Coming this September

Hello my Freaky Darlings,

For Immediate Release:

Coming this September from Fox Spirit Books

Burning by Joan De La Haye
Cover Art by Dave Johnson

From the author of psychological horror Shadows, taut murder mystery Requiem in E Sharp and the post-apocalyptic Oasis, Burning is a fiery tale of magic and dark desire.

Marcie Grove is a lonely witch. After a full moon ritual she decides to do something about the abysmal state of her love life. Making use of a powerful spell to cure her sad state of affairs, she puts her own life, as well as her coven, in danger when her apparent success brings forth a dark power with explosive and deadly results.

‘This is not the first time I’ve read a book by Joan De La Haye and although she might not be a writer that everyone is familiar with, I am hopeful that it will change soon.’ – Killer Aphrodite on ‘Requiem’

King Wolf & Other Stories by Steven Savile
Cover art by Ben Baldwin

Steven Savile has written for Doctor Who, Torchwood, Primeval, Stargate, Warhammer, and other popular game and comic worlds. His novels have been published in eight languages to date and have sold over half a million copies worldwide. He has won multiple awards for both original and tie-in fiction.

The death of a beloved children’s writer, Hoke Berglund, draws Jon Sieber into a world he cannot hope to understand – a world filled with Hoke’s creations, including the vile Mr. Self Affliction who is the cruel master of this place. In a landscape where angels are beautiful women and the by-blows of nightmares people the mythical Forgetting Wood, Jon, heir apparent to all that Hoke created, falls for Kristen, the writer’s daughter, but cannot let her secret remain secret.

“If there are secrets, as in the Grimm’s fairy tale nightmare of “The Fragrance of You,” there may well be good reasons that such things are hidden. In some cases, the wistful protagonist learns, you need to just take such gifts on faith; it isn’t necessary to understand everything around us. Some things we can just be grateful for, and enjoy as long as they last.” SF Site


11 am Saturday 6th September 

Breed by K T Davies

Cover Art by Ewan Davies

A new novel from K T Davies historical martial artist, adventurer and author of the superb novel ‘The Red Knight’.

After Breed, a Guild Blade of small renown, is chased by a dragon, tricked by a demon, almost killed by a psychopathic gang boss and hunted by a ferocious spider-like arrachid assassin life really takes a turn for the worst.

Sentenced to five years bonded servitude to a one-handed priest magician, Breed must find the hammer of the ancient hero known only as the Hammer of the North within a year and a day… or else. And so, with only a drug-addicted vagrant, a rat-faced child, and a timid priest for back up, Breed sets out for the mighty city of Valen and the tomb of the Hammer.

What could possibly go wrong?

I’ll give you a clue.

“This is a smashing debut, and a very refreshing and exciting read. Davies is one to look out for, and I wait with interest to see what she does next.” – Starburst on The Red Knight 

All three authors will be attending FantasyCon in York this September and will be available to sign at the launch.

Join us for cake, conversation and good books at 11 am Saturday 6th. The launch will include a five minute reading from Breed by the author. 

Fox Spirit Books are shortlisted for Best Small Press and Best Anthology with Tales of Eve for this years BFS awards at FantasyCon.


Hello my Freaky Darlings,

Now that you’ve seen the stunning cover for Burning, I thought you might like to read the official blurb for it:

‘From the author of psychological horror Shadows, taut murder mystery Requiem in E Sharp and the post-apocalyptic Oasis, Burning is a fiery tale of magic and dark desire.

Marcie Grove is a lonely witch. After a full moon ritual she decides to do something about the abysmal state of her love life. Making use of a powerful spell to cure her sad state of affairs, she puts her own life, as well as her coven, in danger when her apparent success brings forth a dark power with explosive and deadly results.’

The official release date is the 5th of September 2014.





Guest Post: Melissa Delport

Hello my Freaky Darlings,

Today we have fellow South African author, Melissa Delport, chatting to us about her journey as a writer and what she’s learnt along the way.

Photo - Melissa Delport LRWife and mother of 3, Melissa Delport is the author of The Legacy Trilogy and the stand-alone self-published e.books Rainfall and The Traveler. She graduated from the University of South Africa with a Bachelor’s Degree in English in 2000. At the age of twenty-four Melissa started a logistics company (Transmax) from the spare room of her flat and built it up to two fully operational depots in Durban and Johannesburg. Now, 10 years later, she has sold her business in order to write full time.

Melissa lives with her husband and three children in Hillcrest, KwaZulu-Natal, South Africa.

The Legacy (book 1 of The Legacy Trilogy) and The Legion (book 2) are available now and the final book, The Legend, will be released early 2015.

An avid reader herself, Melissa finally decided to stop ‘watching from the sidelines’ and to do what is her passion.

“I was driving home from work when inspiration struck, and a storyline started unravelling in my head. For a few days it was all I could think about and eventually I realised that the only way to get it out of my head, was to put it all down on paper. I started writing, and that was that.”

You can stalk Melissa all over the internet including:


The Legacy Trilogy Website:





Publisher’s website:

Twitter Hashtag for the book blog tour: #TheLegacyBlogTour

Now that I’ve gotten that out of the way I’ll hand over to Melissa.


Initially self-published, I was fortunate enough that after two years I was offered a traditional publishing contract for The Legacy Trilogy. Having experienced both self-publishing and mainstream publishing firsthand, I have learnt that there are pros and cons to both, but that in the event of being offered a publishing contract, any author should grab the opportunity with both hands.

As an indie author, you are more than capable of publishing a book of a high standard, and making it available to readers all over the world via the online platforms. Self-publishing is simple and affordable, especially e-book self-publishing. Your book can be made available all over the world with the click of a single button. Of course having a book published through the likes of Amazon does not mean that that same book will sell. There are millions of books available in the Kindle store, and unless readers know where to look, the chance of them stumbling across your book is slim. Marketing is crucial in order to drive potential readers to your masterpiece. That being said, publishing on the Kindle platform is simple and easy to navigate.

The printed book, however, is a different story. Without the knowledge and support of a publisher behind you, you are unlikely to achieve much success, and getting your book into larger chain stores is highly improbable. The costs of production, print and the actual sales and distribution of books into the book trade is a specialised business that is best left to the professionals.

The bottom line is that a traditional publisher will open doors that remain locked to the self-publisher, no matter how productive or business-minded you are. A traditional publisher is also able to market your book far more effectively. They have spent years developing relationships with the media, and these contacts are vital to ensure that the publicity machine operates in your favour.

Of course, securing a publishing deal is not guaranteed, and there are many exceptionally talented writers who have no option but to self-publish. I will always advocate traditional publishing over self-publishing, and self-publishing over not publishing at all. Get your book out there, one way or another. You have earned it. There have been many remarkable success stories, and there is always the possibility that you could be next.

About The Legacy:Cover - The Legacy

One man obsessed with power. 

One woman prepared to sacrifice everything to stop him. 

One war that changed the world.

 “World War Three lasted twelve days. Twelve days was all it took for mankind to devastate the planet and almost eradicate the human race. No victor emerged from the ashes and billions lost their lives.

We survivors lived through the bleakest of winters. A primal existence became the new order, and the little that remained of our humanity hung in the balance.

Then one man stood up and changed the world. I believed, as did everyone else, that he was the hero of our time, the man who had saved us from our own demise. His name is Eric Dane and he is the President of the New United States of America.

He is also my husband, and my greatest enemy.

I grew up oblivious to the truth, until my father found me when I was nineteen years old. He told me about the many horrifying facts that our new leader kept hidden from us. And he told me that beyond the borders the Resistance grew and fought for freedom from the oppression that Eric Dane had imposed on us.

My name is Rebecca Davis. I am twenty-six years old, and in me the Resistance has found the ultimate weapon.”

A narrative of good and evil, love and passion, right and wrong – and at the centre of the story a strong woman who is prepared to sacrifice everything for the cause she believes in.

The Legacy is an action-packed, adrenalin-inducing thrill ride which will leave you riveted long after you have turned the last page.

Watch the trailer:


TITLE: The Legacy
SERIES: Book 1 of The Legacy Trilogy
AUTHOR: Melissa Delport
PRINT ISBN: 978-0-620-59636-7
eISBN: 978-0-620-59637-4
PAGES: 366 pages
WORD COUNT: 99 160
GENRE: Speculative Fiction
MARKET: Adults (with crossover to the 16+ reader)
PUBLISHER: Tracey McDonald Publishers


Barnes & Noble – HERE

Kobo – HERE – HERE


The Legacy is available at most bookshops in South Africa, or you can order it online: – HERE – HERE – HERE



Hello my Freaky Darlings,

Monique3Monique Snyman has hi-jacked my blog today. Monique lives in Pretoria, South Africa with an adorable Chihuahua that keeps her company and a bloodthirsty lawyer who keeps her sane. She is a full-time author, part-time editor and in-between reviewer of all things entertaining. Her short fiction has been published in a number of small press anthologies, and she’s working hard on a couple of novels in her spare time.

Selective Megalomania is not a recognised psychological disorder yet. That might change after you’ve read the following post …

I propose the next definition for selective megalomania:

Selective Megalomania:

/sɪˈlɛktɪv/ /ˌmɛg(ə)lə(ʊ)ˈmeɪnɪə/
obsession with the exercise of power from time to time.
synonyms: writers, authors, wordsmith, man/woman of letters, penman.

I like to think that the majority of writers are selective megalomaniacs. Not only do most of us have delusions of grandeur when it comes to our books, but more often than not, we have this incredible urge to play God when we write. We build fictitious worlds from scratch just to destroy them again. We make readers fall in love with characters and then kill them off simply because we can. A wonderful example of selective megalomania is George R.R. Martin. As everyone knows, the man has a tendency to kill off his characters left, right and centre. Nobody’s safe. It’s his prerogative though, those are his books, so why the hell not? Yet, Martin doesn’t show any signs of wanting to play God in real life (that I’ve noticed). It’s like he gets all of those urges out of his head by writing them down and then he’s right as rain again.
That’s selective megalomania, but George R.R. Martin is not the only one that suffers from this so-unreal-it-has-to-be-real disorder. Every writer, big or small, likes to be in control of their own little world and death be upon those who think otherwise.
You see, we live in transparent bubbles and we get irritated when it’s time to seem ‘normal’ by entering ‘normal society’. This is mostly because we can’t control what happens next. We try our best to ‘blend’ and we try to hide our true nature from friends and relatives, but sometimes faking it doesn’t work either. No matter how good we are at reading the cues to smile, nod, feint excitement or sadness or mimic emotion in general, sometimes we slip up and show that selective megalomaniac living inside us.
I’ve noticed that when I accidentally say something off-cue, I immediately think: ‘control, alt, delete’ or ‘backspace, backspace, backspace’ or ‘undo, bitch! UNDO’, depending on how big the oopsie was.
And if you’re anything like me, you might even observe these chance encounters with the outside world as an opportunity to, for entertainment’s sake, transcribe every movement of each so-called character (a.k.a friend) into a bookish form in your mind. After all, we understand books much better than we do humans.
That being said, writers in groups fair well from an anthropological point of view. You see, we are drawn to one another, and from the outside we look like an almost functioning group of ‘normals’. We’re not; we just understand how each other’s minds work, and we embrace each other for being wacky unsociable creatures with bad habits, disturbing thoughts and being able to ruin people’s CharmingIncantationsSanguinelives with our stories.
Of course, we’re not all bad all the time, but as writers we need to be selective megalomaniacs to keep you on the edge of your seat with our tales. It’s in the job description that nobody’s bothered writing up yet …

About Charming Incantations: Sanguine:
After the Goblin Lord’s identity was revealed, Lisa didn’t think her life could get any worse.
She was wrong.
Not only does she have to deal with Goblins, but now a civil war threatens to tear the vampire race apart, endangering humanity, and the efforts of The Alliance.
To add insult to injury, there’s a traitor in their midst.
Will Lisa ever catch a break, or is she doomed to live her life as a prisoner of her own bloodline?


13 Questions with John Palisano

Hello my Freaky Darlings,

JP-headshotToday on 13 Questions we have John Palisano, who I share space between the covers with in Tales from the Lake Vol 1 (out 30 May) and in Horror 101: The way Forward. Over two dozen of his short fiction pieces have been put out by an equally diverse range of places. NERVES came out under Bad Moon, and DUST OF THE DEAD marks the beginning of several from Samhain. Sometimes he writes for Fangoria. John is easily found on Facebook and Twitter, so look him up.
1. What drives you to write?

It’s an exorcism for me to write. I have terrible nightmares that give me insomnia. They’re extremely vivid. I have a very over active imagination. I’m always thinking something terrible is about to happen. Writing gets that out. Writing smooths the edges. Writing takes a lot of my head, and gets rid of them. Sometimes.

2. What attracted you to writing horror?

Every minute were alive, there’s a threat to us. I felt this pull to the Darkside at a very young age. Always been fascinated with what’s beyond. I think it ties into my spirituality,  in a way. There’s a lot of fear living in this world, a lot of uncertainty. Horror helps put that in its place. Or allows you to transcend. That’s what’s always fascinated me. I’m not big on slashers or where people are captured and tortured, but rather, journeys into the unknown. Things in the shadows. Things unseeable

3. Who are your favourite horror writers?

Most of the classic big names, of course, but I’ve been really interested in a lot of contemporary horror. I love the new weird fiction crop, including Laird Barron, Jeff VanderMeer, Thomas Ligotti, and those people. I also love bizarro fiction, like Carlton Mellek and Cody Goodfellow. It’s been an embarrassment of riches for dark fiction over the past few years. There’s so much good stuff, I just wish I had more time.

4. Which horror novels do you think every horror fan should read?

I think they should read the contemporary novels that appeal to them first. Then, if they like something from Laird Barron, for example, then go out and seek Lovecraft and Poe. I think it’s important for people to be engaged, and not feel like they’re doing work. I highly recommend going to library or bookstore and going into sections you’ve never been before and exploring. There’s horror to be found everywhere. Also, there are fantastic stories and writing to be explored all sorts of genres.
5. Ebooks or paperback?

I think they’re both fantastic, actually. The new Kindle that’s backlit is my main reading device. Practically? It’s backlit, so one can read it in the dark without disturbing anybody else in the room, and I can read extremely fast. It’s quite pleasurable. On the flipside, reading on an iPad is okay, but in the middle of the night, even with the brightness turned all the way down, it feels to me like looking into a flashlight. It’s just a little bit much in comparison to a Kindle.

Paper books can be great. If the book is bound well, and put together nicely, I’m apt to read it. I love the John Steinbeck millennium additions because of the ragged edges, great design, and great feel. To be honest, I’ve never liked reading a lot of books because they were heavy and uncomfortable. And in the indie press, so much are so uncomfortable to read, format-wise, that I often stop, so it all depends.

6. What would make you pick up a novel by a new author?NERVES - cover

A great cover’ll grab me. I’m not going to lie. I judge book by covers. We all do, even though we wish we didn’t. I have found gems that were horribly put together. I Will Rise by Michael Calvillo was one such book. The first edition I had sported a dreadful cover, and the layout left a lot to be desired. But his writing shone through.

7. Who is your favourite fictional character?

That would probably be the idealized version of myself, although I think that’s shattered when I see myself in the mirror, or see a picture of myself that someone’s posted.

8. Do you plot your stories or does it just unfold before your eyes?

I studied plot and structure so much, and so extensively, at Emerson in Boston, and AFI in Los Angeles, that I usually don’t write things out. I usually have a pretty good idea early on where things are headed, and what I usually do instead is write out a character form, like I do if I were acting and developing the person. That process usually informs me, and tells me most everything I need to know about the story to come. Knowing the characters is everything in my process.

9. Do your characters take on a life of their own and do things you didn’t plan?

They certainly do, and even in something that is plot driven, like a screenplay, it leads to some better surprises.

10. Do you listen to music when you write or do you need silence?

You may notice that I’m quite moody, and this is no exception. There are times when I’m writing a fight scene, and I’ll crank Van Halen. There will be other times when I prefer dead silence. Or sometimes I put on something like Coldplay just to get a kind of flow and rhythm.

Often when I’m writing a book or story, I’ll actually compose music to it. This helps my free-form thinking, and forms the story in ways I never predicted. I wrote an entire album of songs for my first novel because one of the characters had a famous album in the 1960s. I had to know what it sounded like, and had to write the lyrics. It was very important to the story to know all those details. I do all sorts of styles of music to make soundtracks for my books. It’s part of my writing process in a major way.

11. Do you do a lot of research for your stories?

In fact, I often do. Many people believe they’re in my books. Friends I grew up with. People I’m in relationships with. But what they don’t understand is my writing is like a collage. I grew up during the rap generation, where you take one element and then put it on top of something else, and make something completely different out of it. I’ve always loved that concept, but often felt that rap music fell short of really using it to its potential, of massaging found elements and making them new. Public Enemy was one of the only groups I felt that really brought that to an apex. But in writing, I do that with almost every story.
I’ll take elements from my life that I know are real, pieces of the conversation, descriptions, locations slightly altered, and then use that as a springboard to something completely different. So character may have one or two traits I’ll borrow from myself or friend, but I will twist it so far left and right, that by the end, it’s unrecognizable, it goes back to writing what you know. You’ve got to sprinkle enough reality to ground the reader, to make your story living, so that when the horrible things start happening, you’re right there.

Horror 101 The Way Forward12. Facebook or Twitter?

Mostly Facebook, but I’ve been dialing it back. Trying to cut down on the noise. And I’m not so wholly interested in what people had for dinner, or that they drank too much last night, or that they’re mad at going to work. It just feels extremely narcissistic, and I’m growing increasingly uncomfortable. Maybe I’m just growing older, but more likely I just crave simplicity. I have notebooks filled with stories I’d like to tackle, albums I’d like to write, and I don’t want to waste my precious time on nonsense. That being said, sometimes people have laughed at me because I watch five episodes of something stupid like Judge Judy to tune out. There’s that moodiness again.
13. What really pisses you off about writing?

The act of writing itself doesn’t piss me off. Not at all. I love it. The business of writing drives me batty. There’s so much garbage out there that gets in the way of writing time. People love to talk about writing endlessly. Everybody that can string two sentences together has a theory, a plan, or a book, or story in them. That’s all fine, and I’ve gone through that all myself, but there’s nothing as wonderful as sitting at a desk or in a coffee shop with a blank notebook and  pen and finding the rhythm. Those are the precious moments that make me most happy. It’s frustrating when that time isn’t respected by others, or when people don’t think you’re actually working, and especially when everybody thinks they can do exactly what you do. That is obnoxious. It’d be like me going to a hospital, putting on gloves, and operating, because I’ve seen every single episode of ER that’s ever been on the air. We may have a good idea, but there’s intricacies, muscle memories, that come into play that are actually crucial to making an operation a success.

I blame novel in a month for this new plague. When they started that project, it got out that writing 1300 words or so a day was ideal so that you could make a goal of writing a novel in a month. That thought spread like wildfire. I see writers all the time talking about their word counts. To me, it doesn’t tell me if those are good words, bad words, and especially, the right words. Writing is rewriting. Just because you can vomit out 60,000 words in a month doesn’t mean they won’t need tending to. It’s what you do during the rewriting process that really counts. And I know most people are just writing their stories top to bottom, and then pressing upload, and they’re on the Kindle. While I don’t believe in having writing  un-accessible, I think this lack of a vetting process has become a problem. And it’s also stripped a lot of the magic out of having a book out. I can’t tell you how many times I tell people I have a book, and they’re later surprised to find out that it’s actually with a traditional publisher, and I haven’t just put it out myself.

But I think the thing that makes me angriest about writing, is that there never seems to be enough time to do so. I’m pretty sure I’m not alone in that sentiment

Tales from the Lake

CONTACT: Crystal Lake Publishing

Tales From the Lake Horror Writing competition winners join Graham Masterton and other horror greats in newest anthology.

Dive into fourteen tales of non-themed horror, with short stories and dark poems by some of the best horror writers in the world, including a story by the master himself, Graham Masterton.
Allow the very first instalment of Tales From the Lake to transport you to lakeside terror in Lover, Come Back to Me, Lady of Lost Lake, and Game On; journey to the basement of your local pet store in Dead Pull and your neighbourhood pub in O’Halloran’s; visit the apocalypse in Devil’s Night; travel to Africa in Witch-Compass and The Reunion; spend time with talking dolls in Don’t Look at Me; experience the horrors of drug addiction from close up in Junksick; and climb a ladder to the heavens in Perrollo’s Ladder.
Tales From the Lake Vol.1 includes the winning stories from the 2013 Tales From the Lake Horror Writing Competition: a nautical tale in Jenn Loring’s The Art of Wrecking; a bizarre story of strange addictions in J. Daniel Stone’s Alternative Muses; and a cult horror story in the jungles of South America in William Ritchey’s Las Maquinas.

Introduction by Rocky Wood – president of the HWA.
Artwork by award winning artist Ben Baldwin.
Edited by Joe Mynhardt.

Book info:
Tales From the Lake Vol.1
Theme: Non-themed, but with a touch of lake-side terror and camp stories.
Fourteen horror short stories and two poems
Published by Crystal Lake Publishing
ISBN: 978-0-9922272-8-9 (paperback); 978-0-9922272-7-2 (Kindle)
288 pages
The paperback will sell at $12.99 and the eBook at $4.99

Eight radio ads will be played on Nightwatch Radio, and several other online radio stations.
Various stories from the collection will be read on the Tales to Terrify Podcast.
Various online media outlets will promote the release, including This Is Horror, Hellnotes, The Horrifically Horrifying Horror Blog, and Promote Horror.
Events will also take place on several online forums: FB, Twitter, Google+,, Goodreads, Shocklines, HWA Forum, and Permuted Press.
A Goodreads giveaway will take place 2 weeks before the launch.
Guest blogs and interviews will be posted almost daily on the Crystal Lake Publishing blog.