February at Housewife of Horror – A Weird and Wonderful Month

February was an odd month for me. Reading wise it’s been quite quiet, one thing and another creeping up and taking me away my from reading time.

I hated the fact that two of my reads became DNFs. I struggle to get into ‘Will Haunt You’ and ‘Black Wings’. Both I was quite excited for. I will come back to them at a later date as potentially I just wasn’t in the right frame of mind for them. I hated Sons of Anarchy when I first watched the first few episodes – came back to it a few months later, and it’s now one of my favorite shows.

I got around to reading ‘Blood in the Woods’ from J. P. Willie. I have had that one a while, and I wasn’t disappointed. It’s a wonderful book, kind of a ‘Stand by Me’/ Horror mash up. It’s well worth your time.

My favorite read of February, of course it was Jonathan Janz with ‘The Dark Game’ – see review excerpt below.

Book of the Month – The Dark Game by Jonathan Janz  –https://horrorhousewife.net/2019/02/22/the-dark-game-%E2%AD%90%EF%B8%8F%E2%AD%90%EF%B8%8F%E2%AD%90%EF%B8%8F%E2%AD%90%EF%B8%8F%E2%AD%90%EF%B8%8F-book-review/

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The Dark Game did not disappoint.

“I am ever developing a deep love for the style of Janz’s writing. I adore his characters, they are as always, full of depth and horrific delights. His stories are inventive and unique, and he has a wonderful penchant for all things gory.

Ten writers of varying ability are taken to the secluded home estate of Roderick Wells, the worlds most famous author. They are promised a great lesson in writing, with the winner taking home not only a healthy pot, but they will also receive the book deal of a lifetime. Of course, things are not always as they seem. What they have fallen prey to is a twisted game, a brutal fight for survival. And in true horror fashion, there are some particularly gruesome ends.

Janz does an impeccable job of creating so many full characters in this novel. They all have their darkness; each character has their own sin to bare. Each character is well thought out and written so flawlessly that you can almost touch them. The back story of the individuals, the sins, they are woven in throughout the novel, intertwining in a perfect harmony with the events occurring at Roderick’s estate.

One of my favorite parts:

“Well’s entered with his wife. Lucy stared at the man, stunned at the change in his appearance. She supposed it was a matter of simple grooming: he’d shaven and the hair around his ears had been trimmed. Yet there was something more at work, something subtler yet more profound. His eyes shone with a vitality that hadn’t been there the first night. The deep grooves in his forehead were less pronounced.”

This is a very intense and immersive read. Thank you so much to Flame Tree Press, and to Jonathan Janz for a copy to read.


Find it here – https://www.amazon.co.uk/Dark-Game-Fiction-Without-Frontiers/dp/178758187X

The end of February I have to say was the most exciting for me. My short story ‘Fresh Air’ was published in Sirens Call issue 43. I am so excited and so proud. To see something that I created in black and white, published along with many many other wonderful stories by so many talented writers. I am truly honored and overwhelmed.

Thank you so much to the amazing people over at Sirens Call and to those who have stuck by me and supported me. You guys rock!

Check out my story here – http://www.sirenscallpublications.com/

Sirens Call issue 43 is free to download along with all the back issues.

Enjoy, and thank you again.

Bring on March.

Lesley-Ann Campbell

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January at Housewife of Horror

January has been a real turning point for me with regards to my writing.

I have had a short flash fiction story accepted for publication – I can’t say anything else at the moment – and I have submitted another two for review. I have made good progress with my WIP ‘Quicksand’, developing the plot, the characters and even making a rough cover. It’s far from perfect, but it’s great to see something, makes it seem more real if anything.

I’m very pleased and proud to say that I also have a brief article about my time as a book reviewer coming in February for Women in Horror Month with The Horror Tree. https://horrortree.com

I have made good reading progress too. The New Year saw me take on my #7books7days challenge where I read a different book every day during the first week. That was really fun. I read some great books, and got quite up to date with my reading list.

I am currently reading ‘The Playing Card Killer’ from Flame Tree Press, which will take me into the beginning of February and then I plan to read one book a week during the month.

I have decided to set myself a lower challenge for reading, as it will take the pressure off me and also give it will give me plenty of time for writing. It’s a balance, finding the time for reading, writing, working full time and making sure I don’t neglect my adorable soon to be husband. I think I’m getting on top of it though. I’m feeling good about my progress and where I’m at currently.

I hope to have plenty of more writing news next month and plenty of reviews to come too. I have a couple of book reviews outstanding with GingerNuts of Horror http://gingernutsofhorror.com/index.html and expect to have these live soon.

Overall it’s been a great month. Bring on February and lots of horror!!

Writing Prompts for the Horror Writer

  • She walked in, the smell, the overwhelmingly foul stench hit her like a truck…
  • Awakening in darkness, the deafening silence overwhelmed his senses. He could tell someone was there, not by sound or sight, but by the sheer presence of evil that hung in the air like a thick city smog.
  • Fearful for her safety, she turned quickly and began towards her car. The footsteps behind her again quickened their pace, gaining with every step. No one was there.
  • The office was empty, not unusual for this time of day, but still an eerie feeling washed over me. I wasn’t alone, I could feel the eyes watching me, following me.
  • The scratching coming from the backdoor became more pronounced. There are more of them, they just keep coming.
  • I can feel it inside me, squirming its way through my body with no regard…
  • Coldness engulfs me, I can feel the delicate caress of her touch as she wraps herself around me. She is evil, she is the devil incarnate, she has taken my soul for her own.
  • The entire floor shook with the force of a tornado passing through. Pictures fell and cracked, the oak side table cracked as if an eggshell.
  • I sprint for my bedroom, my screams are silent. I will make it. Just as I get to the door, it grabs me by my ankles, dragging me back towards the basement…
  • Blood runs free here as if it is water…

Sugar Skulls – ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️ Book Review ***Spoilers***

Sugar Skulls

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M. R. Tapia

Hindered Souls Press

“”Life is a matter of death. Death is a matter of fact.”

Micah DeAtta learns this as he awakens with Death seated across from him, whetting his sickle. Micah has no choice but to converse with Death in order to figure out his own demise. As their conversations become a battle of wits, Micah is forced to relive prominent deaths of family and friends before learning of his own. Each death happens in real time, each correlating with the nine levels of the Aztec underworld. Before it is said and done, Micah will have been forced to face his fears, his losses, and the fact that although life may be too short, death is forever.”

First of all, may I say thank you to M. R. Tapia for sending copy of ‘Sugar Skulls’ in exchange for an honest review.

A conversation with Death himself. It’s not something you would expect to wake up too is it? But that is what happened to Micah. He woke to Death sitting across from him.

“Tonight I have the displeasure of meeting Death”

He doesn’t know what is happening to him. Death is not quite ready to take him yet. They must sit, talk and relive his past experiences, his regrets and his heartache.

This is a wonderfully written piece. The conversation between Micha and Death is riveting to read. It’s a two man show, two main characters who compliment each other very well.

I love M.R. Tapia’s writing style. I find it very easy to read, it has a constantly good steady flow. The pacing and the characterization are just perfect.

I would highly recommend this, M. R. Tapia is a wonderful author. I have read a few of his works now, and I am happy to say that they are consistently good.

4/5

Lesley-Ann

Housewife of Horror

Fresh Air – Flash Fiction

Fresh Air

By L. A. Campbell

The constant rattle, that intrusive low din, and the ever present migraine inducing banging noise. The air conditioning in this office is older than me I swear. It sounds like ten generations of rats are living up there, going about their daily ratty business in a most uncivilised manner.

Sitting behind my now overly sparse desk, sanitised as per the office ‘tidy-desk’ policy, I contemplate my existence in this world. I try to convince myself there is a reason for all of this, all the while pulling an ugly gurning face as I go through the daily motions, repeating the mundane tasks as if I am a programmed robot, mumbling under my breath as I type meaningless emails to my faceless colleagues.

“BANG” I look up, the loud intrusive bang a welcome distraction from my vacuous task. It sounds like the air con people are here again, fixing – to use the term loosely – the ageing system. Just one problem with that, there is no one here; the air con people were here yesterday repairing it. There are no cars outside, nor any work vans. I am all alone here.

“BANG” a second loud bang, louder, it’s getting closer to me. I can see the ceiling panels expand and contract with the motion. What is this?

A rattle louder than overhead thunder. I jump up from my chair, alarmed by the closing chaos. I thought I was all alone here.

Backing myself up, unnerved both by the ensuing commotion and my own fears of loneliness and isolation, I instinctively want to run and hide in one of the less than appealing bathroom stalls.

Resisting my urge to flee and cower, a somewhat sensible option, I instead drag my chair over towards my doom. I pull myself up onto the filing cabinet and slowly lift one of the ceiling tiles, revealing the inner workings of this old and somewhat deteriorating shell.

Raising myself up, my tiptoes dancing off the edge of the cabinet, all the while looking around for what I hope are the repair men that I have just missed coming in. It all seems quiet, too quiet, just an empty space above the misery of day to day working life, followed by an even emptier feeling in the pit of my stomach.

Just as I turn to lower myself back to the mundane, I sense something. Turning, I am hit with the force of a truck, knocked backwards from the chair, my back crunching as it hits the corner of a desk. I barely manage a scream, a silent whimper, before I am overcome. Then there is nothing, just blackness and silence. I am one with the darkness now.

No more mundane. I wonder if my boss will even notice.

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