Out Now: Respectable Horror!

Respectable Horror - Front cover web
Get ready to stay up late! Respectable Horror is out in the wilds and ready to be lured to your home. Ms Poppy LaMorte (our cover model designed by S. L. Johnson) will lead the way to a spectral crew of authors who are just dying to give you spine-tingling chills. This new collection offers names both familiar and new, writers who believe that it’s possible to terrify without more than a few drops of blood. The wind in the trees, the creak in the floor board, an innocent knock on the door: they’ll all take on a more sinister cast as you turn the pages of this book.

Introduction by K. A. Laity
The Estate of Edward Moorehouse by Ian Burdon
The Feet on the Roof by Anjana Basu
Spooky Girl by Maura McHugh
Recovery by H. V. Chao
The Holy Hour by C. A. Yates
Malefactor by Alan C. Moore
A Splash of Crimson by Catherine Lundoff
In These Rooms by Jonathan Oliver
A Framework by Richard Farren Barber
Running a Few Errands by Su Haddrell
Miss Metcalfe by Ivan Kershner
The Little Beast by Octavia Cade
The Well Wisher by Matthew Pegg
Where Daemons Don’t Tread by Suzanne J. Willis
Full Tote Gods by D. C. White
Those Who Can’t by Rosalind Mosis
The Astartic Arcanum by Carol Borden

Description:

Do serial killers, glistening viscera, oceans of gore and sadistic twists make you yawn behind a polite hand? Are you looking for something a little more interesting than a body count? These are tales that astonish and horrify, bring shivers and leave you breathless. You may be too terrified to find out what happens next – but you won’t be able to resist turning the page. We’ll make you keep the lights on. For a very long time.

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Out Now: Chastity Flame eBook Boxset

Chastity_Flame_boxset_500

CHASTITY FLAME ADVENTURES BOX SET

Price: $5.99

This box set includes:

Chastity Flame, #1
Move over James Bond!

Chastity Flame works for a nameless organization. You won’t hear about the work she does either. She loves her job as a secret government operative. She foils criminal masterminds, travels the world, and finds new lovers in every city. Saving the world is hard work but will she risk the security of her country for some really wild sex . . . and the possibility of love?

Lush Situation, #2
Chastity Flame is back and hotter than ever. She’s sworn off meeting her irresistible colleague Damien, but how long can they really stay apart? Maybe a broken heart will make it easier to bury herself in work – and kick a few asses.

A Cut-Throat Business, #3
There’s a killer loose in London, protected in high places. Chastity Flame needs to look in the places the police can’t—or won’t—while a rogue colleague dogs her steps, looking for the key to secrets in her past. Can she find the killer before his blood lust rises again? And how will she cope with the most dangerous mission—moving in with her boyfriend, Damien.

Chastity_Flame_boxset_by_KALaity-500Fabulous original cover design by SL Johnson Images!

Win a White Rabbit

Cover designed by the fabulous S. L. Johnson

Cover designed by the fabulous S. L. Johnson for Fox Spirit Books

I am very pleased to announce that my book White Rabbit is out NOW from Fox Spirit Books. Just take a gander at that wonderful cover by S. L. Johnson AKA the Queen of Everything. I can’t wait to hold the shiny in my own hands, so I’ve decided to share the wealth and give away a signed copy of the book to one lucky person here. And I’ll throw in a little chocolate because it’s Easter (well, Annandag påsk anyway).

Here’s the deal for the White Rabbit contest:

  • To enter, you must post here on the blog
  • You enter by posting the best rabbit joke you know (or can find — I can’t remember jokes myself)
  • The best one wins one paperback copy of White Rabbit plus bonus chocolate (if you don’t want the chocolate, that’s okay) which I can sign and/or personlise as you wish
  • ‘Best’ will be determined by me (or assigned by random choice if I can’t decide) but my decision will be final even if arbitrary
  • There is no cost to enter
  • The contest is worldwide
  • You are not obligated to review the book for Amazon, Goodreads, Library Thing or your blog, but it would be aces if you did
  • Contest ends Monday April 28, 2014 at noon GMT.

WHITE RABBIT

Sometimes the shadows that haunt us 
           are what lead us back to the light
Disgraced former police detective James Draygo has sunk as low as his habit allows, working as a fake psychic despite his very real talents. When a media mogul’s trashy trophy wife gets gunned down at his tapping table he has to decide whether he can straighten up long enough to save his own skin. He may not have a choice with Essex’s loudest ghost bawling in his ear about cults, conspiracies and cut-rate drugs. Oblivion sounds better all the time…

Best Selling Crime Writer, Richard & Judy Summer Read Winner James Oswald says:

‘Being a fan of mashing up genres myself, I was of course delighted to see someone else playing fast and loose with things. The central idea of the story – a real psychic pretending to be a fake – is delicious, too. The mystery was deftly played with just the right balance of action and character interplay to keep me turning the pages. The seedy side of London is nicely worked as well – not too threatening, as befits the style of book, but still gritty enough. The cast of supporting characters are nicely drawn, too. Kate writes with a fluid, easy to read style.’

Read an excerpt and be sure to sign up for the Fox Spirit Newsletter to get the latest skulk news!

Pulpy Pulchritude!

Extricate Throw the Bones Dual Cover

How about that? That’s the wraparound cover by Sarah Anne Langton for the Fox Spirit print edition of Extricate which will be joined by another novella Throw the Bones, plus a dozen short stories of various lengths and vintages. Yes, more titles inspired by The Fall. You can bet I will be posting the news everywhere when it’s available. In the meantime I’ll just keep stroking the shiny cover on my computer screen.

Tony Lane interviewed me about all the craziness of impersonating Graham Wynd and other personas, editing, the fate of short stories and more. Drop by and say hi to Tony.

Chuffed to find more five star reviews of Rook Chant, thanks to Gareth Spark mentioning he was enjoying reading it. I just love seeing stars!

I’ll leave you with some inspirational music while I get back to opening boxes and figuring out where things go —


Friday Fun: Soap Opera Digest & New Cover

Here’s a golden oldie that folks might have missed, my comic write up of non-existent soap operas that appeared in Dragnet Magazine. Click to embiggen.

Photo 01-09-2013 12 49 14 Photo 01-09-2013 12 49 21 Photo 01-09-2013 12 49 27

Also I’m delighted to reveal the brand-spankin’-new cover for the third CHASTITY FLAME novel, A Cut Throat Business, crafted by the superb S. L. Johnson. Find the hidden owl! Out next month from Tirgearr!

Chastity 3

Be sure to drop by A Knife & A Quill to see my latest review, Kim Newman’s Anno Dracula: Johnny Alucard.

Dancing with the Zeitgeist

Just remember, we were there first.

Weird Noir

and then came:

Fortunately, we’ll be out first:

noir-carnival-web-final

 

Before this makes its debut (thanks Aaron Sikes for the heads up):

Nice covers, though I have to say I prefer our punk aesthetics (go QoE!)

Noir Carnival: Cover Artist, SL Johnson

noir-carnival-web-finalHow I Created This Book Cover, or Adventures Inside an Artist’s Mind

SL Johnson

I was delighted to be asked to create another book cover for Fox Spirit books – not only is Adele a doll to work with (she gives me freedom!) but my ace pal Kate is editing it and some very fabulous authors are part of the anthology.

It is generally known that I don’t like to talk about my “creative process.” To me, the “process” part is the boring technical stuff, of not much interest to anyone. Do you really want to know how much time I spend going through fonts? No. [Ed: Yes!]  The “creative” part is the magick – that is the ‘back of the head’ creative well that gives me the flashes of inspiration I need to start a project and also is hard to explain.

When I first read the words “Noir Carnival”, instantly an image for some creepy dead clown head thing popped into my mind, as it would for anyone. At first I rejected it, as it was similar to the “Weird Noir” cover I had just finished, but then I do like to create variations on a theme – it stretches the mind a bit more. Plus, the opportunity to create something ghastly and disturbing but with my own weird humor snuck in is irresistible, so I pursued the idea.

I had another idea that was far more complicated, not as striking, and more difficult to see as a thumbnail online.  Oh, see, here’s where “process” creeps in….the image ought to to be eye-catching, speak to the work, hopefully make everyone happy (including me!) and look super cool as a thumbnail or printed on a cover. Or on a wine mug. [Ed: It looks awesome on all kinds of products!]

So, as I was drawing the skull, the image shifted a bit in my head- it was originally going to be more circus-y, perhaps something that looked really benign until you got a second look. Nope, not a great idea. Blood spatter as clown hair? Oh, yeah. Bullet hole in head? Keeping it! Garish clown make-up? Well, let me tell you, THAT was freaky enough to give me the creeps. Off the red mouth makeup went. Off went the black band around the eyes. Off went the cheek paint. Keep the top hat and bow tie? Oh, indeed. And let’s take out some of the teeth, shall we?

By this point, I had four decent-looking possibilities, but after asking some folks, artists and non-artists, to look at it, I narrowed it down to two, then let it sit for a couple of days and made my final decision. Sent it off and was rewarded with the comments that the publisher was finding the image to be really freaky. Success!

I’m so sorry – you look sleepy – can I get you some coffee….?

Fin.

[Ed: Despite the artist’s self-deprecations, I find this fascinating and do check out the faboo images you can get on all manner of merch — I’m especially fond of my book covers, but also the PUNK ROCK JUKEBOX!]

Weird Noir