‘Under Blankets, Under Stars’ is out this Valentine’s Day!

I am pleased to announce that my second collection of short stories will be available this Valentine’s Day! ‘Under Blankets, Under Stars’ is the light to the darkness of ‘A Chance of Rain’.


Over 20 upbeat sci-fi and fantasy stories, ‘Under Blankets, Under Stars’ will be available as an e-book on the 14th. A paperback version will be in print once printers are back up and running following lockdown. 🙂


Available for pre-order soon!


This month’s #BlogBattle: ‘The Capten Sings’!

Blogbattle_FLUTE

Yes, I’m very far behind! Hence the two posts in a short space of time. But I’m trying to make amends, trying to catch up. That’s gotta be worth something, right? This month’s #BlogBattle prompt was ‘flute’. I’m still sticking with the Boddi Craig theme for the time being — I’m just enjoying it! The title of the story is The Capten Sings, and you can read it here.

If any had survived, they would have recounted — with wide-eyed horror — how the Capten was singing when it happened. Not just singing but bellowing at the top of his lungs; so loud they wondered how his voice did not crack with the strain.

Whew! Managed to slip this story in there just before the end of the month! Before I know it, next month’s prompt will be out! Catch up, Joshua, what are you doing with your time?

Oh, and be sure to check out some of the other #BlogBattle entries! They’re always great!

‘Donum Ex Deo’: My celestial tale for Reedsy!

reedsy-prompts-widget

*Looks into your eyes, flushes guiltily then glances away* Yeah, I know, I’ve neglected this blog as of late. But, hey, we’re living during a global pandemic. I’m sure I’m not the only one who’s struggling a bit to maintain previous standards. On that note, I hope you’re all well and that you’re looking after yourselves! Seriously, stay safe, everyone.

Anyway, I’ve got a huge backlog of stories to upload, and a huge backlog of artwork to upload to my sister blog. This story was written for the Reedsy contest Bad Hair Day; I chose the prompt, “Write a story about a character who’s too polite to tell someone they don’t like a gift given to them.” The title of my short story is Donum Ex Deo, and you can read it here on WordPress or over on my Reedsy profile.

“Well, what do you think?”

“Uh…”

“You do like it, don’t you?”

“Well…”

 

Continue Reading

Sorry for being so behind on everything, I hope you’ll excuse me, considering current circumstances. Take care, guys! I hope to have more of my stories up over the next few days.

This month’s #BlogBattle entry is a return to Boddi Craig: ‘Two-Thirds of a Watch’!

Blogbattle_BROOCH

Well, it’s certainly been a while, hasn’t it? How are you all? I sincerely hope you’re all safe and well! It’s been rather chaotic recently, what with global pandemics and failing laptops, so I won’t self-flagellate myself too badly. We gotta take it easy on ourselves, especially during times like these, right?

Anyway, on to the reason for this post: the new #BlogBattle prompt is out! This month the word is ‘brooch’. I knew that I wanted to return to the twisted little island I had begun to explore in last month’s #BlogBattle. Who knows, maybe I’ll be making this a series? The title for this story is Two-Thirds of a Watch, and you can read it here!

It wasn’t her face that his eyes kept coming back to, and it certainly wasn’t his face. The boy could hardly bring himself to raise his gaze to meet his father’s. His real father, that was, not the Father. The child — for he had only very recently taken a few unsteady footsteps along the path towards manhood — knew that if he didn’t look Papa in the eyes, he may never do so again.

 

Continue Reading

I hope it’s not too dark, but — hey — I don’t make this stuff up, I simply report on the facts as they’re given to me!

Until we meet again, in Boddi Craig…

Check out my tasty story for this week’s Reedsy: ‘Maledictions and Muffins’!

reedsy-prompts-widget

Well, here we go! Another week, another Reedsy contest. This week’s theme was This Magic Moment; magical realism. I chose the prompt, “Write about someone who works an average job — but incorporate elements of magic into it.”

I’ve recently been writing more and more non-horror pieces. Last week’s Grandma’s Garden (read it here) was a return to the norm — or at least, my norm! This week I’ve explored a bit more of non-horror. Nothing wrong with a bit of experimentation, right? The title for my story is Maledictions and Muffins, and — you know how this bit goes by now, right? — you can read it here on WordPress or over on my Reedsy profile.

The witch waved her wand in the direction of her victim, whispering the ancient incantations under her breath. The words snaked out from between her lips, like a worm out of an apple. Her opponent began to expand — growing, widening, fattening. Mavis knew that it wouldn’t be long until the object of her spellcasting finally bid adieu to this mortal world and exploded, insides splattering in every direction.

Continue Reading

The reason for the latest batch of non-horror pieces is simply because I don’t like to force my stories. I try to keep it very natural and easy. As a rule, I try to stick with the idea that comes first — as this is generally what I want to write, as opposed to what I feel I should write. This isn’t to say I’m abandoning horror (far from it, haha!), simply that I’m broadening my horizons. We can’t be all doom and gloom and zombies and gore 24/7, can we? Nice to spice things up a bit — every now and then!

So, I hope you guys like the piece — I really had fun writing it (but, then again, I always do!). I really liked the idea of a a kind and friendly witch in a cosy kitchen full of tasty smells, with a fluffy black cat pestering her for some crumbs. I thought it was simply a heartwarming picture.

Well, this has been enough rambling for one week, right? I best be buggering off! P.S. If you like the artwork that I made for this story, why not check out my side blog, Art in Soul?

‘The Repellers of Boddi Craig’: My entry for this month’s #BlogBattle!

Blogbattle_CASTLE

How is it March already!? Where’s the year going/gone? “Life moves pretty fast.” — Ferris Bueller

Anyway, this month’s #BlogBattle had a great word — ‘castle’! A bit easier than last month’s ‘vivacious’ (although I had a lot of fun trying to make that one work — a challenge is always appreciated!). The title for my story is The Repellers of Boddi Craig, and you can read it here on WordPress. I’ve got this idea of maybe making the story that I’ve hinted at in this month’s entry into a larger thing — perhaps I’ll try and work each #BlogBattle entry into fitting into the larger universe of Boddi Craig? We’ll see, my friends, we’ll see.

I put out my own eyes with a knife at the age of thirteen.

 

Continue Reading

I really loved writing this one. Quite dark, but that’s just how I like it! I wanted to write more, but I was limited to 1,000 words. As I said, maybe I’ll return to Boddi Craig in next month’s #BlogBattle (if I can make it work, that is!).

Oh, and be sure to check out the other entries — there’s always something for everyone, not just my bleak horror! 😀

P.S. If you like the artwork for this story, why not check out my other blog? It’s dedicated purely to my art: https://artinsoulstudio.wordpress.com/

Check out my dark little story for Valentine’s Day: ‘Which Heart?’

witchheart (1)

Well, hey guys! Happy Valentine’s Day! Have you got much planned for today? Got a special someone you’re spending it with? Don’t worry if not, there’s no pressure — some say it’s just a Hallmark holiday anyway, manufactured to make money from sales of saccharine cards, boxes of chocolates, and red roses that die within a week…

But, hey, that’s enough cynicism for one day! I’ll be spending the day with my partner, but we won’t be doing anything particularly out of the ordinary to mark this date; a couple of pizzas, a bottle of wine (or two), cuddles on the couch, and a few movies to fall asleep in front of. Maybe even some video games… Perhaps Resident Evil? (At least, that’s how we spent V-Day last year!)

Anyway, on to the reason for this post! For Halloween and Christmas last year, I made holiday-themed posts for my Bite-Sized Horror series. I had a lot of fun with them, and I want to continue the trend for many holidays to come. I thought about doing something for Valentine’s Day, but I honestly haven’t had enough time to properly do it justice. I have, however, had just enough time to write a short story! So, here you have it, a dark little tale about love, life, and death, in order to celebrate Valentines Day 2020. The title of my story is Which Heart? You can read it by clicking here!

Friday the 13th of February: Part One

The witch staggered into the clearing clutching the man’s body. She stumbled to her knees, for his weight was greater than her own, but she did not drop him. She would not drop him, not ever. With a grunt that might have been a howl of rage, she lurched to her feet, arms cradling the lifeless frame.

Continue Reading

I hope you like the story, I really enjoyed writing this one. I’m quite proud of it! Also, I made the artwork for the associated image, which I’m also rather fond of. Art is sort of a “side-side-hobby” for me (with making music being my “side-hobby” and writing being my “main” hobby!), and I’ve kinda got it in my head that it’d be nice to make my own art for my stories, to really draw the reader into the twisted little world I’ve got within my mind…

‘Onwards, Towards the Witch’: My magical entry for last week’s Reedsy contest

reedsy-prompts-widget

Whew! We’re getting there, aren’t we? Almost done! This story was written for last week’s Reedsy contest (just one more short story, then I’m all caught up!). This story was written for the Reedsy theme ‘winter wonderland’. I chose the prompt, “You go for a walk in fresh snow. Suddenly you realise you’re not leaving any footprints.”

This story was written shortly before the deadline of the contest, but it wasn’t quite as last minute as the previous one (although I did cut it close!). I feel that this is a better story somehow… it feels more ‘complete’ — even though I’d have liked more time on it. The title of the story is Onwards, Towards the Witch, and you can read it here on WordPress, or over on my Reedsy profile.

I see you, child.

The words slithered into her brain, as if they were her own thoughts. The world flashed a momentary red. And then they came again.

I see you, child.

Continue Reading

Well, I hope you guys like the story! From this point on, I’m hoping to have more time to dedicate to my short stories (as well as my main WIP — progress for which has recently stalled…). Indeed, the one I wrote for this week’s contest was complete by Thursday. Until next time, guys! Have a good’un, and always pay attention to the warnings of your fairy!