The Awesome Adventures of Poppy and Amelia would never have happened if it hadn’t been for lockdown.
In those first couple of months, like so many writers, I found working on my current book very slow going. A day’s work felt like ploughing through porridge. Very little got done and what I did write had somehow lost its flow.
The impetus to write had also faded and most days I found it almost impossible to get going. Nothing much seemed to matter. While other people re-decorated, caught up with DIY or re-modelled their gardens I let the time slip past.
Except for my four times a week Skype lessons with granddaughter Maddy.
Read more of Misha’s article on her blog, here.
The Awesome Adventures of Poppy and Amelia is available from Amazon and other online websites.
It is still three months to Christmas but not too early to think about buying presents. And what better presents can there be for family and friends … but books. Or a gift for yourself. We at The Alchemy Press wish to assist you in this task. For the next month or so we have several books, fabulous anthologies and collections, all desperately looking for a new home – your home. But stocks of some titles are low so act fast. Check out our special offers page for full details and prices.
Also on offer, limited edition hardcovers::
Nick Nightmare Investigates by Adrian Cole. In this frenetic collection of stories taken from the files of Nick Nightmare, Private Eye, the intrepid pulp hero is thrown into a murky world of crawling horrors, spawned by the Old Ones as they seek to rise up from their primordial oceanic depths, ‘when the stars are right.’ Just £15 including p&p in the UK.
Rumours of the Marvellous by Peter Atkins. “Rumours of the Marvellous is a superb collection of short stories by Peter Atkins that fall in the borderland between SF, fantasy, horror and the supernatural.” — David V Barrett, £15 including p&p in the UK.
Where the Bodies Are Buried by Kim Newman. “Meet Rob Hackwill, folk demon. A blackmailer killed by his victims, returning to expose what they are really made of. Or so the script goes. But then Hackwill slithers out of film into reality. Where the Bodies are Buried is a heady brew of pulp horror, political satire and twisted technology. These four stories deconstruct the myths of the late twentieth century – with a hatchet. Prepare to laugh. Prepare to shudder. Prepare to find out Where the Bodies Are Buried.” £15 including p&p in the UK.
The Alchemy Press’ Jan Edwards — co-editor of The Alchemy Press Book of Horrors volumes 1 and 2 — has a new novel out: Listed Dead.
Claude Naysmith’s fatal car crash occurs on the borders of the Perringham Estate and Bunch Courtney can hardly avoid being drawn into events. When the body of Penelope James is found just a few miles away, clutching a list of names that includes both herself and Naysmith, Bunch and Wright are left wondering. Could this be a hit list? Is it sheer coincidence? Since neither Bunch nor DCI Wright believe in coincidences they must throw their combined efforts into the investigation before any more of those names wind up on the mortuary slab.
For further information pop over to the Listed Dead page at The Penkhull Press.
“This is a superb novella and Jan Edwards packs a multitude of delights into its eighty-six pages. The sense of place is brilliantly done, evoking both the glamour and the intrigue of the Parisian entre-deux-guerres epoch, while still retaining a wry contemporary sensibility. Letitia/Yolanda is an appealing and fascinating creation and her double life nicely sets the tone for a tale where most of the other characters have alter egos and/or hidden agendas. The shift from the world of espionage, political unrest and the emerging struggle between fascists and communists, towards a hidden conflict between occult forces and creatures is tensely and subtly done and while the experienced horror reader may predict a certain direction when Yolanda finds a box of silver bullets, Edwards is too well versed in the supernatural to confine her tale to lycanthropy alone, although, fittingly for a tale set in France, the legend of the Loup-garou does indeed feature.”
Reviewed by Con Connolly in Phantasmagoria 15. Check out the full review on the books page, here.
Reviewed on the Runalong the Shelves website
Horror like any genre has some extremes. It could a gentle scare to full-on bloodbath. Sometimes reading helps you work out where your boundaries are or how far into the deep waters I’m prepared to go before turning back. The second Alchemy Press Book of Horrors managed to do just that as many of the stories were brilliantly done but blimey there were often chilling.
So if you’re feeling ready for rich darkness here are a few of the tales in the collection I got struck by ‘Beneath Nambian Sands’ by Pauline E Dungate. This is a atmospheric tale of someone trying a rescue mission in the desert. Its clear something weird has happened but Dungate winds up tension to the last possible moment. And then bloodily unleashed.
‘Promises’ by Nancy Kilpatrick. This story in the collection that tells of love, loss and Whitstable. Horror movie fans may recall it’s famous resident. Melancholy and strange with a haunting ending.
‘The Secret Place’ by Samantha Lee. A mother and her daughter move to a old house or a writing retreat. The daughter left to her own devices make a new friend but tragedy is coming, This story is dark and unfair and chilling all at once. You’ll feel a shiver in the end.
‘Lirpaloof Island’ by Garry Kilworth. This story is dark comedy tale of an office prank that goes awry with deadly consequences. It mixes the absorb and the horror skilfully.
‘The Hate Whisperer’ by Thana Niveau. A really cold story where a young woman investigates how certain people when photographed experienced a massive and deadly change in their personalities. Nasty events spiral and the end is shocking and bloody.
‘We Do Like To Be Beside’ by Peter Sutton. A summer horror holiday that covers a nasty nightmare and that plays with the desire to be free of our families in a very unpleasant way. Great sense of building horror for the incident child experiencing events.
‘Footprints in the Snow’ by Eyglo Karlsdottir. This tale mixes a weird world event with family grief. The dead can return when it snows and now snow can happen at any time. A mother finds her dearest wish can be deadly. Unsettling and bittersweet.
A collection with many strands of horror in there and I think gives a variety of experiences but when it wants to get its teeth into you it does. A set of tales I think seasoned horror fans will enjoy a lot.
For more info on this anthology check out the Horrors 2 page. The Alchemy Press Book of Horrors 2 is available in eBook and print formats from the usual suspects.
THE ALCHEMY PRESS BOOK OF HORRORS 3: A MISCELLANY OF MONSTERS
Monsters are many things. They come in all forms, shapes and sizes: from to the tiny to the titanic; from amorphous blobs to many limbed (or tentacled) monstrosities; from supernatural demons to man-made terrors. They come from any place and time: from under the bed to the woodshed; from the icy wastes to the darkest jungles; from the depths of the ocean to outer space; from the past, the future, the now!
Many things. Any things.
We are looking for stories featuring monsters for The Alchemy Press Book of Horrors 3: A Miscellany of Monsters to be edited by Peter Coleborn and Jan Edwards. To get a flavour of the type of writing we prefer, we suggest you check out volumes 1 and 2 of the series, available in print and eBook formats from Amazon and other sellers.
Check the above link for further details.
TALKING TO STRANGERS AND OTHER WARNINGS by Tina Rath has been reviewed by John Gilbert in Phantasmagoria magazine issue 15.
When people try to ridicule the horror and fantasy genres as lightweight and frothy or gory and gratuitous puff, I just point them in the direction of authors such as Tina Rath. Dr Rath is truly a renaissance woman; an academic with a fascination for supernatural literature and folklore, an actress, Queen Victoria impersonator, poet, and librarian; she has a formidable intellect and ferocious wit. Oh, and according to Gail Nina-Anderson’s ‘Introduction’ to Talking to Strangers, Tina’s latest short story collection, she is a part-time vampire.
The twenty-nine supernatural tales in her brand new ‘best of’ collection range from the dark and forbidding to the gently humorous, many of them distilling a sense of unease from everyday items in contemporary settings with a hefty sting in the tale. The best stories in the collection demonstrate Dr. Rath’s deep knowledge of classic and contemporary supernatural fiction. Alien encounters is the theme of ‘Talking to Strangers in Finsbury Park’; ‘A Visit to Blastings Manor’ is a superb Christmas ghost story; in ‘This is How It Happened’, a classic fairy tale is given a modern setting. A young cleaner gives a hospital ward an unusually deep clean in ‘Ilona’ and in ‘A Beautiful Boy’, a handsome young man appears to bring out the best and youthfulness renewed in an old folks’ home.
A newcomer at St Walburga’s school shows herself as no geek and no pushover for the bullies in ‘Scruffy The Vampire Slayer’ and a lodger proves more difficult to get rid of than originally anticipated in ‘Sitting Tenant’. ‘Diversion’ takes bus passengers on anything but a magical mystery tour whilst ‘A Trick of The Dark’ poses the fateful question, “What kind of job finishes just at sun-set?”. ‘“It’s White and It Follows Me”’ is a ghostly lament; ‘The Fetch’ in a tale of a ghostly guest first published last year in a collection to commemorate the life of R. Chetwynd-Hayes; in ‘The Bus’, Mrs Fortescue waits for eternity and in the ‘Fifth Sense’ the author engages in some clever lycanthropic olfaction (the lengths to which I go in order to hide spoilers).
Packed full of supernatural fun and surprises, Talking to Strangers… demonstrates the great breadth and depth of Tina Rath’s talent as a writer of supernatural fiction, collecting together the very best of her output during thirty-seven very productive years and four stories which were specially written for this book. Entertaining, dark, perplexing and humorous, the stories will keep horror fans enthralled during many a day in lockdown and beyond.
Talking to Strangers is published by The Alchemy Press and is available from Amazon and other online dealers.
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While we’re here, I thoroughly recommend Phantasmagoria magazine, published by Trevor Kennedy several times a year. Available from Amazon in print and Kindle formats.