Monday 29 October 2018

Book Feature: TALES FROM THE LAKE - Volume 5 (pre-order)

“If you’re a short story reader, this is an absolute must-read. Volume five is even better than the four preceding volumes, which is a very hard bar to hit. Go buy this!” — John R. Little, author of The Memory TreeMiranda, and Soul Mates


The Legend Continues…
In the spirit of popular Dark Fiction and Horror anthologies such as Gutted: Beautiful Horror Stories and Behold: Oddities, Curiosities and Undefinable Wonders, and the best of Stephen King’s short fiction, comes Crystal Lake Publishing’s Tales from The Lake anthologies.
Where are the real horrors? Whether they be a family member returning from the dead, exploring the depths of depression or the deterioration of the mind, you’ll find them here.
This anthology contains twenty-two tales and three poems to elicit unexpected emotions, to bring you into the story. Welcome to my lake, where dreams really do come true…
As nightmares!
This fifth volume of speculative fiction contains:
  • “From the Mouths of Plague-Mongers” by Stephanie M. Wytovich – A wonderful look at our world and the cruel reality of it all.
  • “Malign and Chronic Recreation” by Bruce Boston – Where Internet addiction meets sexual addiction.
  • “Final Passage” by Bruce Boston – A breakdown of mental acuity as it leads to the inevitability of death.
Short stories:
  • “Always After Three” by Gemma Files – A young couple discovers that in a downtown condo you almost never know who your neighbours are, or what they might be doing.
  • “In the Family” by Lucy A. Snyder – A former child actress reveals dark family secrets to her long-lost niece.
  • “Voices Like Barbed Wire” by Tim Waggoner – Sometimes forgetting is more painful than remembering.
  • “The Flutter of Silent Wings” by Gene O’Neill – A heartbreaking tribute to a Shirley Jackson classic.
  • “Guardian” by Paul Michael Anderson – Even creatures beyond time and space need friendship.
  • “Farewell Valencia” by Craig Wallwork – When you’ve got no reason to live, there’s a hotel that can give you every reason to die. So book in, unpack, and prepare to be checked out, forever.
  • “A Dream Most Ancient and Alone” by Allison Pang – A lake mermaid with a penchant for eating children forms a tenuous friendship with an abused girl trying to escape her past.
  • “The Monster Told Me To” by Stephanie M. Wytovich – In order for Bria to deal with her past, she must confront the ghosts of her present.
  • “Dead Bodies Don’t Scream” by Michelle Ann King – If the universe won’t give her a miracle, Allie will make one for herself. But dark magic has a price, and paying it is going to hurt.
  • “The Boy” by Cory Cone – Grief-stricken from the sudden loss of her husband, a young woman fears she may lose her son as well, if she hasn’t already.
  • “Starve a Fever” by Jonah Buck – Fleeing down a bayou highway with a sick criminal in the backseat, a getaway driver must sate his passenger’s horrifying needs while evading the police.
  • “Umbilicus” by Lucy Taylor – A father becomes involved in a scheme to rescue a friend’s lost son—with terrifying results.
  • “Nonpareil” by Laura Blackwell – Maisie’s wedding cake business needs every client it can get—especially rich ones—but between the groom’s unpleasant family and the mysterious bride’s strange requests, Maisie has a tough job baking a cake that will please everyone.
  • “The Midland Hotel” by Marge Simon – If walls of a hotel could talk is one thing, but what if it happens to be a sentient collector of souls?
  • “The Weeds and the Wildness Yet” by Robert Stahl – Still reeling over the sudden death of his wife, Charlie stumbles across a mysterious object at a yard sale—a monkey’s paw, like the one in the legendary story. Despite the terrible events that befall that fictional family, he can’t help but want to give it a try.
  • “The Color of Loss and Love” by Jason Sizemore – A couple set out to rescue an unfamiliar couple, only to face an airborne disease that overtook the world.
  • “The Loudest Silence” by Meghan Arcuri – A woman is trapped by her worst enemy: her mind.
  • “The Followers” by Peter Mark May – The Followers are slow, but they never tire. Nor do they or have to stop to drink, eat or sleep like us living. They are on a relentless death march and we are only delaying the inevitable.
  • “A Bathtub at the End of the World” by Lane Waldman – A little girl plays with her toys in a locked bathroom. Everything is fine, except for the zombies outside.
  • “Twelve by Noon” by Joanna Parypinski – An old farmer goes about his routine tending to the nine scarecrows that preside over his field, when three college student show up and cause a strange disturbance.
  • “Hollow Skulls” by Samuel Marzioli – When Orson’s son is born, the memory of a tragedy creeps back into his life, threatening his very sanity.
  • “Maggie” by Andi Rawson – An intense, disturbing relationship between love and murder is exposed.
With an introduction by editor Kenneth W. Cain. Cover art by Ben Baldwin. Proudly represented by Crystal Lake Publishing – Tales from The Darkest Depths.

Sunday 28 October 2018

The Life of a Writer, and Blogger
November is almost upon us, and in that month I hide in my writing cave, aka my study, to take part in the writing challenge more affectionately know as NaNoWriMo.
Tomorrow there is a book feature post, if you crave the adrenalin rush of being scared (horror fiction), and be sure to get a copy. These authors don't pull any punches, guaranteed!

If horror is not your thing, so much, you can read a few short stories I wrote in the Writers Write 12 Short Stories Challenge so far this year. Varied prompts, varied story lengths and a mix of genres. I took the challenge to stretch my creative wings in this challenge. I hope you will find something you will like too.

If you prefer something a bit more real, my other blog might interest you. Why not have a look?

Enjoy the break, and if you are writing along with the rest of 300 000+ Wrimos in November, all the best to you.

Until December!
💜✒️🙋‍♀️ Linzé

Saturday 27 October 2018

Cover Reveal: THE HIDDEN CHILDREN by Reshma K. Barshikar

~ Cover Reveal ~
The Hidden Children (The Lost Grimoire #1)
by Reshma K. Barshikar

What price would you pay to be extraordinary? What would you do to speak to a butterfly? 

Shayamukthy cruises through life: shooting hoops, daydreaming and listening to her favourite books. Even moving from the US to India, to a new school, a new culture, hasn't really rattled her. But something isn't right anymore and it begins when 'New Girl' joins the school. 

She pulls Shui into a world of magic and wonderment, a world she has been hidden from all her life. What starts as a quest to look for a lost book, hurtles Shui into a world where people live in trees, talk to the dead and speak to butterflies. 

But like all power, magic comes at a steep price, and under all things wondrous lie demons waiting to crawl out. The more Shui learns, the more she doubts everything and everyone around her.   

Will she be able to master her powers, or will they devour her and everyone she loves? 

Releasing on 10th November

About the Author:

Travel writer and novelist Reshma K Barshikar is
an erstwhile Investment Banker who, as she tells it, ‘fell down a rabbit hole
and discovered a world outside a fluorescent cubicle.’ As a travel and features
writer, she contributes to National Geographic Traveller, Harper’s Bazaar,
Grazia, The Sunday Guardian, SilverKris, The Mint Lounge and The Hindu. Fade
Into Red, published by Random House India was her debut novel and featured in
Amazon Top 10 Bestsellers. She also holds well renowned workshops for young
adults at both BDL Museum and Kala Ghoda and is keen to build a strong Young
Adult reading and writing community to fill the desperate lack of young adult fiction
in the Indian Market. Her new Young Adult novel, The Hidden Children, will be
launching at the Vizag Junior Literary Festival. Reshma is from the ISB Class
of 2003. She calls both Mumbai and the Nilgiris home. 

Contact the Author:

Website I Facebook I Twitter I Goodreads

Sunday 21 October 2018

It's purple people, everywhere you look!

Drawing of Jacaranda tree with dog, copyright protected
Art by Linzé
Yes, October is the month for exams, the start of our rainy season, and the blooming Jacaranda trees. Last week I talked about all the trees we saw driving around our city (shopping for a couch, not to look at trees) but this week the scenery is a little different. It rained the past two days, hard, and the result is that those purple flowers now adorn the sidewalks and roads. There is still an abundance of flowers on the trees, but the purple carpets now extend the sheer volume of purple to double of what it was last week. Gorgeous!
Speaking of exams, I handed in my last assignment on my Training and Development Management short course this past week. After three months of studying and doing homework assignments, I suddenly felt at a loss of what to do with my time! A really odd sensation for me. But after two days of procrastinating (writing projects), reading a bit, and editing a lot, I finally got stuck in on finishing a craft project and doing the drawing of a Jacaranda tree.
With my artistic self-satisfied for a bit, the coming week will be spent on doing some research for my next non-fiction book.
I emailed the journal book manuscript, Take your Journal to the Next Level, to my editor on Friday. If everything works out (still not sure on what I want to do for the cover design), it will be ready for publication in January 2019. Watch this space if you are a journal writer, or are interested in starting the practice.
Since purple is the colour of creativity (and one of my favourites), I already feel inspired to tackle this week.
May yours be purple too!
💜 Linzé

Sunday 14 October 2018

Living in the Jacaranda City

Today we went to breakfast in the Brooklyn Mall, then we we drove to a place in East Lynne (they were closed), then via Queenswood and Colbyn onto the N4 highway to a camping and outdoor store. After a bit of shopping we followed Lynnwood Road to Lynnwood Bridge Mall for a coffee stop over before heading home again. Quite a roundtrip through our beautiful city.
Lots of blooming Jacarandas - all over the city!
(pictures taken with Linzé's iPhone)

Although Pretoria is known as the Jacaranda city, it is a fact that Johannesburg has more Jacaranda trees. But in my (not so) humble opinion, our city is prettier especially in October with all the splashes of purple to brighten up the rainy day.

Speaking of purple, our mulberry tree is bursting with berries since the rain started. And I am off to gather some more fruit for the freezer to do some delicious things when I will have a little more time in December.

Until next time!

Sunday 7 October 2018

I found a tree!

  Well, technically the tree has been in our garden since we moved in thirteen years ago, but it has never produced any fruit until this year.
photograph, white mulberries, morus alba tree
White Mulberries in my garden
  I found the evidence as purple bird droppings on our driveway, but the origin of the evidence baffled me until yesterday. I found the tree. It has been years, literally since I have had the pleasure of eating mulberries. Well, eating would be an understatement. We gulped them down by the handfuls when we were kids, my brother and I, and then had to spend hours trying to get the purple washed from our hands and faces.
  This particular tree, I think, is a white mulberry but it can also be a bastardised black mulberry. I am no expert however.
  I love the smell of the tree when I stand under it. Then again the close proximity of the yesterday, today and tomorrow bush could definitely have an influence on my olfactory experience.
  But I do know, the fruits are lovely and sweet. I already picked several handfuls today. Some I kept for my lunchbox tomorrow, and the rest went into the freezer after a thorough rinse.
I plan to use the frozen berries to make smoothies, ice cream, and sauces for ice creams and other desserts. I can hardly wait to gather some more tomorrow, even though I can only reach about 10% of the crop because of the size of the tree.
  Oh well, the birds do seem to enjoy the delicious berries almost as much as I do.

Next time I will tell you about my new writing buddy, Jack.
Until then, take care!

💜💜 Linzé

BOOK FEATURE: Master of Rods and Strings by Jason Marc Harris

SYNOPSIS   Jealous of the attention lavished upon the puppetry talents of his dear sister—and tormented by visions of her torture at the han...