“Do I really need to hear this?”

“He never made it.  Ice on the motorway.  His mother called me a few days later.”

“Jesus, Sally.  No wonder you’re imagining things.  It’s guilt, that’s all.”

“So that’s it, Mr Freud?  I really am just imagining it?  Going mad”

“I wouldn’t say going mad exactly.  I mean it’s understandable.  You had a terrible shock.  You were missing Frank – can’t understand that bit, but there you are – and you called him to you.  And because of that he died.  It doesn’t make it your fault.  Not really.  I can’t imagine he was the greatest driver in the world.”

“He’s here, Tom.  In this restaurant.  I can feel it.  I can almost see him.”

“The flickering?”

“Yes!  Please tell me you’ve seen it too.”

Poor Tom.  I think he’s about to deny it.  A straight ahead, get the job done sort of guy can’t acknowledge the terrors that shimmer on the edge of his vision.  It has to be Sally who is mad, not he.  The truth is, neither of them is mad.  I would show myself if I could, join them at their table, discuss important matters of life and death.  But it doesn’t work that way.  That would be like believing in ghosts.  Foolish.  But the three of us will soon be able to have that discussion face to face.  I’m looking forward to it.  Come along now, Tom, the second bottle has arrived.  Pour her a drink.

“Jesus Christ!”

General consternation sounds like an incompetent military leader, but it is probably the best description for what was happening around Tom and Sally’s table.  Tom had lifted the bottle and begun to pour.  But he didn’t know his own strength.  Or rather he didn’t know mine.  His grip on the bottle tightened like a noose until the bottle shattered, showering the unhappy couple with Pinot Grigio and sending splinters of glass everywhere.  I’m not exactly a poltergeist, they don’t exist by the way, but I made sure some of the glass went where it needed to.  A freak accident is how it was later described by those who were there and therefore must know.  The first shard sliced through Tom’s shirt and severed the carotid artery.  There was more blood than Pinot.  In less than a minute he was what people call dead, although we know better, don’t we?

Sally’s demise was even swifter.  A shiver of glass pierced her eye and came to rest deep in her brain.


About the Author:

Alec has had a number of careers, some of them still ongoing. After a brief spell with the BBC 2 arts programme, “Late Night Line-Up”, he moved on to Radios 1 and 2 where he produced “Night Ride”, giving Genesis their first national broadcast.

Alec went on to become an award-winning radio drama director and creator of radio documentaries and features, one of which required him to spend a week with the French Foreign Legion!

During that time, he also wrote and directed two musicals for radio, “Misrule”, starring Max Wall, and “Gilgamesh”, with Ian Holm; the latter was the BBC’s entry for the Prix Futura award in Berlin.

After leaving the BBC,Alec was commissioned to write and produce a double CD tribute to Princess Diana. Within days of its release in America it had sold over 100,000 copies. As a result, he won the prestigious international Audi award for best creative work.

Since then, Alec has produced hundreds of audiobooks, adapted TV and movie soundtracks for audio release, and was even commissioned to write two new ‘Thomas the Tank Engine’ stories! He also wrote book and lyrics for ‘Muscles the Musical’, which was premiered at The Landor theatre in London where the ‘House Full’ sign was up most nights. There are hopes for a revival in a larger theatre.

Alec’s publications have included two anthologies based on Radio 4’s ‘With Great Pleasure’, poems in ‘The Sunday Times’ newspaper and numerous magazine articles, and poems. ‘For Her Bones’ is his first fiction book. He is thinking about his next one.

https://alecreidwriter.com/

https://www.facebook.com/alec.reid.73/

https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/20849030.Alec_Reid




Conspiracy of Cats by B C Harris


Conspiracy of Cats
B C Harris

Genre: Contemporary fiction, paranormal, murder mystery
Publisher: Olympia Publishers, London
Date of Publication: 26th August 2021
ISBN: 978-1-80074-032-7
ASIN: B09CGHZ7K7
Number of pages: 325
Word Count: 123,121
Cover Artist: Olympia Publishers, London

Tagline: A Beautiful House, A Horrible Death, A Brilliant Revenge

Book Description: 

CONSPIRACY OF CATS… a supernatural murder mystery.

An apprehensive Jos Ferguson travels from Edinburgh to Northern Tanzania to visit the house her Uncle Peter built before he died. But Peter isn’t as dead as he should be… he was murdered, and he wants his niece to help him exact revenge upon his killer. With a little Maasai magic and a conspiracy of cats, Jos sets out to do exactly that.

A beautiful house. A horrible death. A brilliant revenge.

Who knew death could be so lively?


Excerpt

Looking back, it was as if Peter had known that he was going to die.  

It was as if all of them had known, because the Maasai came prepared for their ritual even though their little brother died only a few hours before they arrived. It was the largest group of Maasai Beola had ever encountered at the white house. At least fifty men, most of them warriors, all carrying their weapons and their shields. Their chests and faces and arms painted as if they were going into battle. She watched them from the master bedroom window, just as she’d watched the police arrive, having gone back up to finish changing the bed so it would be clean and ready when Jude returned. They arrived on foot just before sunset, and it would have taken all day to walk from their village on the western side of Mount Kilimanjaro all the way to the white house.  

Some of the warriors carried armfuls of wood, and immediately began building a large fire in the middle of the lawn. The elders, including their bearded laibon, sat down on the porch steps to rest and, when Beola went out to meet them, they asked only for water. When she offered food they politely refused. When Beola moved to go back inside to fetch the water, a young warrior stopped her. ‘We must leave the white house in peace, little sister,’ he told her, and then he and several of his fellow warriors guided her towards the lodge where they fetched enough water for all. When that was done, the young warrior told her, ‘Word has been sent into the park so your husband and your son will come home soon. When they do, you must be ready to leave.’

‘But why?’  

‘The laibon wishes to cleanse the white house of sorrow.’

Beola knew better than to argue with the wishes of a laibon, and so she nodded, resigned.

‘How long must we stay away?’

‘Moon die and come back again, man die and stay away. Come back with the new moon, sister.’  

Back inside the lodge Beola began to pack, without any clear idea of where her family would go or who they would stay with. By then it was full dark, and the fire was burning so brightly she could see its orange glow above the garage blocking her direct view. Kissi and Ben arrived while she was still packing, in shock at both the death of their friend and the large gathering on the white house lawn. The evening breeze was becoming a wind by then, and the stars were obscured by gathering clouds. The warriors had begun to sing a sorrowful sounding song, their beautiful voices competing with the mounting voice of the wind.  

By the time the Nyerere’s were readying to leave, a storm was in full flow.  

The perimeter of trees bent and swayed in the wind that had initially made their leaves whisper. That wind was howling and shrilling by then, a tempest that thrashed and whipped the leaves and branches. Storm clouds had gathered so close, they were piled on top of one another, grumbling, rumbling, crashing with thunder directly overhead. Lightening split the night over and over. Up on the roof garden, a solitary figure braved the onslaught. The old laibon was yelling into the night, his spells snatched away by the wind that seemed, in turns, to want to blow him away and push him down. Rain pelted down upon him, it blinded his eyes, dripped from his beard, soaked his shuka and chilled his bones. He fought against it, at the same time as he embraced it, arms stretched wide and high. Calling out, over and over, to the spirit of his friend.

As the Nyerere’s were loading up their jeep, another vehicle arrived, lights sweeping across the scene as it circled the lawn. Beola thought that it must be Jude, but it was Henk de Vries, pulling up in his flatbed truck. She assumed he’d heard the news and had come to pay his respects. She ran towards him, but half a dozen warriors barred Beola’s way. They told her to go, to never speak of this night to anyone. Beola struggled against them, and called out to Henk in some distress, but either the wind stole her voice, or the Dutchman chose to ignore her. Kissi was next to her by then and had to impel his wife bodily into the back of his Land Rover as Ben sat quietly weeping in the front. He then got in himself and set off for his father’s home in Arusha, having called ahead to stay there were sanitation issues at their home, so they needed a place to say for a while. As they were moving around the lawn towards the drive, Beola watched Henk lower the tail gate of his truck and saw two warriors lift and carry something towards the fire. Meat for the funeral feast, he told her much later.  

When Kissi’s Land Rover reached the foot of the hill, he turned north towards the main road that would take them to Arusha. They left the storm behind almost immediately. When they reached the top of the escarpment, he stopped and got out. Ben and Beola joined him. Together they stood atop the ridge, watching a small storm rage over the white house.  



About the Author: 

B C Harris is a Scot who, at the time of writing, had just finished renovating a farmhouse in France. A labour of love that began from first sight back in 2016. No sooner had the final length of flooring been laid and the last paintbrush dried, than disaster struck in the form of pandemic. France went into a strict lockdown and, with time to do more than simply daydream about writing books, a new project began to take shape.

Writing began as an escape from the fear and isolation that was soon affecting us all, and quickly flourished to become ‘Conspiracy of Cats’. The global pandemic seems to be receding now, but the passion for writing has taken root. Find out more about B C Harris online.








Article About Author: 





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Beyond Atlantis: An Epic of The Ancient Americas by Lucius Beauchamp


Beyond Atlantis: An Epic of The Ancient Americas
Lucius Beauchamp

Genre: Fiction, Fantasy, Adventure
ISBN: Paperback 978-0-6488929-0-8  
ISBN: E-book 978-0-6488929-1-5
ASIN: 0648892905 
ASIN: B01I4OMBVY
Number of pages: 448
Word Count: 158,240 
Cover Artist: Flametree Creative

Tagline: Greater Atlantis, where The Guardian Tribe roam

Book Description: 

10,000 years ago, ancient Atlantian Tribes of magicians flourished in the lower Americas and along the Mississippi. 

Galen, an Atlantian magician priest is locked in a relentless power struggle with an envious sorceress who blackmails, lies, and manipulates. A prince of the blood, Galen is determined that nothing will stop his becoming an Archpriest.

Eten, blackest witch and high priestess sees angels and seeks a forbidden treasure. She finds Galen’s curse of having a soulmate particularly helpful. 

Half a millennia ago the Island of Atlantis sank off the Biminis, the 13th Tribe was held responsible for the demise of Atlantis. The surviving Atlantians stripped the 13th of all technology and exiled them. 

Vengeful, the 13th Tribe wishes to return but the 13th’s warlocks fear crossing into Greater Older Atlantis. They do not dare set foot on the Guardian-protected land. The great Guardian Tribe possess a formidable circle of psychics who roam North America keeping constant vigil to keep Greater Older Atlantis safe for all Atlantians. 


Excerpt:

    With lightning rushing to greet the barbarians, not only sulphur made their guts wrench. That most feared God, the God of lightning, was among them. Sheets of power forked across the ground, felling dozens of the pure race. Repeatedly, the riverbed exploded and sprayed molten sand. Dripping glass sculptures remained and pressure waves threw barbarians into the glowing glass pools. Where some lay stuck, in death or dying.
     The false day reached the refugees, the sky pulsing green. From the Safety of the hillside they saw it all, with deafening thunder rocking them. Dodging lightning bolts, the barbarians ran when they could to slid into super-hot streams of glass where their flesh seared so completely that bare-bones were exposed among living tissue. There was screaming at newly blackened limbs and sizzling holes within a shoulder or thigh, created by actual lightning strikes. And then more astral screams as the black shadows of the underworld chased and fell upon the freshly dead. Only a handful survived. It was another mist-night.

                                                               *

Tancah. Ten ships comprising another fleet had landed. Gold. Mounds of gold was being turned into ingots for shipment to the Far World.
     The gangplanks were sunk into the pink sand by the tread of disembarking
warriors.
     The scarred pyramids were towers with large stone tablets standing
on top. Not very wide, with ladder-like stairs, each had an almost sheer
drop at the back. Saplings burst forth in unexpected places among the ruins.
     The seventh ship to dock was grander than the others. Its occupants always liked to be seventh, from superstition. Rhaim, the commander-in-chief hurried to meet these new arrivals. They were the main reason he’d come back to Tancah. After all, he didn’t want their leader to take offense. In black clothing with wide purple edging, the thirteen glided down the gangplank. Weary soldiers made hasty signs in the group’s direction while dropping their eyes. Even with a close trimmed mustache, the outlines of the first face were a death mask. Udo, the leader. Tall, white-haired and eyes robin’s-egg blue. The whole group was from similar molds.
     Not on land yet, Udo glanced at Tancah. A connoisseur, he breathed
deeply of the destruction. Then he put a foot hard on the sand and dogs began to howl. A flock of monarch butterflies, resting on their way to their wintering ground, filled the air. Raising his hand to the sky, Udo cut a swath through the gossamer wings. The lovelies rained down among the pyramids, while the coven roared with laughter.
     Invisible to everyone, a watcher hovered over the beach within sight of the ships. As one, the black-garbed group turned to look at him, eyes burning. Languidly, Udo said, ‘Kill.’
     Two men vacated their flesh so utterly that their bodies fell to the ground. Their spirits were shadow hounds. Instantly the temple flyer telepathed the sight to his temple, then spirit claws were on him. Dying, screams filled the heads of other flyers.
     The murdered watcher’s body, seated in the temple chamber, spasmed and went limp. A high priest wiped the corpse’s brow, ‘Where is the other?’
     Simultaneously, Udo’s face was in the room, hanging in mid-space.
Gloating, he disappeared. Then he was back at the beachfront. ‘Find the other watched.’
     The two dark hounds pounced forward, but Udo’s snarl sent them scurrying into their bodies. He believed in sharing and signaled a fresh pair.  

 

About the Author:

Like Plato, Lucius believed Atlantis existed. Interpreting Plato’s description of location, backed up by Edgar Cayce’s readings, the Island of Atlantis was off the Biminis. Therefore, for him, the Continent of Atlantis (Greater Older Atlantis) was North America.





Hello, I’m Lucius Beauchamp and I’ve written a fast-paced fantasy novel, called ‘Beyond Atlantis: An Epic Of The Ancient Americas’. Today, I’ll talk about snakes.

Excerpt:

“She frowned, threw a stick down the track and then waited. Nothing moved. ‘Mind you, it’s walking all the way and all, all, uphill.’ She tossed another stick, lengthways and high this time. A dozen six- inch snakes dropped from the trees. Poisonous. ‘Or the tabooed coast, north of the New Nile.’ She’d just had a feeling about that track; maybe because it was too overgrown, maybe because no sound came from the track. ‘It’s only really forbidden to those without Atlantian heritage.’

Excerpt:

“Observing the sea snakes, he laughed triumphantly. ‘More illusions.’ He ploughed into the truth and shrieked when it bit him. For a moment he was frozen there, unable to believe each sear of pain. Then he was tearing the snakes off him. The serpents merely saw an invitation to bite his hands. His veins seemed to be pumping acid. Convulsing, he fell forward under the slithering mass.”

About snakes, they’ve been milk-fed attendants in the temples of the ancient Roman Good Goddess. Alexander the Great’s mother Olympia had a thing for snakes, in association with the worship of Zeus; with whom she believed, wink, she’d had a son. 

Cleopatra wasn’t afraid of snakes, as shown by her choosing a snake with which to kill herself. Mind you, I’m not sold on that story. Cleopatra was a queen who personally knew all about poisons, what to watch out for and what to keep aside for a rainy day. And she lived in Alexandria where they weren’t shy about sharing expertise on poisons. Yet, apparently, after she had semi-walled herself into her mausoleum in self-defence against Octavian Caesar, she’d had to send out for a take-away of Asps. I doubt it; she’d thoroughly researched the least painful way to die. Hence, Cleopatra would have had a precious vial twisted into her favourite wig, or a couple of emergency vials papyrus papier-mâchéd into the walls of her mausoleum. 

Back to our slivery friends. They are the other of man’s two most popular phobias. When I was a young boy, I knew a particularly nasty woman, friend of the family, who told me that tennis balls were filled with tiny, tightly-coiled live snakes. Proof that the wicked witches of Grimm’s Fairy Tales still exist in modern form; smiling sweetly while dripping poison. Now, be truthful, how do our fanged friends affect you?