Dark Corners Redux – How it all connects

I recently re released my first book – Dark Corners.  The book is a non chronological collection of stories each interconnected and linked. Since release, people have been asking for a guide as to how each story is linked to the next to make sure they found all the connections. Finally, i have put together a little article about each story and how it connects to the others in the book. Obviously, there are spoilers here so don’t read this if you haven’t already read the book and don’t want to have it spoiled for you! The article picks up after the cover art image so you have been warned. 🙂

If you haven’t read the book yet and want to do so, you can click the cover image below and be whisked away to amazon to purchase it. 🙂

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Still here? Alright! Here we go!

 

OBSERVATION ROOM 5:

 James is the broker from ‘THE LAST MAN’ and is a colleague of Mark Fife from ‘A STRANGE AFFAIR’ & ‘THE BOX’ Also the old man on the train later appears in THE BOX.

 

NO REST FOR THE WICKED:

Roberts becomes Monde, who later appears in TINA. Roberts is also pen-pal to Freddy from ‘YURPLE’S LAST DAY.’ Detective Petrov is responsible for catching Maggie in ‘A STRANGE AFFAIR.’

 

THE PRANK:

The Narrator is the older brother of TINA.

 

YURPLE’S LAST DAY:

Freddy is pen-pal to Roberts from ‘NO REST FOR THE WICKED’.

 

TINA:

 Monde is what becomes of Roberts in ‘NO REST FOR THE WICKED’. Tina is also the younger sister of the un-named Narrator in ‘THE PRANK’

 

THAT GNAWING FEELING:

Zombie serum purchased from ‘VICTOR’. Danny is also in Rio during the events of ‘A STRANGE AFFAIR’

 

NO. 5 SYCAMORE STREET:

Alex appears in VICTOR. Mrs Bendtner is neighbours with Steve & Frank from ‘EVERY LITTLE HELPS’.

 

THE BOX:

Terri’s Ex-Boyfriend mark is Mark fife who appears in both ‘A STRANGE AFFAIR’ & ‘THE LAST MAN’. The old man from ‘OBSERVATION ROOM 5’ also appears. Terri presses the button at the exact same that Rick’s illusion goes wrong in ‘THE LAST MAN’. Who is responsible for the events that follow?

 

EVERY LITTLE HELPS:

The story takes place on Sycamore Street, and Steve by living at no 7, is neighbours with Mrs Bendtner from ‘NO 5. SYCAMORE STREET.

 

A STRANGE AFFAIR:

Fife is Mark Fife who also appears in both ‘ THE LAST MAN’ & ‘ THE BOX’. Maggie will later be caught by Detective Petrov from ‘ NO REST FOR THE WICKED’

 

VICTOR:

 Former boss to Alex, and killer of Mrs Bendtners son from ‘ NO. 5 SYCAMORE STREET.’ Also sells the Zombie Serum to Jim & Sarah in ‘ THAT GNAWING FEELING’.

 

THE LAST MAN:

Rick chronicles his story from Monde’s penthouse from ‘ TINA’. The deal to allow the illusion to take place in China is brokered by Fife ( THE BOX / A STRANGE AFFAIR) & Robinson ( OBSERVATION ROOM 5). The illusion that causes the world to end is performed simultaneously with Terri pressing the button in ‘ THE BOX’.

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New Free to download anthology released.

Happy to announce that Burger Van, the free to download anthology in support of International Animal Rescue is available now. The idea is that if you download it, you donate the money you would have paid directly to the charity via the just giving page instead. I just wanted to say a massive thank you to everyone who donated their work to this project and hope it raises a ton of cash for a much needed charity. Download and donation links are below. Enjoy and spread the word!

Download at Smashwords (EPUB, MOBI, PDF): https://www.smashwords.com/books/view/678390

Other Retailers: (Barnes & Noble, Nook, Scribd etc): https://books2read.com/u/bw819O

And most importantly, the link to the fundraising page. Let’s see how much we can raise!

https://www.justgiving.com/fundraising/read-then-donate

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My top 10 films to watch this Halloween

Summer is gone, and that means the beast called winter is fast approaching. First though, Halloween is thrust upon us. Although here in the U.K it’s not as huge as it stateside, we still embrace it, and so i decided to put together a list of my favourite movies to watch this Halloween ranked in reverse order from 10 to 1. This is a list of my personal choices and the reasons why i love them. Disagree or want to list your own top 10? Leave a comment and let me know! So, Let’s kick things off with no 10 on my list of Halloween movies:

 

10: PARANORMAL ACTIVITY

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Say what you like about the so so sequels, but for me the first in this franchise was surprisingly effective at using the whole found footage idea. Tense and filled with suspense, it came at a time when found footage films were relatively new and, dare i say, original. If you haven’t seen it already, there was also an alternate ending shot for the film which i think is better than the one used in the theatrical cut, but even now a few years on, this is still well worthy of a watch this Halloween.

BUY PARANORMAL ACTIVITY FROM AMAZON U.S

BUY PARANORMAL ACTIVITY FROM AMAZON U.K

 

 

9: SHAUN OF THE DEAD

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Cornetto! Shaun of the Dead is still one of my favourite ever movies. If i happen to catch it on TV, I’ll still watch it. Simon Pegg and Nick Frost steal the show as a couple of hapless working class people caught up in the middle of the zombie apocalypse. This is a funny film, and in my opinion the best of the Pegg/Frost Cornetto trilogy of movies (the others being HOT FUZZ and THE WORLD’S END). A great supporting cast help drive the film along as Pegg and Frost go from one blunder to another. It has comedy, zombies, blood and a couple of surprisingly touching moments. If you want something a bit lighter amid the horror this Halloween, this one is for you.

BUY SHAUN OF THE DEAD AT AMAZON U.S

BUY SHAUN OF THE DEAD AT AMAZON U.K

 

8: CABIN IN THE WOODS

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Another one which has more laughs than scares. This film takes every cliché in horror and puts a clever twist on it that makes it an incredibly fun watch. This is mindless fun but fun nonetheless. Another one to disengage the brain and watch without taking it too seriously.

 

 

BUY CABIN IN THE WOODS AT AMAZON U.S

BUY CABIN IN THE WOODS AT AMAZON U.K

 

7: JAWS

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Still one my favourite movies of all time, Jaws in a masterclass in building drama and tension. Showing how sometimes less is more, the film still stands up well today, particularly the recent Blu Ray restoration which looks stunning. I’m sure you’ve all seen this one multiple times, and Halloween is as good a time as any to dust off the DVD (or aforementioned Blu Ray) and give it another watch.  Also consider checking out the book. there are some key differences between the two versions which give a very different experience.

BUY JAWS AT AMAZON U.S

BUY JAWS AT AMAZON U.K

 

 

6: POLTERGEIST

poltergeistForget the recent awful remake. I’m talking about the original film which scared me to death as a kid. There is one particular scene with a toy clown which, after seeing as a child scarred me for life and made me afraid of them ever since. If you’ve only seen the recent remake, you NEED to check out this original version. It succeeds everywhere the new one fails and still delivers a creepy experience years later. Perfect Halloween viewing.

 

BUY POLTERGEIST AT AMAZON U.S

BUY POLTERGEIST AT AMAZON U.K

 

 

5: 28 DAYS LATER

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Halfway through the list and we come to one of my favourite zombie films. 28 Days Later was a bit of a sleeper hit when it was released, and with its fast moving zombies and stellar british cast, you won’t go far wrong with this one. not only is this the story of the apocalypse, but also has a lot to say about the brutality of man and how even in the face of disaster there are worse things out there than the undead.

BUY 28 DAYS LATER AT AMAZON U.S

BUY 28 DAYS LATER AT AMAZON U.K

 

 

 

4: THE SHINING

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Number four on the list is Stanley Kubrick’s The Shining. This is another film that i remember watching when i was younger and it scaring me. I recently watched it again when it was remastered for Blu Ray (like Jaws, with breathtaking results) and found it to be just as creepy now as it was then. The sense of foreboding and isolation is captured perfectly as the overlook hotel slowly begins to change Jack Torrance from loving husband and father to something much worse. another perfect Halloween watch.

BUY THE SHINING ON AMAZON U.S

BUY THE SHINING ON AMAZON U.K

 

 

3: CREEPSHOW

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Anyone who knows me knows i LOVE a good horror anthology, both in written form or visual, and Creepshow is one of my favourites. it was a close call between this and the Twilight Zone movie, but i still have a soft spot for this one so it got the nod (just). I remember having a grainy VHS copy of this back in the day and having no clue that Stephen King not only wrote it, but starred in it too. (check out his super hammy performance in The lonesome Death of Jordy Verrill). Every story in this is a hit for fans of the genre.

BUY CREEPSHOW AT AMAZON U.S

BUY CREEPSHOW AT AMAZON U.K

 

2: TRICK R TREAT

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I couldn’t decide for a long time between the number one and two spot. In the end, i placed Trick R Treat at number two. Another anthology of individual stories told non chronologically (Cheap plug: much like the coming reissue of my story collection, Dark Corners available on Halloween and available now to pre order HERE). Each story is brilliantly clever in their own right. You will see scenes from other tales from different perspectives and angles as we jump around the timeline of Halloween night revealing horror after horror. GO BUY IT!

BUY TRICK R TREAT AT AMAZON U.S

BUY TRICK R TREAT AT AMAZON U.K

 

1: HALLOWEEN

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What else could top the list but the john Carpenter classic? Shot on a miniscule budget, Halloween is a masterclass in horror. The fact that our monster (the iconic Michael Myers) stalks around in daylight instead of solely jumping out of the shadows like many other films of the era gives it an edge. Then of course there is the musical score. Everyone gets goosebumps at that, surely? The sign of a good film is in how well it ages and Halloween is just as frightening today no matter how many times you may have already seen it.

BUY HALLOWEEN AT AMAZON U.S

BUY HALLOWEEN AT AMAZON U.K

 

And so that’s my list. Not strictly the best films, but my favourites. Think something is wrong or have a different opinion? Leave a comment and let me know. List your favourites and why, I’d love to see what you recommend.

 

Graphic novel review: Sick B*stards issue #1

Sick B*stards was the first black cover Matt Shaw book I ever read and I always thought it would translate well to other mediums. Now, a couple of years and a ton of success later, we have the graphic novel adaptation just about ready to release and I am excited to say I have read it and want to share my review of it here. As you know, Matt and I have worked together on and off over the years and chat daily about mostly pointless things, I and I know trying to get this off the ground has been both stressful and expensive, so I want to say how happy I am for him that not only has he done it, the results are spectacularly good. So, to the (Spoiler free) review.

First up, as a word of warning, the black cover range of books carry a warning on the front and, as readers of Matt’s work will know, he pushes beyond the boundaries of taste and makes no apologies for it here. The opening pages of Sick B*stards  follow that theme and are both graphic and shocking, setting the scene for what is to come.  The book has a certain tone. It is dark, claustrophobic, the story essentially a post-apocalyptic tale of survival but grounded in reality a world away from the bigger scale books and movies. Issue one introduces us to a family learning to survive in the aftermath of some global catastrophe, yet there are no wastelands here which helps sell the immersion. Instead, we focus on the family who, as the story progresses reveal that dysfunctional would be too kind a word, especially when we learn how they have learned to exist in a savage new world.

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The artwork in this graphic novel is phenomenal, and embodies the bleak nature of the story and is reminiscent of Alan Moore’s sublime From Hell but with use of colour, the world is shown to us in shades of green and brown, the details in the linework subtle and yet intricate at the same time. Long story short, this is a gorgeous looking product and all involved should be incredibly proud of the end result.

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As with a lot of Matt Shaw’s works, the story told here jumps to different time periods, giving is a deeper look at the characters before the events set in the modern day. There is a certain sympathy, particularly for the son of the family, as we see his struggles to adapt to the new world and find his place within it amid the backdrop of depravity and horror that is never far away. The fact that we manage to feel sympathy for characters who should disgust us is a real strength of the story and one which I hope carries through into future issues.

All in all, Issue one of Sick B*stards is a triumph. The introduction to the story is paced just so that we learn enough to want to move forward and see what comes next. Matt and his team are currently raising funds to produce issue two, which I sincerely hope happens as it would be a shame to see this project die. If you want to support their efforts, you can do so by clicking HERE.

If you haven’t read the original book, you can pick it up via Amazon by clicking on the links below. Get it. Read it. And revel in the slightly dirty feeling it gives you.We all know you’ll enjoy it.

A rock solid 9/10 score for this one.

GET THE NOVEL THAT STARTED IT ALL, SICK B’STARDS BY MATT SHAW AT THE FOLLOWING LINKS:

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AMAZON UK CUSTOMERS CLICK HERE

AMAZON US CUSTOMERS CLICK HERE

Movie review: Suicide Squad 

After a ton of unfavourable reviews from the critics I was curious to see just how this would play out and if I agreed with the general consensus that this was a ‘bad’ or ‘mess’ of a film. 

I didn’t. In fact, I enjoyed watching this for what it was. A fun popcorn film which fit nicely after the also slammed by critics Batman vs Superman (which incidentally I also quite enjoyed). A few minor niggles stopped this from being a must see for me, but there was still plenty to enjoy. 

Make no mistake, this is the DC version of the Avengers. The first half hour of the film introduces us to our core characters and sets the scene for what is to come. This is a great way to get to know about each character especially for those who may be unfamiliar with the comics or only vaguely aware of the history of the DC universe. When I first watched the trailer there were certain casting choices that I had doubts about, primarily Will Smith as Deadshot & Jared Leto  as The Joker. To my surprise, both played their roles well. It was good to see Smith play the villain, although he still manages to pull off the hero vibe with ease as his character is easy to like. 

Leto’s Joker was a similar story, his spin on the character wildly different from Heath Ledger’s take in the iconic The Dark Knight and all in a good way. Leto’s incarnation is a snarling beast, a dangerous yet mesmerising psychopath who pushes the crazy button harder than any other screen version of the character before. With his Tattoos, gold rings, flashy cars and garish suits, The Joker steals every scene he features in which in part is one of my niggles with the film. There just isn’t enough of him. Apart from the occasional brief appearance, most of the Joker storyline are small flashback scenes about his relationship with Harley Quinn (played superbly by Margot Robbie) and have little impact on the main storyline which itself is another thing I’m going to have a little moan about. 

The plot is thin to say the least, a basic setup to get the squad working together for the greater good to stop the evil Enchantress from destroying earth by making some kind of superweapon which is never seen or fully explained. Our heroes (or are they still villains?) dutifully go on a world saving mission and learn along the way that even bad guys have morals. 

Does any of that matter as far as enjoying the film goes? Not one bit. This is a fun, loud, action packed,  switch off the brain and enjoy kind of film which is clearly designed to set up more movies in the franchise (speaking of which, it’s advisable to watch Batman vs Superman before seeing this as there is a little plot crossover. I’ve added a link at the bottom of this review). If you are looking for a fun summer film that dosen’t require too much thinking, give this a go. Seen it already?  Leave a comment and let me know what you thought of it. 

Final score: 8/10

Definitely better than the poor reviews give it credit for. Go give it a watch. 

Get Batman vs Superman:Dawn of Justice from Amazon now

Amazon US customers click HERE 

Amazon UK customers click HERE 

Project Apex audiobook released! 

As some may know, I recently signed a deal with Beacon Audiobooks to distribute my titles going forward. I’m excited to announce that the first release, Project Apex is out now from all digital audiobook stockists. You can read the press release here:

https://www.prlog.org/12577454-beacon-audiobooks-releases-project-apex-by-author-michael-bray.html
If you happen to pick it up or have read the book, let me know what you think of it. I’d love to hear some feedback. 

TV REVIEW: The Walking Dead Season 6

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Please note there are Season 5 spoilers in this review and minor spoilers for season 6. please don’t read on if you haven’t seen the 5th series or don’t want to know the storyline for season 6. you have been warned! 🙂

 

The sixth season of the AMC hit show carried on it’s bleak journey as our survivors struggle to come to terms with living in the nearest thing to safety any of them have ever experienced. Rick and his people struggle to adapt from the savage lifestyle they had been forced to live, which came to a head in the season 5 finale when under instruction from Dianne, Rick kills habitual drunk, Pete.

The fallout from Rick’s actions and the cold brutality in which he went about them causes mistrust against the Alexandria community who are conflicted as to if Rick and his people belong there or on the other side of the wall. This struggle between Rick and his people trying to convince the people of Alexandria that such brutality is needed in the world as it is now and their lack of understanding due to being sheltered from the zombie apocalypse is a prevailing theme throughout the series.

Season six also introduces us to some new villains in the shape of a certain barbed wire wrapped baseball bat wielding maniac who will be familiar to those who have read the comics and we’ll get to shortly, and another group called the wolves. The wolves are essentially everything the people of Alexandria are not. They have lived in the conflict, desperate and clawing to survive, resorting to inhumane tactics in order to survive.

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The people of Alexandria find out first hand when the Wolves attack the town, army of walkers in tow and cause chaos, almost destroying everything the people had worked to build. These scenes are particularly brutal, and test Rick and his group in ways they had started to forget,  causing them to revert back to their savage nature from their time on the road. It is around this time, with the group once again split and in disarray that Daryl, Abraham and Sascha encounter a group in the road who call themselves the Saviors. The saviors tell the group that everything they own now belongs to Negan. Reluctant to hand over their possessions, Daryl and co dispatch the threat and return to Alexandria just in time to help.

The second half of the season picks up in the aftermath of the Alexandria attack as the town (now under the leadership of Rick) trying to repair the damage done by the wolves. During a supply run, rick and Daryl encounter a man called Jesus, who initially seems friendly then steals their supplies. Daryl and Rick track him down and learn that the man comes form a community called the Hilltop. he claims they have supplies and food, both of which are running low in the Alexandria community. Rick agrees to go with Jesus to  the Hilltop to negotiate a trade deal.

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When they arrive at the hilltop, Rick and co find out that Jesus was telling the truth, and the Hilltop is well stocked with food and provisions. Rick learns that the Hilltop community are being extorted for food and supplies by the saviours, who threaten to attack if their demands are not met. Rick and his group agree to eliminate the saviours in exchange for a trade deal with the hilltop where they will share supplies going forward. This leads to an assault on a saviour compound, where Rick and his group brutally kill several people, sure that they have eliminated the threat until they learn that two of their own have been captured. This in turn leads towards the grand finale, where the saviours lead rick and his people towards a face to face confrontation with Negan himself (along with aforementioned barbed wire wrapped baseball bat) who tells them someone has to be punished for what they have done in what has to go down as one of the greatest and most intense end scenes for this show to date.

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There is a lot to like about this season of The Walking Dead. We get to see Carl coming of age after surviving a horrific and life threatening injury. We also get a superb episode dedicated to Morgan’s backstory titled ‘Here’s not Here,’ Which fills in the gap between what happened when Rick first met Morgan in series one to finding him delirious and insane back in the third season. Carol decides that she has seen enough of death and goes off alone, isolating herself from the group as she gives in to the chaos of the world around her. By far the most interesting aspect of season 6 is the start of the upcoming Negan story arc. In a series where Rick and his group have been the alpha, to see him at the end of season six broken, afraid and in tears shows that things have definitely changed. And then of course there is that final scene of the last episode which will no doubt infuriate as much as it captivates.

FINAL SCORE: 9 out of 10: Everything changes in this season and I can’t recommend it enough. go buy it!

The Walking Dead season 6 comes to DVD /  Blu ray on September 26th. You can pre order it now from Amazon below:

Amazon U.K: Pre order season 6 now (UK CUSTOMERS)

Amazon U.S: Pre order season 6 now (U.S Customers)

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Voting for the first retro review is now open!

Every month i’ll be reviewing an old horror classic to see just how well (or not) certain movies have aged. This will be a fun, tongue firmly in cheek series of reviews designed to revisit some of those films horror fans knew and loved back in the day. The first selection is up in the poll above, so get voting for your favourites!

If you are unfamiliar with the films or just want to revisit them before making your choice, i have included the Amazon links for each title below. Just click the relevant cover to be whisked away to the amazon page where you can read the synopsis etc. Happy voting!

Writing tips 1: Pre orders and how they can work for you

 

Last year, Amazon introduced the ability to set a title up for pre order. At first glance this may look like a pointless addition, however, used the right way, pre orders can help you to get a strong head start in the rankings and, more importantly, a good chart position on day one. Used correctly, pre orders can be a valuable tool in the author arsenal and give you the advantage to make your book a best seller.

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The image above shows the pre order numbers for my novel, Project Apex. The pre order went live on March 18th and with a minimal amount of promotion achieved 115 pre orders by the day of release. Those numbers helped the book to achieve a strong chart position on its release.

The good news is that anyone with a KDP account on Amazon can access these tools, and if combined with the lessons included in the A to Z of self-publishing course, can give very strong sales numbers early in the shelf life of the book, which as you know, is when the most sales tend to occur for a new title.

Before I get to the details of how pre orders can work for you, there are a few things to note. Firstly, you can only set up a pre order for a specific title for a maximum of three months ahead of its release date. The flip side to this is that you can set up a pre order without having a final version of the manuscript, so you can get this all set up ahead of time as you finish the manuscript and generate sales before the book is even finished! One thing to be aware of with pre orders, is that if you set up a release then don’t upload the final version of the manuscript by the given deadline, then you will lose access to the pre order service for a full year, so be sure that you can get the finished product uploaded in time.To set up a pre order for those who have never done one, it’s as simple as choosing it during the creation of a new title on Amazon. When you are going through the creation process, on option 4 you simply select ‘make my title available for pre order.’

pre order selection

When you have selected your date (within the three month window) you will have to upload a manuscript of some kind to amazon to use as a placeholder file. This can either be an unfinished draft of the book you are working on or something as simple as a blank document with any random text on it. The Amazon uploader will accept anything here at this stage as it knows you will be returning at a later date to upload the final manuscript. One thing you do need to have ready at this stage is book cover and blurb. If you have this, you can then fill out the rest of your listing as if you were releasing the book there and then. When it’s done, you will have to wait for amazon to approve the pre order. Once it’s done, you will have a listing just like any other book you would release, only with a pre order link instead. This is where you can use the service to your advantage, especially if you set up with the full three month lead time. It gives you the opportunity to share the link and get guaranteed day one sales in advance. I offered a special pre order price to my readers of just .99 which would then revert to its full retail price the day of the book release which built a lot of early anticipation for the release and gave people a reason to commit to buying the book ahead of time. I also did a little bit of Facebook / Twitter promotion to advertise the limited time low pre order price.  With careful planning and promotion, you can almost guarantee a solid number of pre order sales and a massive day one boost to your income, allowing you to plan ahead and get a good estimate of projected sales. If you then combine this process with the other lessons included in the A to Z of self-publishing course around marketing a new release via your mailing list etc., the impact pre orders can have can be even further increased, making them a powerful and valuable tool for you the author. I hope this short blog was useful to you, and that you get some benefit from using this tool to further boost your sales and give that much needed day one spike.

 

 

Michael Bray is a bestselling horror / thriller author of several novels. Influenced from an early age by the suspense horror of authors such as Stephen King, Richard Laymon, Shaun Hutson, James Herbert & Brian Lumley, along with TV shows like Tales from the Crypt & The Twilight Zone, his work touches on the psychological side of horror, teasing the reader’s nerves and willing them to keep turning the pages. Several of his titles are currently being translated into multiple languages and with options for movie and Television adaptations under negotiation for others.

Where to find Michael Bray online

Official website: www.michaelbrayauthor.com

Facebook: www.facebook.com/michaelbrayauthor

Twitter: www.twitter.com/michaelbrayauth

Instagram: www.instagram.com/michaelbrayauthor

Google +: www.plus.goggle.com/michaelbrayauthor

Where to find my books

 

Amazon UK: http://www.amazon.co.uk/Michael-Bray/e/B009GH9XCO/

Amazon US: http://www.amazon.com/Michael-Bray/e/B009GH9XCO/

 

 

 

 

 

GUEST POST: ANDREW LENNON

My first guest post is by my friend and fellow author Andrew Lennon. Andrew is one of the nicest guys in the business and his new short story collection, A Taste of Fear is well worth checking out. I’ll hand over to him now and let him tell you more!


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When Michael Bray asked if I wanted to do a guest blog on his site I was a little bit nervous. I’ve never done a blog before, let alone a guest post so I’m not entirely sure what I’m going to say or how this is going to go. Just bear with me and hopefully I don’t sound like too much of an idiot.

Michael suggested that it would be a good idea to use this post to promote my new book “A Taste of Fear” which is due for release on 29th July. So here we go….

I had some short stories that I wanted to put into a collection, some had been previously published in various anthologies. Some were completely new, however once I’d finished putting the collection together, I couldn’t shake the feeling that something was missing. It just didn’t feel right to release this collection when it felt incomplete.

I was toying with various thoughts and ideas about what to add, but nothing really seemed to fit. Then Stuart Keane contacted me with edit notes for my daughter, Georgia. She has a couple of stories lined up for release with Dark Chapter Press within their anthologies “A-Z” and “Kids – Vol 2”. And that’s when it hit me. That is what would finish this collection off perfectly. If I could get a couple of stories from Georgia, then that would make the finished touch and it would also introduce people to her writing ahead of these anthology releases.

I personally think that Georgia is a fantastic writer, but being her Dad. I’m bound to say that aren’t I? It was when she submitted stories to anthologies that were accepted, and she had editors who were saying she has a gift there, and, she has a bright future in writing. I was sure that this was the right decision.

When I asked Georgia if she wanted to write a couple of stories to go in my anthology she immediately said yes and was quite excited to do so. A few weeks later she came back to me with her first story. “Dolls With Human Hair”. To say that I was jaw dropped is an understatement. I have genuinely never read anything like this before. She is really pushing the boundaries with this story. Truth be told, perhaps some readers will not like her for it, but the readers that do like it, will love it! It is, in my opinion, the best story in this collection.

A few weeks after that she came back to me with another story and a poem. Again these were both great. The emotion and description within these stories really sets a creepy vibe throughout. I really enjoyed them and I hope you do.

So anyway. That’s how this collection was completed. The description for the book will follow in a moment, if you scroll further down you will be able to read the first story in the collection in full. A flash fiction story named “Bite”.

On tonight’s menu, brought to you by Andrew Lennon.
We have a collection of short stories, each tailored to give you A Taste of Fear.
Something small to whet your appetite.

For starters we have:

Bite – A lone survivor in a zombie apocalypse
Killing Christmas – A man who loses his mind over the festive season.
Apartment 2B – A taxidermist who decides that it may be time to make his wife, his art.

On the main course we have:

Hunger – A cellar dweller who is looking for something, or someone to feed on.
Silent Scream – A group of campers who are soon to be hunted.
Meet Victor – A children’s horror tale about a haunted house.
Twins – Two sisters who invent a game, and they want people to play with.
Lake – Two lovers who are trying to escape, but can they?
Bad Day – The tale of a man who’s had too much. Eventually he will snap.

For desserts we have:

Bonus stories from Georgia Lennon.

Dolls With Human Hair.
Tomorrow Night.
I am the monster in the dark.

We hope you enjoy your meal and leave here with A Taste of Fear.

Please, come back soon.

Bite

Shovelling a spoonful of beans into his mouth, Aaron kept his eyes focused on the black and white CCTV screens. What had started as a bit of fun had quickly became a major obsession. Luckily, for Aaron, it was an obsession he had taken very seriously.

It was just over a year ago that the first news report hit the TV stations. Experts had no other word for them: Zombies. The cause was uncertain. If there was anybody who actually knew how the outbreak began, or knew of the person responsible, they were either dead or keeping quiet for their own safety.

Nobody could have imagined just how quickly the outbreak would spread. Local authorities were powerless to fight these creatures, and the armed forces didn’t last more than a couple of days. They were able to take down a lot of them with effective headshots, but a killer that is both fearless and mindless does not back down, or slow down. Before any real damage was made from the gunfire, the soldiers were swarmed. Just a scratch from one these things was enough to infect you. The movies had lied; it wasn’t just a bite that you had to fear. If they could reach you, you were a goner.

Aaron had been preparing for this for years. He had been laughed at, and alienated from his family and friends. He was just the crazy person preparing for the zombie apocalypse. He didn’t even open the door for his own mother when he saw her trying to escape from the madness outside.

News reports stopped within days. Any reporters that had braved the outside world in a vain attempt of the glory report were ripped apart on camera for the viewers at home. For a while, Aaron was able to keep an eye on things through online videos. People would film the carnage from their bedroom windows and then upload them to YouTube, but they hadn’t prepared the way Aaron had. They didn’t have a year’s worth of food, or steel reinforced doors. After a couple of weeks, people stopped uploading the online videos. The only thing Aaron had left to check were his own CCTV cameras.

At first, he had been scared at the sight of his neighbours being ripped apart outside his home, but then he remembered how all of these people had treated him. Now he was safe inside and they were the stupid ones. He laughed, it didn’t matter that nobody was there to hear him. The pleasure he took in finding out that he was right after all this time gave him a great sense of joy.

Now, his eyes still watched the cameras, waiting for some sign of movement. The cameras had never been so quiet. Victims had stopped appearing on the cameras within a couple of months, but until last week, there had always been several zombies prowling the streets, sometimes even sniffing around the door, as if they knew he was inside. Now, the outside world looked empty, still. Could it be that these things had died off? There were several lifeless figures lying on the ground, but Aaron wasn’t willing to risk checking just yet. If the zombies really had died, then that meant there were no more people for them to feed on.

Could it be possible that he was one of the only remaining survivors left on the planet? He licked his lips at this thought. He had resisted this temptation for over a year, but now if the evidence looked to be true, then Aaron would be responsible for repopulation.

He threw the empty tin on the floor, wiped the spilt beans from his chest, and then walked to the spare bedroom. That’s where he’d left her, still chained to the wall, a young girl. Splitting his rations with her for all this time was now going to pay off. All that waiting would be worthwhile. The wait would make it so much more pleasurable.

Perspiration began to form around his upper lip. The young girl must have sensed the look in Aaron’s eyes because she screamed and cowered back into the corner. There was a sense of fear and self-preservation that he thought she had given up on a long time ago. He was hoping that the fight would be completely gone out of her, and that this would be an easy task.

“Now, dear,” he said through his heavy breathing. “There’s no use making a fuss, this is for the good of humanity. We have to do this to save the world.”

The girl didn’t say anything, she just screamed in response, frantically trying to free herself from the shackles.

“Calm down.” He licked his lips and edged towards her. “It’s all going to be alri … OW!

He smacked the side of his neck where he had felt a tiny pinprick. He looked at his palm to see a tiny squashed insect. A mosquito.

Aaron’s eyes turned blood red.

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You can pre order “A Taste of Fear by going to:

Amazon UK: https://www.amazon.co.uk/Taste-Fear-Collection-Horror-Stories-ebook/dp/B01F3O6ZWO/

Amazon USA: http://amzn.to/2abC3CM

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Thanks to Andrew for submitting his post and being my first ever blog guest! If you want to check out more of his work you can find his website at: http://www.andrewlennon.co.uk/ 

 if you a writer and are interested in posting a guest post of your own, let me know!