Was Jack the Ripper Actually Jill?

This is a fascinating article that presents a historical possibility that most of us have never considered. Was Jack actually Jill?

By sheer coincidence, I am currently enjoying Nicole Maniscalco’s ‘Stalking Jack the Ripper’ on audiobook, so the premise of this article really appeals to me, and the details discussed in it are some with which I have become more familiar over the past week.

Still, one doesn’t need to know the ins and outs of the case to understand this article’s insights and arguments about what is arguably the greatest unsolved true crime spree in history.

Both this article and Maniscalco’s book, either as a novel or audiobook, are excellent.

Longreads

Tori Telfer | Longreads | March 2019 | 16 minutes (4,226 words)

Before the Zodiac Killer named himself, before someone strangled poor JonBenét, before the Black Dahlia was sliced open, and before Tupac and Biggie were shot six months apart under eerily similar circumstances, someone was slinking through the slums of London, killing women.

This someone — a shadowy aichmomaniac, possibly wearing a bloody apron — left the women of the Whitechapel district in shocking disarray. Their intestines were thrown over their shoulders; cultish markings were carved into their cheeks. One of them was found without her heart. To most people who saw the crime scenes or read the papers, everything about this appeared to be the work of a man — the brutality, the strength, the misogyny. And so in 1888, when people started looking for the Ripper, they were looking for…well, for a Jack. Was he a mad…

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Current Status: A Weekend Escape!

We have taken the opportunity presented by the Labour Day long weekend to get away for a few days. 

Between teaching, writing, maintaining a positive authorly presence on social media,  rehearsing a show and caring for my elderly father, there is a chance I may have been slightly overdoing things lately. 

I’ve been having muscular spasms in my back, too, which are most unpleasant. Because of them, I have been minimising the amount of time I spend sitting, which makes each school day extra tiring too. 

On Tuesday morning, my hubby texted me with “We’re going away for the weekend. Don’t know where yet, just going.”

He ended up choosing a spot at Henty Bay on the south western coast, a bit further west than Narrawong where we spend time every January. 

The weather is glorious, with sunshine and a cool breeze keeping temperatures in the low 20s Celsius. 

We’ve walked along the beach and enjoyed the water washing around our feet. We’ve walked along the rock wall that protects the dunes from erosion, and enjoyed an afternoon of reading, relaxing and doing… not much. 

Photo by WordyNerdBird 2019.

What a wonderful thing to be able to escape and unwind a bit in the midst of a busy school term!

I’m really thankful for my husband looking out for my health and making sure I don’t work myself into the ground. 

I’m also very thankful for all of those people who fought and campaigned for working conditions that ensured time off for workers, which is why we celebrate Labour Day in the first place. 

Life will be back to its normal pace before I know it. Until then, I’m going to enjoy the down time and count a few more blessings.

No More Tiptoeing Through The Tulips.

I love tulips. They are lovely and graceful, and so colourful!  

My goodness, though, they’re delicate. It doesn’t take much to make a tulip wilt and bend its head to the ground. One might be tempted to think that a flower that needs to have its bulb frozen during winter in order to bloom might be a little more resilient… but apparently not.

I’ve come to the conclusion that a lot of the people in my circles— not all, but a hefty percentage of them— are like tulips. As long as the environment suits them, they are fine, but when they are unhappy for some reason, they just don’t cope. It doesn’t take much to upset the balance: just do something they find confronting. The more brave and nonconformist the act, the stronger the effect.

Don’t get me wrong: I do like most of the people in my circles. 

What I don’t like is having to kowtow to their apparent discomfort about certain things that matter to me, when they demonstrate zero tolerance to who and what I am. 

I am weary of having to live with the perpetual awareness that many people I know don’t mind me being an author as long as I never mention it. Some wouldn’t mind my multiple ear piercings either if I grew my hair longer to cover them. Others don’t mind my tattoos as long as my clothes hide them. They feign politeness when I talk about the theatre company I’m in or the musicals I direct at school, but very few of them have ever bought a ticket and come to see a show. And let’s not even start on how they feel about my political views. 

And yes. Those very different things get exactly the same reaction from a lot of people.

It’s ridiculous, and I’m over it. 

I am not less than them. 
I do not matter less than they do. 
My feelings, thoughts, passions and pursuits matter just as much as theirs do. 
I am as worthy of their interest and respect as they are of mine.

And I am very proud of my poetry and my stories… and of my shows. I’m rather fond of my tattoos and piercings too, for that matter. 

What I write happens to be pretty darned good: all those reviews my books receive from strangers are proof of that. Why should I hide my work under a cloak of secrecy when they can freely discuss being a builder, a butcher, a baker or a candlestick maker?

Nobody looks at them with thinly veiled suspicion. Nobody questions if what they build or make is any good. Nobody asks how much money they make per job. Nobody asks if their kids are real, or if they are any good. 
They are all quite free and welcome to talk about their kids in front of me even though I don’t have any, and I certainly don’t respond as though they are trying to sell me a child.

So, no more tiptoeing around. I won’t be shoving a book in their face at every opportunity — that’s not me — but I’m not going to allow others to pretend they don’t exist, either. They don’t have to read my work, but they will know that I expect their respect and acknowledgment.

I will not allow other people to treat me as less than I am.

I will not allow them to suppress my thoughts and feelings. 
I will call people out on double standards. 
I will refuse to be made to feel small.
I will be as diplomatic and gentle as I can, but I will assert myself.

And if they insist, I will know they are not really my people, and were never really in my circle.

Sylvermoon Chronicles VII: A New Release Anthology

Sylvermoon Chronicles is an annual short story anthology created by The Confederacy of the Quill, an international writers’ cooperative. I am very proud to have one of my stories, Contaminus, included in the 2019 issue of this highly regarded anthology series.

While the book releases on Valentines Day, it should not be mistaken for a romance collection.

Rather, I like to think of it as a gift for those who, like me, would sooner read genres other than lovey-dovey romance, and a welcome distraction from all the kissy-face sentimentality often associated with February 14th. The Sylvermoon Chronicles series features stories in the genres of Science Fiction, Fantasy, Horror, and Adventure. 

It is an honor to be published in a series which I have very much enjoyed as a reader, alongside a number of authors whose work I have previously read, reviewed and fangirled over. I was both excited and slightly surprised when my story was accepted, especially given the inspiration behind the writing of Contaminus.

New worlds await you in the newest Sylvermoon Chronicles collection, which hit the shelves today. The ebook is widely available now, and the paperback will be available soon. 

Women in Horror: Baileigh Higgins

Baileigh Higgins, author of the bestselling Zombie Apocalypse Series, Dangerous Days, lives in the Free State, South Africa, with hubby and best friend Brendan and loves nothing more than lazing on the couch with pizza and a bad horror movie. Her unhealthy obsession with the end of the world has led to numerous books on the subject and a secret bunker only she knows the location of. 


Gen z – The Undead Adventures of Chas

For birthday girl Chas, life just got a whole lot weirder…

Chasity is celebrating her fourteenth birthday at the local fair when zombies crash the party, stranding her and her two best friends on the Ferris wheel. With a bird’s eye view of the carnage below, they have to use their wits to survive.

Grab your cotton candy and run…

Unarmed and outnumbered, they face a perilous journey through a once idyllic community in the hopes of reaching their loved ones. With only each other to rely on, Chas and her friends are pushed to their limits as the undead hordes close in. Can they make it to safety in time to avoid becoming another human happy meal?

Refuge is just a few blocks away…

Customer Review: H. Bala TOP 100 REVIEWER 5.0 out of 5 stars 
FYI: a zombie outbreak does not a good birthday present make


Last Another Day

Humanity falls…

Survival is just the beginning…

Trapped in the shower by her undead husband, Morgan prays for rescue but quickly realizes she’s on her own. She escapes, only to find that the horror has spread and now threatens everything she holds dear. With each passing moment, death becomes more certain.

The Zombie Apocalypse has begun…

 Logan returns to his childhood home and teams up with Max, an army deserter racing against the clock to save his family. When the infection outruns them, they face the real possibility that everyone they know is already dead. Or worse, undead.

All it takes is one mistake…

As the sun sets against the backdrop of the African veldt and living nightmares walk the streets in the shape of their loved one’s bodies, humanity’s last hope rests in the hands of ordinary men and women called to do extraordinary things.

Review: Brianna Mace5.0 out of 5 stars
Fast paced and full of action!
I LOVED this book. You can’t help but love many of the characters. If you like zombies, then this is a must read zombie story. Lots of action and lots of gore, you won’t get bored reading this one. It made me emotional at times. Can’t wait to read the next one!


Visit Baileigh’s website at www.baileighhiggins.com to get the latest news on all her projects including a FREE starter library for new subscribers.

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You can find and follow Baileigh Higgins on
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WordPress V Facebook

I found this blog post interesting, and what Kazzmoss says here is true: WordPress is a great community, and you can do everything here that you do on Facebook.

I guess, though, that people like the “pretty” and the “instant” rather than thinking about and choosing what they read and see. Facebook is, in some ways, a monument to mental laziness.

The Magic of Stories

I was reading a post on Instagram where someone wondering whether to start a blog. Of course, I immediately came on and said yes, and extolled the virtues of WordPress.

It was only as I was doing so; I realised just what a community WordPress is. Suddenly I began comparing it to Facebook.

For a long time Facebook has ruled our lives. We writers have built platforms there, a place to tell everyone about our books and blogs. We have a friends list and can comment, like, and share. It is a community.

That’s when it occurred to me that WordPress is the same, only better. Everything we can do on Facebook, we can do with WordPress.

Unfortunately, Facebook dislikes books links on your personal page, they want you to put them on your business page. Then, they restrict the amount of views its gets because they would like you…

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Introducing: Lac Du Mort!

Lac Du Mort is available for preorder now, in anticipation of its August 24 release.

I’m very excited to reveal the cover for my upcoming release, Lac Du Mort and Other Stories. 

This breathtaking cover is the work of Renee Gauthier at RM Designs.
Thank you, Renee, for a top quality piece of work that definitely has that “chilling story” feeling about it.

Lac Du Mort 6x9

From the macabre to the deeply disturbing, Lac Du Mort and Other Stories delivers eight chilling tales that will please lovers of horror and dark fiction.  

The title means ‘lake of death’, which is also the title of the first story in this collection of original and evocative tales. These stories often draw on typically Australian settings that add an extra layer of originality and interest, and there is actually a town not far from where I live named ‘Mortlake’, which means the same thing. I wonder how many locals have thought about that! However, I don’t want to be held responsible for a decrease in tourism or business in the area, so Lac Du Mort was probably a better choice.

There is one story that contains some mature content, so this is a book for grownups rather than YA audiences.

Preorders are now open on Google Play, Kobo, and Amazon, and will be opening soon in other digital stores. You can reserve your copy via jvlpoet.link/ldm

This is a ‘universal book link’ that will allow you to choose from among the stores in which the book is available, or to your preferred store if you’ve already set your preference at books2read.com.

It’s “all systems go” for release on August 24, when Lac Du Mort will slide happily into the device of everyone who has preordered. Some of the stores are offering a discount for preorders, so that’s a great way to support an author, grab a great new read, and get a bargain at the same time!

Lac Du Mort will also be available in paperback from a wide range of stores, for those who prefer staring at dead trees instead of glass.

Mayday Madness!

Are you looking for some great book bargains?

Take a look at these fabulous sale items, just for May Day!
Various genres, for all interests.

Thank you to the generous authors who offer these discounts so that we can fill up our devices with fantastic reads!

Working Title Blogspot

Fill up your Kindle for less dosh today!

All the books below are only 99p/99c on May 1st. Why not check them out and see if anything floats your boat?

Fantasy

zpop100

Aaspa’s Eyes by Jane Jago
Wyrd Creatures and overweening ambition.

Dark Space Opera

zpop1000Trust A Few by E.M. Swift-Hook
The ‘City has always been a dangerous place to live: now it’s lethal.

Sci-fi

Zpop1
Generational by Norman Turrell
Things are not as they seem on Eos.

Fantasy

zpop12Salvation’s Dawn by Joe Jackson
War is coming to seven worlds…

Fantasy Romance

zpop700The Lion and the Tiger by Lyra Shanti
Lovers and warriors, immortal in love.

Fantasy

zpop13Royal Tournament by Richard H. Stephens
To win, you must be prepared to die.

Medical Sci-fi

zpop600Bud by the Grace of God by S. E. Sasaki
Could you love an android willing to sacrifice itself to save you?

Fantasy

perf5.500x8.500.inddWrath of the Fury Blade by

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Weekend Wind Down – Spouse Errant

I’ve just read this brilliant story, and I’m passing it on so that you can enjoy it, too.

Please remember to “like” the story when you’re done. 🙂

Working Title Blogspot

When a man who never talks at breakfast clears his throat meaningfully at eight o’clock on a Monday morning, it’s an even bet he has something momentous to say. Jill Franklin looked at her husband to signify her attentiveness then waited for him to speak. He cleared his throat again.

“I’ve been a bit of a prat.”

She raised her eyebrows.

“What sort of a prat?”

“The usual sort.”

“With?”

“Secretary.”

Jill fought the sudden temptation to throw the contents of her large cappuccino in his handsome face. Instead, she sighed.

“That’s such a cliche. Middle-aged man. New young secretary. I find myself insulted.”

He had the grace to blush.

“Yeah. I suppose you might at that. Look. I’m sorry. But it gets worse.”

“Worse than rank stupidity?”

“Much worse. She wants to marry me. And her uncle is Maximilian Shaw.”

“Jim. You are beyond idiocy. Whatever possessed you to…

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