The Darkwood Mysteries Collection…

This Halloween something wicked this way comes… For the first time, all nine tales which begin The Darkwood Mysteries are collected in one volume.

FB Square Kindle Collection 1The Darkwood Mysteries is a series of short-stories and novels which can be enjoyed as individual tales or as part of a deeper mystery.

Emily Darkwood, guided by a mysterious stone, investigates the supernatural and the criminal in the gaslight and shadows of Victorian England. Assisted by her faithful young servant-companion, Jack Hobbs, she risks all in her search for answers to the mystery of the stone and the fates of her parents who left it to her.

Tales 1 – 9 of The Darkwood Mysteries collected in one volume:

The Thief of Faces: Why is Darkwood keeping vigil at her friend’s tomb? Darkwood hunts a serial killer with a gruesome signature execution. What does a murderer want his victims’ faces for?

The Posthumous Child: Darkwood receives messages from the other side whilst a family experiences a ghostly tormentor. What does a spirit child want to be known? What secret haunts the country estate of Cecil House?

The Luminous Marks: Glowing marks are left at the sites of petty thefts. What are they for? Darkwood and Hobbs search out the meaning of the marks in London’s fog shrouded night.

The Wrath of the Dragon: Just who or what is causing terrible fires in the slums of London’s East End? Superstitious fears on the street claim the Chinese are to blame—but could there really be a dragon in London?

The Peacock Cabal: Just what drained a young man of his vitality and left him dead? Men who love men are dying, as something takes advantage of the secrecy surrounding their hidden love. Darkwood’s investigation reveals a conspiracy and a sinister threat…

The Cult of the Scarab: How does a mummified body, missing from the British Museum, connect to Darkwood’s nightmare of beetles in a foreign red land? The answer is found at the end of a trail of bodies…

The Hag on the Heath: Is an acquaintance of Darkwood the victim of supernatural attack? Darkwood, Hobbs, the victim and her gypsy kin—her father and his companions—embark on a hunt for a witch, but all is not as it seems…

The Spindly-Snatcher: Why is a writer burning down bookshops? Darkwood and Hobbs investigate a creeping madness, but in doing so the hunters become the hunted…

The Conspiracies of Shadow & Fire: Conspiracies in the past unfold in the present and pitch Darkwood and Hobbs into a desperate struggle where they are uncertain of who they can trust, and drawn to a confrontation with the ultimate evil…

Available for pre-order on Amazon now.

Darkwood and Hobbs will be returning in a new run of nine stories in 2018. Get ahead now. Don’t be left in the shadows–they aren’t what they appear to be…

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Muse & Views: Whyborne & Griffin Book Series…

BEYOND THE WRITING DESK_opt (1)When I started writing this blog, I wanted to share interests and opinions, and in doing so I started reviewing things. Unfortunately, I stumbled across a lot of things I didn’t like, and I didn’t want this to become a negative space, so I decided I would only write about things I like. Then, with work and studying, I just didn’t have time to write much in the way of blog posts at all. Now that things have calmed the f*** down I want to share my enjoyment of a few favourite things. First off is a book series I stumbled across last year…

Image result for whyborne and griffinWhyborne and Griffin by Jordan L. Hawk, is a supernatural horror series set in the late 18th century, turn of the 19th century, following the titular characters as they are drawn into Lovecraftian mysteries. My enjoyment of Whyborne and Griffin’s is largely down to these two central characters. Whyborne starts of painfully insecure thanks to an oppressive father and spiteful brother, and is hiding within his work studying ancient languages within the Widdershins museum. He is both sympathetic through his experiences, and frustrating with his pervasive negative twist on the positive. I suspect he would’ve withered away if it wasn’t for a chance encounter with the confident, dashing Griffin. Yet, Griffin, a private detective, is damaged in his own way, and despite his self-confidence and charm, he is more broken than Whyborne through experiences much darker and more haunting than Whyborne’s.

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‘Fury of Dracula’ (3rd edition 2015) board game…

I enjoyed the 2nd edition of ‘Fury of Dracula’–but my non-gaming partner did not. ‘Boring and complicated’ he said. I kind of agreed with the latter, but it was one of those games where the theme made me forgive the regular rule checks. So it languished on the shelf. Neglected. With a 3rd–streamlined and apparently improved–edition released and my partner now worn down into a gaming partner through overexposure to cards, dice and tokens, I thought it was worth seeing whether Dracula had improved and could seduce my skeptical husband…

‘Fury of Dracula’ by Fantasy Flight Games is a board game for 2-5 players, it is set after the events of Bram Stoker’s Gothic horror novel, throwing players into a chase across Victorian Europe. The Dracula player is trying to spread his influence without revealing his location, and the band of hunter players trying to find his trail, undo his work and kill him. It’s a game of hidden movement and deduction, with the Dracula player using cards kept secret from the player to determine his location, and the hunter players travelling from city to city hoping their location will be one from Dracula’s trail–which Dracula has to reveal. Both the Dracula player and the hunter players gain cards through the game which can grant advantages or special actions to help hide or search respectively.

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Tokyo Ghoul (2015)

In ‘Tokyo Ghoul’, college student Ken Kaneki has a chance encounter with a demon–a ghoul, a creature that possess human bodies, capable of producing limbs of organic matter and energy from the host’s back, which it uses to fight. Left in critical condition, Kaneki is only saved by organ transplants. Unfortunately for innocent Kaneki the donor was the host for the ghoul who attacked him and he awakes with the same hunger for human flesh. The demon is now within him. Frightened by his urges he does his best to suppress them, but unable to tolerate regular food he faces starvation–until he is taken in by other ghouls; ghouls who are managing their hunger by feeding off the dead. Walking a difficult path between his old human life and his new ghoul life Kaneki has to contend with possible rejection or endangering of his best friend, navigate the politics of ghoul’s gang-like structure and the vendetta they have against the ghoul personality within him, and avoid the Ghoul Investigators–a government department intent on hunting down and killing ghouls. And Kaneki isn’t just a ghoul–he’s a hybrid, which puts him in danger of losing his grip on what’s left for him, and make him a tasty morsel for other ghouls…

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It Follows (2014)…

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Unfortunately, horror movies tend to miss the mark more than they tend to hit it, making for Russian roulette chance-taking. Okay, maybe lucky dip would be a less dramatic analogy, but every now and then in between the found footage threat of the moment, the latest gross out torture porn and the by the number haunted house movies, something different will come at you from left field. ‘It Follows’ is one such movie.

‘It Follows’ offer the premise of a curse-like evil presence that can only be escaped through having sex with someone and making them the next target, but if–or more like it when that person dies the previous partner becomes the target again. It would seem to be a movie offering an opportunistic platform for gratuitous nudity and some hot sex. After all, movies like ‘Saw’ and ‘Hostel’ were a great excuse to push gore to the limit (beyond my limits!), but to judge ‘It Follows’ as a 10s exploitation movie would be inaccurate and a gross injustice. For ‘It Follows’ is restrained in its use of nudity, doesn’t glamorize bodies or sex, or even romantacise the act, and it offers up something fresh while surprisingly walking a path quite familiar in horror.

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Extraterrestrial (2014)

extraterrestrial‘Extraterrestrial’ was a home alone Netlfix find. One of those home-alone-so-I’ll-watch-something-I-don’t-think-my-other-half-will-mind-missing-out-on-watching-together movies, because you daren’t watch the next episode in a series you’re watching together, or something you might really enjoy sharing together on date night. My expectations were low, and if you give this a go, I would suggest that as the way to go to get the best out of it…

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