Saturday, 21 November 2015

Beautiful Freaks Season 1 Introduction & Giveaway


#UpperYA #Gothic #Dreadpunk #VictorianLondon #FairyTales #Feminist
#ParanormalRomance #Detective #Murder

Beautiful Freaks: A Serialised Story in 12 parts.

SEASON ONE. Episodes 1-12

A dark and twisted saga that winds its way through the Victorian streets of London like a luxurious and lethal ribbon.

When a series of terrifying and seemingly paranormal murders occur at a rapid rate, panic and fear grip the city.

Still haunted by the ghost of the Whitechapel Ripper case, Inspector Steptree is forced to admit the murderer he now pursues maybe even more wicked and brutal. As the case closes down on the mysterious No.7 club, owned by the enigmatic Evangeline Valentine, Steptree discovers that evil is far from a fantasy.

It is against this backdrop that Kaspian Blackthorne turns eighteen and begins his apprenticeship under the scientific maverick, Doctor Greyson, a pioneer in brain surgery, and human transplantation. Whilst Kaspian is introduced to the horrors and wonders of man’s scientific progress, he also begins an epic adventure of self-discovery and infatuation. Guided into the decadent and luxuriant world of the London West End night scene by his new friend Hugh Denvers, Kaspian tastes the sweet temptation of a life less ordinary, but such a privilege comes at a terrible price.

A cast of timeless characters and dark, grown-up fairy tales interweave to create a rich and haunting tale of fear and desire.

Based on the original novel, ‘Beautiful Freaks’ written and published in 2013 by Katie M John, this series is a development of that world. This is the first season of a planned three seasons. You can find out more about this season and forthcoming seasons on the official site. 

You can pre-order Episodes 1 and 2 which are both out on December 3rd 2015 from Amazon worldwide platforms

For your chance to win a very special Beautiful Freaks Hamper, to include a beautiful Freaks Mug, pen, signed paperback of the original novel, 'Beautiful Freaks' on which the series is based, then follow the Rafflecopter giveaway prompts below.
The giveaway is open to international, but please be aware for places outside of the UK and Europe then prize will be sent surface mail and may take 6-8 weeks to arrive (especially over Christmas period)

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Thursday, 19 November 2015


On Thursday 3rd of December episodes 1 and 2 of Beautiful Freaks, Season One are released. The rest of the episodes will be available weekly on a Thursday for the duration of the Season.

About Beautiful Freaks

A dark and twisted saga that winds its way through the Victorian streets of London like a luxurious and lethal ribbon.

When a series of terrifying and seemingly paranormal murders occur at a rapid rate, panic and fear grip the city. Still haunted by the ghost of the Whitechapel Ripper case, Inspector Steptree is forced to admit the murderer he now pursues maybe even more wicked and brutal.
As the case closes down on the mysterious No.7 club, owned by the enigmatic Evangeline Valentine, Steptree discovers evil is far from a fantasy.

It is against this backdrop that Kaspian Blackthorne turns eighteen and begins his apprenticeship under the scientific maverick, Doctor Greyson, a pioneer in brain surgery, and human transplantation. Whilst Kaspian is introduced to the horrors and wonders of man’s scientific progress, he also begins an epic adventure of self-discovery and infatuation. Guided into the decadent and luxuriant world of the London West End night scene by his new friend Hugh Denvers, Kaspian tastes the sweet temptation of a life less ordinary, but such a privilege comes at a terrible price.

A cast of timeless characters and dark, grown-up fairy tales interweave to create a rich and haunting tale of fear and desire.

Based on the original novel, ‘Beautiful Freaks’ written and published in 2013 by Katie M John, this series is a development of that world. This is the first season of a planned three seasons.

Episodes 1 and 2 are out on Thursday December 3rd. They are both currently on Pre-order on Amazon Worldwide


ALICIA: The Snow Queen
One of the several 'Beautiful Freaks' that is resident at No.7, Alicia is a beautiful and mysterious young woman with a heartbroken past. Having travelled over continents, seeking to change her fate, she meets the mysterious Evangeline Valentine on a cold winter night.

MARIANA: The Mermaid
After a dramatic high-seas adventure involving a blood thirsty band of pirates, Mariana has to come to terms with the brutal loss of her sister, seeking revenge on all those land-dwellers who dare to ride the story seas.

SERPAHINA: The Fire Angel.
After fleeing the threat of her family home, Seraphina meets a mysterious stranger in the forest. He offers her refreshment in the form of a pomegranate, and she enters a world of divine enlightenment. When she wakes from her slumber, she discovers she has powers beyond her wildest dreams.

Promised by her materialistic mother to a wealthy count, Sylvania's instincts tell her she is in terrible danger. A fear that is confirmed when Sylvania begins to ask questions about the Count's previous wives. On the evening of her engagement, and the night of her coming of age, Sylvania discovers her secret identity just in time.

EVANGELINE VALENTINE: Owner of the No.7 club & The Palace of Beautiful Freaks.
Evangeline (Eve) is the enigmatic owner of the gentleman's club, No. 7. Shrouded in mystery, Evangeline is a respected, and feared member of London Society. In a world where men rule the world, Evangeline owns the men. Evangeline has exacting tastes, and is an obsessive collector of all things beautiful and paranormal - but it soon transpires that the mysterious Evangeline is perhaps the most paranormal of them all.

COUNT ELI ASTAROT: Evangeline Valentine's first love.
Count Astarot, the exotic, charming and entirely captivating gentleman who is the first love of Evangeline's life, introducing her to a world full of beauty, blood and fire. Despite his death, he is still very present in Evangeline's heart.

HUGH DENVERS: Kaspian's Guide into The Underworld.
A dandy and a handsome, charming rogue, Hugh Denvers has travelled the world as a companion to a series of academics and visionaries. His travels to Africa and Asia had made him worldly and given him an insatiable appetite for adventure. After attending Kaspian's eighteenth birthday party, he becomes the unlikely friend and guide to Kaspian's own adult awakening.

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Tuesday, 10 November 2015

5th Year anniversary of The Knight Trilogy Giveaway

This December marks the 5th Year Anniversary of 'The Knight Trilogy' and as part of many other things I am doing all over social media, I am giving away this lovely Birthday hamper to one lucky Rafflecopter winner. The giveaway is international and will be delivered by surface mail.

So if you fancy winning a collection of signed paperbacks, jewellery from the magical forest of Broceliande, and many other gorgeous hand crafted book swag goodies, enter the rafflecopter giveaway below.

The Knight Trilogy tells the story of Mina Singer, an ordinary seventeen-year-old college student whose life is nicely ordered until the arrival of the mysterious Blake Beldevier. With his arrival, Mina is catapulted into a world she thought only existed in fairy tales, but she soon learns that fairy tales aren't for children, and that Morgan Le Fay is the wickedest witch of them all.

In this contemporary Arthurian series, readers are taken on a fantastical adventure from the wilds of rural Cornwall, to the temples of Egypt, to the magical Forest of Broceliande, and to Templar Head Quarters in the savage mountains of Switzerland.

In a true romantic quest, Mina, Blake and her friends have to undertake quests, recover lost objects and under go heart break in order to slay their own personal dragons.

In its 5 years of publication, The Knight Trilogy has been a Number 1 bestselling YA series & Fairy Tale series in both the UK and USA. It has also been a bestselling title. Book 1, 'The Forest of Adventures' won Reviewer's Choice 2011 from The Kindle Book Review, and the series was a finalist in the Silver Ink awards 2013.

Book 1 The Forest of Adventures
Book 2 Immortal Beloved
Book 3 Star Fire

To celebrate, EVERYBODY can get a free eBook edition of 'The Forest of Adventures' on all eBook platforms. (Except for Amazon, but PLEASE let them know, using the button at the end of the Amazon page, that it is cheaper elsewhere and hopefully they will drop it to free there too)


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NaNoWriMo: Update.

I'm dashing here between word-sprints to share with you a little moment from the NaNoWriMo WIP. The current status is day 10 and wordcount is 25,062 so I am officially over the half-way mark. I can't stop long because the piece is demanding to be written.

Here's a little extract to give you an insight into what I am writing and to introduce you, albeit briefly, to the three main characters of, 'I Defy The Stars'
Only Cutz knew that in the dark and silent hours this was how Rafe spent his time. Bleeding words. Building philosophies. That painful tension of seeking perfection and knowing, always, it was going to fall short – no matter how far you pushed the outward boundaries of your thinking, there were always words that fell clumsily, no matter how beautiful they were in themselves. There were always lines that read too empty, or too full.
These words were entire poems in themselves, and yet to some they would not be enough. And this was the same for people. In Rafe’s mind, the most perfect poem about about Juliet would be the simple and most profound act of writing her name in the middle of a blank space.


In those six black scribed marks, in that semi-colon the whole poetry of her past, present and future. The proxemics of the letters to one another, a whole song of her being. Of the name sung to her in her infanthood, to the name breathed out between kisses, to the name that would one day be carved in cold stone, each letter fading with the ravenous appetite of time.

Sunday, 8 November 2015

#ReaderReviewsMatter: Be the Returned Voice

There's a lot of talk about the Reader and Author relationship, but I wonder if sometimes that idea is mistranslated. Sometimes, there is a sense that a novel is like a monologue performed in front of a silent audience.

There is no doubt readers engage and connect, and words have the power to move and to evoke strong emotions, (I'm a reader first and foremost too and I have been moved to shout and cry and laugh) but it is almost always an internal transaction, making the relationship between reader and writer, paradoxically, the most intimate and the most distant.

But when internal absorption and translation suddenly becomes and outward expression; a communication of empathy, and resonance, and feeling, then something truly wonderful happens - a dialogue is born. A two way running stream of understanding and sharing. That is the moment of magic to an author. It's like a voice travelling back from a distant planet - and the sound of that voice is all it takes to keep that writer creating and sharing.

Today, the first reviews came back for 'When Sorrows Come' and they have literally stopped me in my tracks, they've caused me to reflect on where I am an author and how I move forward. I guess you could call it the sudden onset of an existential crisis - but that can only be a good thing, right?

So if you have read something that moved you, made you cry, hit home, made you laugh, gave you hope, made you feel just a little bit less a crazy party of one, then reach out and tell the author, write a review, drop them an email, write them a letter. Be the returned voice, because your voice matters.  #‎ReaderReviewsMatter

If you're interested in reading 'When Sorrows Come' it is out on January 14th 2016 on Amazon Kindle exclusively for a three month period, after which it will be available on all eBook platforms. Paperback copies will also be available on Amazon and direct via the website.

#UpperYA #ContemporaryRomance #Relationships #MentalHealth #Survival #Hope #Love #Loss #SubstanceAbuse #SelfHarm

'When Sorrows Come' deals with some complex issues which are not suitable for younger YA readers.



Saturday, 7 November 2015

Author Demons: Conquering the Fear of Reviews.

This morning I opened the Goodreads page for the first ARC reviews of 'When Sorrows Come' which have just started to come in. It's always an incredibly scary moment, no matter how many books down, no matter how many previous good experiences, no matter how much you know in your soul, your head and your bones that the story is good - it's damned good because it came from a place of truth, of integrity, of experience.

Whenever I go onto Goodreads, I literally have to dare myself to do it, and when I click that dashboard button, it's almost as if my stomach sees those little red stars before my head. It was with the greatest relief and soul-soaring delight that there were no 1 stars or 2 stars ---- note that is how I work. I check off the low stars before the high stars; it's text book isn't it? That self doubt, that fear that you've f-ed it up. That you've made an ass of yourself. That you're just not good enough. (Sorry to you newbies who are hoping those feelings are going to go away, they might not)

And when I had scanned from the bottom up, going past the empty 1 star, the empty 2 bar and the empty 3 star I began to relax. It's okay - it's all going to be okay.

I always have these feelings, but they've been quadrillioned for 'When Sorrows Come' for a couple of reasons. 1) Its' COMPLETELY different genre for me. It's contemporary YA - I guess it would be labelled for ease as Contemporary Romance. 2) It slays many personal demons. It's the story I had to write - and if it hadn't been for the freedom and challenge of NaNoWriMo I wouldn't - the internal editors would have destroyed it.

I was worried readers would find some elements too far fetched, even though there are so many personal first hand experiences woven through the scenes and characters. I was worried readers would find it too heavy; it deals with mental health, death, love, obsession, self-harm, substance abuse --- yep, all in one story, but as one reviewer said, "these things all feed off one another" - and yes, yes they do.

So, I guess the point of this rambling post is

But at the same time, if you are afraid, if you are in doubt, if there is a worry you've failed your reader, then USE those demons to make it the best story your heart can write. Your readers will see the truth, they will see the authenticity, they will share with you and cry with you, and that's what this is all about - those deeply, intimate human connections between reader and writer.

You can pre-order your copy of 'When Sorrows Come'

Say Hello to McCallum J Morgan

Today I am sharing with you the cover reveal of my fellow Little Bird Author, McCallum J. Morgan's new book, 'A Hole In The Sea', Book 2 of 'The Weathercaster Saga'.

McCallum sporting one of his rather dapper
outfits of his own creation
As part of the Little Bird editorial team, I have had the amazing pleasure of working along side McCallum on his books, and I can tell you, I have rarely come across such exquisite word wrangling or such super world building. Working with McCallum's books is never like working at all.

McCallum's books refused to be defined by a single genre, and this is what I love about them. It is mermaid, it is adventure, it is steampunk, it flirts with dreadpunk, it is folklore and fairytale, historical and paranormal, but at the same time it is none of these things exactly -- and this is what I LOVE about McCallum's works and McCallum himself; he refuses to be conventional, he weaves his own magic.

McCallum deserves a huge readership and readers deserve to have books like these in their lives. So if you are looking for all the elements you love about the above genres, but are looking for something fresh, innovative and ultimately, MAGICAL then dig deep into your pockets, pull out a $1 and get hold of Book One before the release of Book Two on January 28th. (Book 2 is now on Pre-order)

So here, without much further ado, is the cover for 'A Hole In The Sea'.


As the chase continues into the extraordinary seascape of a mysterious ocean, where sea monsters reign, deadly mermaids hunt, and pirates skulk, Parsifal learns that staying alive on the high seas is no easy task; especially when being hunted down by the vengeful and determined Lady Vasille. As beautiful, deadly, and driven as ever, Lady Vasille will stop at nothing to retrieve the compass and the power it contains. In this fantastically wrought, nautical fantasy adventure, McCallum J. Morgan transports the reader into a truly magical realm. Available on all eBook platforms and paperback from January 2016. ‘A Hole in The Sea’ is the second book of ‘The Weather Casters Saga’ Book One is available on Amazon worldwide in eBook and paperback

Paperbacks are available from Amazon

PRE-ORDER links are also live.

In order to celebrate the launch period of 'A Hole in The Sea' I have a spare paperback edition of 'A Hole in The Ice' that I'm happy to send to one random UK reader who leaves a comment in the box below. Please help spread the word by sharing this post on Twitter.

Tuesday, 3 November 2015



Title: Unloved
Author: K.D. Wood
Genre: Paranormal, New Adult
Publisher: Blue Tulip Publishing


The kid wasn’t supposed to be real.

Back home, after her ordeal in New Zealand with Andrew, Neely McIntire has convinced herself the awful memories she cannot seem to shake are nothing more than bad dreams. But, when the picture of a child that could be her clone lands in her mailbox, everything she has fought to regain starts to crumble.
Even with the extra support from Hayden’s brother, Nathan, Neely is ready to break under the pressure that seems to be coming from all sides. Hayden wants to move their relationship to the next level. The Tribal Guard is stalking her. Worst of all, Andrew’s mother, Margarette, has given Neely an ultimatum: deliver her monster as promised or put everyone Neely loves at risk…starting with Hayden.
Drowning in secrets, Neely must convince Andrew to help her save the people she loves. But when Andrew introduces her to the child, Neely’s resolve wavers. Will she be able to sacrifice a child wearing her face? Or will she make the choice to save someone she never expected to love?
**This is the second of 3 books, it’s recommended that they be read in order to fully enjoy the experience of the story**

Book One of the series is called 'Unwilling'. I had the great privilege of reading it this summer whilst sat on a beautiful sunny French beach. I had grabbed  my copy at UtopYA in Nashville, June, where I met the fabulous K.D.Wood.

I can't tell you how much I LOVED this book. It's always tricky when you become friends with an author before reading their stories - I mean what if you hate them?

Fortunately, K.D Wood's book 'Unwilling' is just as quirky, smart, funny, together and brilliant as its author.
It's currently  On SALE for just 99 ¢
Amazon | B&N | iBooks | Kobo | Smashwords

ABOUT the Fabulous K.D.Wood
K.D. Wood lives in north Mississippi with her family and a very spoiled White Waug. She creates love stories and smokin’ southern erotica, but not your mama’s happy ever after. She’s a consumer of chocolate but not spiders and is completely composed of liquid awesome. When not in her office pounding the keys she can be found under a snuggly blanket, cup of Donut Shop close by, with her nose in a book.


HAPPY RELEASE DAY to my brilliantly talented friend Joanna S. Morris. Isn't her cover just absolutely gorgeous. I'm so excited to get my hands on a copy of this. I met Joanna at UtopYA 2015 and not only is she kind, gorgeous and funny, but her books totally rock too.


The right choice will set you free.

Eden Huntleigh is the envy of every teenage girl in the palace. As the intended bride of Cesar, the sovereign leader of Empyrean, she has everything she could ever desire and yet she is unable to ignore the nagging perception that something isn't right.

Her world is turned upside down when she meets a handsome stranger who insists that she isn't who she thinks she is. Try as he might, the only way to prove it is for her to leave with him and join up with the Rebel group to whom she belongs. At least that's what he says.

When faced with an impossible decision, assume her place next to Cesar or take a leap of faith into a world of the unknown, will she have the courage to follow her heart in the name of destiny?                  
Book 2 in the Echo Series
Now Available on Amazon, B&N, iTunes and Kobo
(Add links here)

Book 1 of the Echo Series
Would you risk everything you thought you knew about yourself if it meant saving everyone you love?

In this thrilling debut novel, sixteen-year-old Eden Huntleigh and her family live within the district of Empyrean. Under the rule of The Renegades, and their tyrant leader Cesar, every aspect of life is controlled. Streets are patrolled by humanoid Enforcers. Necessities are rationed. Disobedience is not tolerated.

When Eden receives an omen, and joins a group of Rebels led by the alluring Leo Dillon, her life begins to unravel.

Just as the Rebels are beginning to understand what they are capable of Cesar has kidnapped their families forcing them to strike before they are ready. Once inside the Empyrean palace they discover the horror of what they are truly facing. Does Eden have what it takes to be the legend she was destined to be? Ready or not she's about to find out..

JoAnna S. Morris was born in sunny California and raised, worlds apart, in good ol' Oklahoma, USA. 
She's been absorbed in words since she can remember. From journal entries to the hundreds of screenplays- mostly of the horror variety- somewhere in her mother's storage, she's been writing since she could hold a pen. 
With encouragement from her family, she decided to take the plunge and pursue the dream that's always haunted her. 
Some of her favorite things include her family, Brad Pitt, movies, Justin Timberlake, reading, writing, laughing until her sides ache, and  painting.

Website     Facebook   Twitter   Goodreads   

Friday, 30 October 2015

COVER REVEAL: Devilry Book 3 of the Meadowsweet Chronicles.


Totally excited to share with you the cover of book 3 of The Meadowsweet Chronicles, 'Devilry', which will be released in March 2016.

Here it is.

Something wicked has arrived in Heargton, and the effects of its arrival have unleashed terrible paranormal entities long believed myth. Forces of darkness are gathering, and the Meadowsweets, (who are still scattered across the globe) are preparing for a terrible battle.

The Ravenhearts, having made an enemy of The Southern Territories, have fled Mexico to Haiti in order to unlock the ancient secret of returning the dead. With a war about begin, the restoration of their trinity is crucial to their play for power and their bid to control the portal of The Ancient Ones.

For the broken hearted Jeremiah Chase, life at Coldstone House is a seemingly endless stream of dark family revelations. His discovery of a diary recording the activities of 'The Devil Dance Club' leads him into a corridor of evil that leads directly to his own ancestors.

#Witchcraft #UpperYA #Occult #ParanormalRomance #Magic


And here she is with her sisters.

Want to catch up on the story so far?
Books One and Two of The Meadowsweet Chronicles are currently available on all eBook platforms and in paperback via Amazon.worldwide. Witchcraft is currently on $0.99 / £0.99 sale. You can visit my author page here.
Witchcraft (Book 1 of The Meadowsweet Chronicles) is currently FREE on iBOOKS - you can grab a copy for your iPhone or iPad here.
***WIN A Mexican Day Of The Dead Keyring and Meadowsweet Chronicles goodie bag***

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Monday, 26 October 2015

CHAPTER TASTER: Exclusive showcase of the first Chapter of the new series 'Beautiful Freaks'

Today I am sharing with you the opening chapter of 'Beautiful Freaks' the serial based on the original novel, 'Beautiful Freaks' which was published in 2012.

This series has taken that novel as the starting point; the series has a much bigger cast of fantastical creatures, well recognised gothic characters and a lot more action. 3 seasons of 'Beautiful Freaks' is planned. Each series is 12 episodes and each episode is 10,000 (the size of a small novella)

The first TWO episodes will be downloadable on THURSDAY 3rd DECEMEBER (You can Pre-order them both now HERE)  and then an episode will be released every Thursday afterwards until the end of the series. In order that you don't miss one, they are all available on PRE-ORDER at Amazon.worldwide.

Visit the Beautiful Freaks Facebook Page

So without further ado - let me introduce you to the opening chapter of 'Beautiful Freaks'




BOTH the century and its Queen were dying. The winds of change rattled through the streets of the metropolis, leaving its citizens fearful of the coming times. Uncertainty bred suspicion, causing the people to return to the old ways. Mystics and fortune-tellers swarmed out of the city mists and filled the billboards of the now sober dancehalls. Nobody felt like dancing anymore. Gypsies hawked silver charms and lucky heather, and iron-faced preacher-men stood at every corner shouting warnings of damnation. It was a grey world, full of shadows.

The city was a landscape of monsters, both of flesh and brick. Chimneys from a thousand slave factories belched out black smoke; stealing the breath from the lungs and the light from the sky. Workhouses swallowed the poor; asylums the insane. It was amongst this labyrinth of sorrow Kaspian Blackthorne walked.

He was approaching his eighteenth birthday, although he felt he had been an adult for most of his life. His patron, Professor Heartlock, was making arrangements for a small private engagement in celebration of the boy’s coming of age. It would be an interesting evening, although not a very exciting one.

Heartlock was a paranormal investigator – had been a paranormal investigator – he was now mostly housebound. For the past three years, the professor had been confined to a wheelchair following a serious accident whilst in pursuit of a notorious serial killer. That was the official story. In truth, the professor had broken his back falling from the roof of a church in pursuit of a werewolf.

 Professor Heartlock had once been a fascinating man to a younger Kaspian, but now his fantastical tales had faded into the sad ramblings of a man full of regret about losing his youth. When he told his tales, the lines between reality and fantasy increasingly blurred, to the point Kaspian worried the old man was losing his genius mind.

 Kaspian had been just a baby when his mother and father were brutally murdered by an escaped Bedlam lunatic. The madman had believed William and Eliza Blackthorne were evil demons disguised as respectable people. He’d followed them for months, skulking in the shadows, before striking one night on their return from the opera. Despite there being several witnesses to the violent attack, the murderer still managed to dispose of their bodies so that they were never found. The whole case had been riddled with inexplicable circumstances and so quickly became a national news sensation. The murderer made no attempt to hide or escape; he maintained he was working for the glory of God. Regardless of his belief, they hanged him in front of a large cheering crowd.

With no other relatives, Kaspian had been destined for the workhouse orphanage until Heartlock came to his rescue.

Heartlock had been a good patron, although perhaps a little lacking in his understanding of children and childhood. As such, Kaspian’s nursery had been a study. His playthings, strange scientific apparatuses and his childhood stories, great leather-bound texts on religion and the supernatural. It sometimes seemed Heartlock had been set on raising a protégé to carry on his life’s work rather than a young man. As a result, although Kaspian’s upbringing hadn’t been cruel, it had been serious; and although showered in fondness and attention, it had lacked love.

Kaspian pondered his eighteen years as he walked through the evening gloom of the London streets. The rain had forced most people inside, creating the impression that the great metropolis had turned into a ghost town. Kaspian liked walking through the streets at times like this. It made him feel as if he were walking through his own misty and silent empire.

He’d been on an errand for his patron and was now returning, laden down with books. His cargo didn’t stop him skipping over the puddles with an unusual childlike joy, or humming to himself. He was happy and free.

Then he saw her.

She was standing under the streetlight, a newspaper held out in front of her as if she were reading it. Kaspian thought it obvious she wasn’t; she was watching the church on the other side of the cobbled street. He stopped midstride and pulled himself behind a tree; spied on her as she took a pocket-watch from her pocket and flipped open the lid. She cradled it in the palm of her hand and raised it until it was level with her eyes before studying it carefully. This struck Kaspian as an odd way to read the time, most people just looked down with a quick glance, and it led him to believe the device she held was not a watch at all, but another form of apparatus.

He looked over to the church she was watching. It looked empty and he couldn’t fathom what could possibly be of interest. The lights were out, the door locked, and the whole place had the impression of sleeping. He turned his attention back to the woman. She was tall and slender; striking in a slightly over-powerful way. Despite wearing a full, black-silk skirt, the fitted waistcoat and black necktie were manlier in dress than ladylike. He’d never seen a woman like her, although he had heard of ‘her sort’ as Heartlock’s companions would say.

Kaspian took advantage of her intense concentration to move his head around the tree and peer at her more closely. He could see she wore a monocle in her left eye and was at least ten years younger than he’d guessed from the first impression; about twenty-one. She must have sensed him looking at her because she turned towards him and smiled at the rather ludicrous sight of him poking out from behind the tree. Kaspian was already precariously balanced on the tip of his toes, and in an attempt to dash back behind the tree, he stumbled straight into her line of vision. 

He bent down and pretended he’d been about to tie his shoelaces, trying to mask his clumsiness. As he looked up at her from under his flop of dark, wavy hair, he saw she was still smiling at him; a strange reaction to the discovery someone was spying on you. The boldness of her action unsettled Kaspian in a way he couldn’t quite put his finger on. When he was sure she had returned to her own secret observations, he scuttled past her and almost ran to the safety of home.

 By the time he pushed open the imposing front door, Kaspian carried the strangest sense that something deep within him had changed – that things would never be quite as before.

“Good evening, Kaspian,” Heartlock said, greeting the boy in the hallway. “Is everything alright?”

“Yes, Sir,” he answered, dropping the small pile of books onto the hall table.

“Did you manage to get all I requested?”

“Yes, all of them apart from the Valentine book. Mr. Foxglove said he was sure he would have it by the end of the week.”

Mr. Foxglove was one of Heartlock’s oldest acquaintances. He ran a bookshop situated in one of Soho’s shadier alleyways. The sign above the door read, ‘Rare and Precious Books’ which made it sound almost respectable. In truth, the great leather-bound books of poetry and Shakespeare folios were a front for the back room; the place that held real interest for its rather darker clientele.

Although the shop had a small, narrow front, it had a seemingly endless body, which always gave Kaspian the unnerving impression he was being swallowed by a giant snake. Right at its tail was the occult section. Not only did Mr. Foxglove sell occult books, but there were also shelves of other strange and curious objects, which might appeal to the amateur alchemist or necromancer; glass jars of preserved reptiles, grinning skulls, and black candles were amongst some of the more identifiable items.

Kaspian had visited Foxglove’s shop since being a small boy and he was no longer quite so scared, or impressed, by its spooky appearance or its owner. Before Professor Heartlock’s accident, they’d always visited together. It was one of the rare occasions the old man shared any physical affection with his charge. Kaspian would search out Heartlock’s bear-like paw and grip it tightly, afraid the strange Mr. Foxglove might kidnap him and cook him for supper.

Mr. Foxglove had always been ancient, and so paradoxically he no longer aged. He wore a glass eye, but as he’d shrunk with age, it had become too big for the socket and now bulged, giving the impression the eye belonged more to an insect than a man. Even now, Kaspian constantly had to remind himself not to be rude and stare at it because he found it totally captivating. Mr. Foxglove had long lost the ability to stride and now shuffled along the stone floor in a pair of velvet slippers. In all of his years of visiting, Kaspian had never seen the man wear outdoor shoes.

The occult section of the shop had no windows. Before the client entered, Mr. Foxglove would shuffle into the darkness and light the dusty oil-lamps, which filled the room with paraffin smoke, and cast dancing shadows over the books. As a child, Mr. Foxglove had taken delight in teasing Kaspian about his fears surrounding the shop, telling him the shadows belonged to the book goblins. Both men would laugh, and although he knew he was being mocked, Kaspian’s imagination refused to give up the idea – even now he found himself looking for the goblins out of the corner of his eye.  

Today, Mr. Foxglove had already bundled and tied the books in readiness and they were sitting on the counter waiting for collection. Kaspian was grateful for this; not only did it save him time but it also meant he did not have to visit the back room. The books were heavy and twice he had used them as an excuse to stop and rest; once in a coffee shop and once to spy on the strange woman who now haunted the edges of his thoughts.

 “Ah, well – patience is a virtue,” said Heartlock, snapping Kaspian out of his drifting daydream. The professor’s face flickered with disappointment and he started to cough in reaction to the early winter air Kaspian had brought in with him. Heartlock’s aging lungs squeezed and wheezed; it was a sound now as familiar as the sound of his voice.

The old man recovered the pile of books from the side table and placed them into his lap before deftly turning his wicker wheelchair one hundred and eighty degrees and wheeling back towards his study.

Kaspian let out a deep sigh. The sight of his patron becoming so immobile and decrepit added to the increasing sense of heaviness Kaspian believed was attached to the adult world. Even the house, his home since childhood, faded and peeled on a daily basis. It was as if the whole place was a projection of its master’s state. The dust layer deepened, the gloom spread, and Kaspian felt increasingly like he was suffocating.

When Heartlock had been a fit man, the house had been full of fascinating visitors; the sound of hearty, booming laughter and the tinkling of whisky glasses filled the study, which was a hub of academic and scientific progress. It was amazing how quickly a life could decay. 


Sunday, 25 October 2015

Dare You Visit one of the UK's most Haunted Villages?

Dare You Visit The Haunted Village of Heargton?
The sleepy, rural village of Heargton in the U.K has always been a magical place. Ever since the first bronze age settlers built their home and buried their dead in the ancient burial mound that lies West of the village.

Now the village, with just over 1,500 habitants continues to be a place of significant paranormal interest due to its positioning at the intersection of powerful ley lines. At the very intersection of the lines is the village well, which local legend has it is a portal to the underworld.

The Heargton well is also significant due to it's nefarious and continuous connections with witchcraft. In the 13th century the rafters of the well served as a makeshift gallows from which three young and beautiful sisters were hanged, accused of witchcraft, sorcery and the murder of several young women from the village.

Their cottage, up on the top of Heathmoor Hill, North to the village, still stands although it is now in ruins. The cottage has become the focus of many recent paranormal investigations, including the televised investigation conducted by Ghost Raiders, aired on HNC in 2013.

It is believed that there are several covens still active in the surrounding area. There is much evidence of Satanic and Pagan activity in the form of graffiti, livestock injuries and totems that can be seen hanging in several places around the village. The village continues to celebrate many ancient pagan rites, including that of the Lighting of The Fires, which takes place in the New Year, and which has become a unique tourist attraction, due to its pretty procession and festivities.

Over the course of the weekend investigation, Ghost Raiders also explored The Green Man Public House, a 13th century coach inn, still in use today and which has changed little in its 650 years. The Green Man prides itself on being 'one of the most haunted pubs in England'. Most dominant of its spirits being that of a large Tudor innkeeper who has not taken kindly to the subsequent owners, a Grey Lady who is believed to be a jilted lover abandoned mid-plan, and a friendly basset hound who still warms himself by the fire. As an interesting aside, The Green Man is also the original home of 'The Green Man Music Festival' which has become a cult festival drawing lovers of rock music from all over the country.

Heargton is home to two important historical houses. Cold Stone House, South of The Village is home to the Chase family; a branch of which is now located in New York, U.S.A in the form of the Pharmaceutical giants, Chase Enterprises. This branch of the family orginonated from one of the brothers who departed for the U.S.A in the earliest days, finding himself in Salem, Massachuttes and partaking in the infamous Salem Witch Trials. Cold Stone House is still home to Lady Penelope Asquithe; the remaining Chase of her bloodline. The family are notoriously secretive and have always been so. Little is known of them except that their family has been blighted by tragedy over the years; including deaths of all the male line in World War I, a tragic murder, suicide in the late nineteen forties of a woman and baby, and several other untimely ends.

To the North of the village is the imposing Gothic monstrosity of a country house called Ravenheart Hall, a suitable name. Built in red London brick during the Tudor period, it nestles, almost hidden between the ancient burial ground and Raven Woods. An incredibly rich and powerful family, with regal connections, the Ravenheart family were philanthropic with their wealth, building both the Heargton library and The Rookeries Hospital. However, despite these acts of generosity over the years, The Ravenhearts have not always been thought of kindly; there are several more nefarious figures in the Ravenheart lineage, including slave traders, tyrants, suicides and links to the occult. Descendants of The Ravenheart family continue to live there today.

Within the grounds of Ravenheart Hall are Raven Woods; a spooky forest predominantly formed of tall and shadowy Scott's Pines. The woods have long been associated with the paranormal. Believed to be ancient druid lands, it is believed that the woods are protected by an Elemental drawn forth from the Earth by early Druid Priests. The Raven Woods is now home to the abandoned and derelict Rookeries Hospital, originally built as a maternity hospital, it was refurbished after a terrible fire in which many women and babies died. When it re-opened, it was used as an 'asylum for the criminally insane and morally dissolute.' Many villagers claim to still heart the ghostly voices of the insane when the wind travels in a certain direction.

Raven Woods is also believed to be haunted by the spirits of three virgins, who are connected to the three standing stones which can be seen as you drive along the West Road, but be careful if you do drive that road, especially on a misty night, as you may come across the Headless Hunt, comprised of the hounds of Hell.

BOB TUSSOCK The Highway Man.
If you travel out of the village on the North Road, be sure that you're not driving a red car. Over the course of thirty years there have been over twenty fatal crashes and numerous accidents, all of which have involved red cars. Needless to say that there are very few owners of red cars in the village now. The cause of this improbable 'accident redspot' as locals call it is Bob Tussock, a Highway Man who now haunts the North Road after he was hanged from a post on the spot as brutal warning to other would be Highway Men. It is thought that he still seeks vengeance from the village for both his death and his humiliation.

As well as these paranormal hotspots there are stories of several other entities that have taken residence in the village. Many have seen a ghostly figure of a woman in Victorian black who frequents the churchyard of St.Ursula's Church (West of the Village). There is also local legend that there is a Woman of The Lake who lives in the lake within the grounds of Cold Stone House, and that the Cold Stone Woodlands are home to spirit children who many dog walkers have reported hearing laugh and play.


Book One of The Meadowsweet
Chronicles is on offer for just $0.99
I hope you have enjoyed learning a little more about the village of Heargton and its paranormal guests. This is where I have to admit dastardly Halloween Trickery and confess that Heargton is a village of my own creation.

If you fancy spending more time in the paranormal world of Heargton then 'Witchcraft', Book One of the epic occult and paranormal saga, 'The Meadowsweet Chronicles' is currently on Kindle sale for just 0.99 offer. You can also buy a copy in paperback either from Amazon or direct from me. Head to the website for details.


The first 10 people to comment in the comment box will receive a signed post card. One of the lucky commenters from all the comments will win a signed paperback copy of 'Witchcraft' - A name will be selected on 1st November and winner contacted via social media so please leave your twitter handle as part of your comment.

Thursday, 22 October 2015

STARTING DECEMBER 3rd 2015 until 28th FEBRUARY 2016

A dark and twisted saga that winds its way through the Victorian streets of London like a luxurious and lethal ribbon.

When a series of terrifying and seemingly paranormal murders occur at a rapid rate, panic and fear grip the city. Still haunted by the ghost of the Whitechapel Ripper case, Inspector Steptree is forced to admit the murderer he now pursues maybe even more wicked and brutal. As the case closes down on the mysterious No.7 club, owned by the enigmatic Evangeline Valentine, Steptree discovers that evil is far from a fantasy.
It is against this backdrop that Kaspian Blackthorne turns eighteen and begins his apprenticeship under the scientific maverick, Doctor Greyson, a pioneer in brain surgery, and human transplantation. Whilst Kaspian is introduced to the horrors and wonders of man’s scientific progress, he also begins an epic adventure of self-discovery and infatuation. Guided into the decadent and luxuriant world of the London West End night scene by his new friend Hugh Denvers, Kaspian tastes the sweet temptation of a life less ordinary, but such a privilege comes at a terrible price.
A cast of timeless characters and dark, grown-up fairy tales interweave to create a rich and haunting tale of fear and desire.

Based on the original novel, ‘Beautiful Freaks’ written and published in 2013 by Katie M John, this series is a development of that world. This is the first season of a planned three seasons.

You can find out more about this season and forthcoming seasons on the official site.

#Gothic #Dreadpunk #Paranormal #Demons #Fae #FairyTales #Phantoms #Vampires #Creations #Frankenstein #ParanormalRomance #Murder #Detective #Horror #SecretSocieties #CrossOver #UpperYA

You can download episode 1 and 2 on December 3rd. Once you've read them, if you like them, you can pre-order the rest of the series using the Amazon pre-order system. This means every Thursday you will automatically receive the next episode onto your eReading device.

Published by Little Bird Publishing, Katie M John is the author of the U.K No.1 best-selling YA Paranormal Romance and Dark Fairy Tale series, The Knight Trilogy.

You can find out more about Katie and her books over at her Amazon Author Page
LINK TO EPISODE 1 & 2 Of Beautiful Freaks out on Thursday 3rd December 2015
Amazon USA
Amazon UK
Amazon USA