Shout Out

Many, many thanks to all you wonderful folk who have joined in with my ‘Boots on the Ground’ Thunderclap campaign. With special mentions to: – Opinionated Man, oldpoet56, Annette Rochelle Abe…

Source: Shout Out

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Review of “Portraits of Dread” by Michael J. Elliott

This is on my to read pile and I think that after reading this review, I should bump it up!

Sunshine Somerville

Portraits of Dread (72dpi 900x600)This collection is brilliant.  And I’m not British, so I feel the need to point out I actually mean brilliant.  Almost every single one of these stories starts out in a completely familiar, unassuming setting.  Then some weird, horrific, incredible bomb is dropped and you suddenly realize that something completely different is going on.   I alternated between laughing in surprise to making sounds of “Oh, ew, ugh!” whenever I read a twist.

The writing itself is excellent.  Elliott has a particular tone to his writing that is playful and serious at the same time (don’t ask me how that works, but it does), and the style of the writing feels simultaneously classic and fresh.  I honestly can’t think of one dud story in this collection, nor can I pick out a favorite.  …Okay, maybe “Reconstructing Teddy” for the sheer creepy factor of the twist and the great portrayal of…

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Free for Three Days Only

Photo 25-05-2016, 09 42 11

**Free**

25th-26th-27th May

Kerry O’Brien has a secret so terrible it burns inside her. All she wants is to be part of a normal family, but with a stepfather like Bill, that is impossible.

Set in the 1970s when secrets like this were only ever whispered about, Kerry somehow keeps her humour by pretending everything is fine. Then she meets biker Tommy, and he has his own secret; one that impacts on her.

Kerry’s secret becomes harder to keep and the tell-tell signs harder to hide. Can she keep it together? Can Tommy and Kerry get it together?

Then the worst happens and Kerry’s secret is a secret no more.

 Mybook.to/TS

Excerpt

‘This is where I work,” he said, as we entered a joiner’s workshop. I could see half built furniture with lots of wood shavings on the floor and various types of cutting equipment. We walked over to one half built piece of furniture.

“This is mine,” he said. “I’m working on it at the moment.” It was wardrobe and it hadn’t got any doors.

“How on earth do you make these?” I asked running my finger through a pattern in the wood.

“With this, it’s called a router.” He held up some kind of tool. “Just look inside here,” he said, indicating inside of the wardrobe.

I peered just behind where the door would be, and saw he’d scraped TS 74 in the wood. “Oh yeah.”

“We all like to mark them somewhere. So should you ever buy a wardrobe, take a look inside, it might be one of mine.”

I grinned. “You’ll be famous.”

He laughed. “Come on, we’ll go into the tea room.”

We went up some stairs and into a big kitchen. There was a table in the centre and on it were mugs and some still contained tea that had gone cold and congealed. I pulled a face.

“I know,” he said as if reading my mind. “We’re a mucky lot.” He began clearing it piling it into a dirty looking sink.

Kitchen cupboards snaked around the sides of the room, both on the wall and beneath the counter. Some of the doors didn’t appear to fit properly and some didn’t even have doors. There was a fridge, but there was also a bottle of milk standing on the top, it’s contents half empty and I just had the feeling I wouldn’t want to drink it. In fact, everything looked grubby.

“I would offer you a brew…”

I laughed, “Not a chance, some of those cups look like they’ve never been washed.”

“Come over here,” he said, standing by the table.

“Why?” I asked a little dubiously.

“I want you to lie on it.”

I frowned, “Why?”

He looked at me with mischievous eyes and my pulse quickened. “I want to draw you.”

Draw me? I didn’t expect that. Was I disappointed? Did I think he was going to make mad passionate love to me right there on that table top?

I managed to giggle and stood on the chair, then onto the table and lay down, feeling a bit silly. I let him manoeuvre me into position and felt even sillier.

“Relax, Kerry.”

“Do you know how hard this table is?”

He pulled out a chair and sat down a little way from the me. Producing a sketchpad from somewhere, he began to draw.

“Well, this is nice,” I said, feeling the back of my head on the edge of the table as I peered at the ceiling and my hair hung down towards the floor.

“You’ve no idea,” he said, glancing up at me and then down to the sketchpad as his pencil moving quickly.

“Hmm, I wonder what’s for tea tonight. Wood chips? Or wardrobe sausage?” I pondered.

“Keep still.”

“I am still; in fact I’m so still you can hardly tell I’m breathing.”

“Your mouth is moving.”

“Can you draw an open mouth?” I puckered it.

“Not in the way you mean, shut up a minute.”

I mentally counted to 60 and then said, “My back is aching.”

“Okay,” he said, standing up and snapping the pad closed. “Finished.”

“Can I see it?”

“No, you can’t, I need to finish it first.”

“I thought you just said you’d finished.”

“Hmm,” I loved the rumble sound his voice made. “These are just the bare bones,” he said with a grin. “I’ve to fill it in yet.”

“God!” I huffed, feigning annoyance. “I’ve been called many things, but bare bones!”

He swatted my bum with his hand. “You’ll see it, eventually.”

We were laughing as we made our way back outside to his bike. Is this too soon to fall it love? Because I was falling right over!’

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