For Those who Prefer Bookish Treats for Easter

If you’d like a bookish Easter treat for Easter,
you’re welcome to join in the

Sparkly Badgers’ Easter Egg Hunt

All you have to do is start here, find the egg hidden on each blog or website, arrange the letters, and follow the instructions to claim an ebook of your choice from the organisers.

The hunt officially begins on Good Friday.

One winner will receive a lovely Easter gift which includes chocolate and a copy of each book on offer.

For more information, see the Sparkly Badgers’ Easter Egg Hunt page on Facebook.

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A Few Picture Books to Celebrate Women’s History Month

This is a wonderful collection of children’s books that celebrate significant women in history.

I’m also very encouraged to see that the women featured in these stories are from different countries and cultures.

What a brilliant way to celebrate Women’s History Month in a way that inspires and educates our kids!

Pernille Ripp

Last week, before the calendar switched to March, I changed our book displays in our classroom. Not because we stop celebrating Black history and excellence but because we wanted to add the component of females in history.

I was asked if I would share my list here, and while I don’t mind sharing it, I will say that it has holes. While I wanted to showcase an inclusive mix of picture books, I am still adding picture books that go beyond the well-known stories. I feel like there are many unknown women whose picture books are not on our shelves at the moment, so I am working on finding these for the future. I also want to continue to work on including more indigenous or First Nation stories, as well as stories of women who defy the narrow definition of their gender.

So what is gracing our shelves right now?

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Women In Horror: Joanne Van Leerdam

Women in Horror Month: Featured Author: Joanne Van Leerdam

Joanne is an Australian writer of horror, poetry, and occasionally fantasy stories. Her tag line is ‘Poetry with soul. Horror with none.”

She lives near Warrnambool in regional Victoria, Australia, with her husband and two furbabies.  She spends four days a week teaching senior high school  English, History and Drama/Production. She is an active member and performer in Camperdown Theatre Company. Her hobbies include reading, music, travel and photography. 

Joanne loves travelling, and has visited many places in Australia as well as holidaying in New Zealand, Fiji, the USA and Canada at different times. Other than Australia, eastern Canada is her favourite place in the world, and she’s proud to have been adopted as an ‘honorary Canadian’. 

Joanne is the author of  thought-provoking and profound poetry, horror and short stories. She has won a number of awards for her books ‘New Horizons’, ‘Nova’ and ‘The Silver Feather’.

Joanne writes horror with a strong element of poetic justice, especially those stories that focus on Friday, a magical black cat with a devilishly strong sense of right and wrong. 
Other stories explore various types of horror – fright, the unexplained, fear of the unknown, and the macabre. 

The Silver Feather

A graveyard.
A talisman.
A confrontation with evil personified.

When Phil loses the girl he loves, life as he knows it comes to a screeching halt. Little does  he realise that there is so much more yet to be lost. 

A haunting, macabre tale that will please all lovers of horror and dark fiction.

Reader Review: ” A delightful tale that begins in the prosaic world of unrequited high school romance, only to suddenly veer into a shadowed realm of loss, violence and evil. Van Leerdam’s writing is crisp and insightful, her protagonist achingly real, and I guarantee you will devour this dark confection in a single sitting. Highly recommended.” on Amazon

Lac du Mort and Other Stories

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.  

These macabre tales that will make you look over your shoulder at moments you never expected to.

Reader Review: “Well written, fresh horror grabbing at the reader from a the first story. A few tales stab at the mind, some tear away at blood and bone. We get one visit to hell. I am a fan.” on Amazon

Curious Things

Stories about a magical black cat, superstition and strange events. 
Friday is a black cat with a lucky habit of being present when curious things take place.He’s highly intelligent, fiercely loyal and devilishly handsome.

Curious Things delivers thirteen stories of people encountering justice for their wrongdoings, all as Friday watches on. Is he responsible? Or is it just lucky coincidence that he is present when these strange events take place?

If you’ve ever wished for karma to move a little faster, indulged in uncharitable thoughts about certain annoying people, or suspected that having a black cat cross your path was not quite as unlucky as people seem to think, this book is for you.

Reader Review: “Vengeance may be sweet—but, meting out justice vigilante-style just isn’t practical. Then along comes Friday, a black cat whose intelligence and curiosity gets the better of those who deserve their just desserts. Obvious or implied, Friday shows up where the wrath of Biblical justice is called for. And, it’s so gratifying to watch the gruesome details unfold!” on Amazon

You can find and follow Joanne Van Leerdam on
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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: Lily Luchesi

Women In Horror Month: Featured Author: Lily Luchesi

Lily Luchesi is the USA Today bestselling and award-winning author of the Paranormal Detectives Series, published by Vamptasy Publishing. She also has short stories included in multiple bestselling anthologies, and a successful dark erotica retelling of Dracula.
Her Coven Series has successfully topped Amazon’s Hot New Releases list consecutively.
She is also the editor, curator and contributing author of Vamptasy Publishing’s Damsels of Distress anthology, which celebrates strong female characters in horror and paranormal fiction.

Lily was born in Chicago, Illinois, and now resides in Los Angeles, California. Ever since she was a toddler her mother noticed her tendency for being interested in all things “dark”. At two she became infatuated with vampires and ghosts, and that infatuation turned into a lifestyle. She is also an out member of the LGBT+ community. When she’s not writing, she’s going to rock concerts, getting tattooed, watching the CW, or reading manga. And drinking copious amounts of coffee.

In Lily’s Own Words:

The horror I write is mostly urban fantasy mixed with horror. My author tagline is “horror with heart” because I believe, deep down, everything has light in it. Whether it’s a rogue vampire in the streets of Downtown Chicago or demons controlled by Nazis in World War Two, a story has to be more than just darkness, more than the “gore factor”. A true horror story has to have heart. It’s why the horror elements are elevated: when characters (and readers) are given something to care about, what rips it away is even worse. And I firmly believe, even in the most horrific situations, light wins in the end.

My stories are more than violence, though I have plenty of that. My stories are about people. The characters drive the stories, and in caring about them, you find yourself cringing when they’re injured, or when they fail to prevent an innocent victim from being torn to pieces or having their soul eaten.My books are about the half vampire who hates existing, disgusted by her hunger for blood. They’re about a psychic who wants to die rather than dream about those he cares for being tortured. A siren who was persecuted, first for being a monster and again for being Jewish. They’re about a teenage girl who has to fight against the evil that lives in her veins.Horror is more than a monster or torture. Horror is what lurks in the dark corners of our minds.

Stake-Out (Paranormal Detectives Book One)

In a city overrun with the undead, an ex-cop is given a chance to get revenge…
Danny Mancini is on a case, following a murder suspect. When he catches him, he finds out that the perp isn’t even human: he’s a 200 year old rogue vampire!
The department doesn’t believe him, and puts him on early retirement, despite his many years of service to the Chicago Police Department, which sends him into a downward spiral.
Two years later, Danny gets an invitation from the beautiful, young and very attractive Detective Angelica Cross to join a secret branch of the FBI to help her track down Vincent, the wayward vamp.
But renegade werewolves, meddling immortal witches and Danny’s strange visions of a life lived a century ago with Angelica make things more difficult than it should be.

Reader Review: “Fast paced, action packed, entertaining and emotional.”Adventures of Sacakat

The Coven Princess (The Coven Series Book One)

Your blood does not define you.
Harley Torrance’s parents were killed in a home invasion when she was three. Adopted by a nice couple, Harley begins to develop strange powers. At fourteen she brews a potion so strong it gains the attention of the Coven King, and changes her world forever.
She’s not human, she’s a witch.
Now a part of the magical community, Harley must learn to control her powers lest the Darkness already in her blood overcomes her. Can she dampen her lust for power in order to stop the Dark from taking over the Coven and killing everyone in their way? 

Reader Review: “Luchesi kept the whimsy and wonder inherent in magical YA novels while exploring the darker side of the magical world and those who dwell in it. It’s everything I dreamed of in a magical YA novel and more!”On My Kindle

Never Again

In this standalone spin-off of the Paranormal Detectives Series, we discover the true horrors during Hitler’s reign.
In World War Two, not all monsters were human.

Male siren Sean Wireman was ostracised from his small village in Israel in the sixteenth century, forced to wander the world until he settled in America in the 1920’s. Since he doesn’t age like a normal person, he was fit to fight in World War Two, to defend the heritage he spent his whole life running from.

Seventy years later, after he has lived a whole other life since Hitler was defeated, from attending law school to becoming a bona fide rock star, the monsters the Nazis released upon the Jews in concentration camps have returned, and he is the only one who can destroy them.
But can he save his people once again, or will this fight take a deadly toll?

Reader Review: “The truthful elements woven into the fantastical produced an unstoppable read that will surely please current fans and those looking for a historical ride filled with both legitimacy and the dark paranormal. The rich historical elements were expertly dropped in context instead of sounding like a lesson, serving to add a realistic twist to Sean’s life and anchoring the reader to his story.”Knightingale Reviews

WordyNerdBird’s note:
I have just finished reading ‘Never Again’, and it really is an excellent horror read. Make sure you check Book Squirrel’s book blog for the review!

You can find and follow Lily Luchesi on
FACEBOOK | TWITTER | INSTAGRAM | GOODREADS  
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Women in Horror: Faith Marlow

Women in Horror Month Featured Author: Faith Marlow

Faith Marlow is a dark fantasy/ paranormal/ horror author with Vamptasy Publishing, an imprint of CHBB. Her stories stir emotions and explore the thin veil between human and the inhuman. Dark, yet inviting and familiar, Faith seeks to deliver chills with a sense of class, and sometimes a bit of heat. With each story, she hopes to build exposure for fellow women authors and artists who create horror.

Being Mrs. Dracula

When Valeria’s hand was given in marriage to the handsome and powerful Count Vlad Dracula, she dreamed of happiness but instead her life was filled with longing for her absent husband, their country ravaged by war. When Vlad at last returned from the battlefield he was a changed man, an alluring and dangerous creature with a thirst for her blood…and for more wives. For over one hundred years, tales of Count Dracula have haunted and seduced the imagination of readers worldwide. Now experience the story of Dracula from a new perspective, as told by the three women who knew him best. Discover their stories, their secrets, and find out what it would be to love and be loved by history’s most powerful vampire in Being Mrs. Dracula. In a marriage that spans centuries, one man shared between three women, love may be eternal but happiness is not guaranteed.

Read a customer review of Being Mrs Dracula here.

Soul Syndicate

A soul is a heavy burden to bear.
There’s a gala celebrating the city and many notable celebrities are attending, including a rock star, a socialite, a baseball player, and an entertainment reporter. Each of them is notable in their own right, and each one holding a secret.
When they all get stuck in an elevator together after the gala is over, they think that that is the worst thing that could happen to them…until the doors finally open.
The world as they knew it has gone, now they have poppies attached to their chests and are facing down soulless friends, family, and strangers, including a crotchety old woman and a former drag queen.
It’s a battle for the ultimate prize: their souls and the souls of everyone else on Earth. Can they save the world, or will these disparate individuals kill each other first?

Read a customer review of Soul Syndicate here.

Another Beautiful Nightmare: Women of Horror Anthology (Book 2)

Witches brew and demons howl
Vampires lurk and zombies scowl
Full moon rising over shadow and sin
Thick fog and whispers on the wind
Welcome to our Beautiful Nightmare…again.

WordyNerdBird’s note:
Another Beautiful Nightmare is a new release anthology by excellent authors, some of whom are featured on this blog this month. I have read and thoroughly enjoyed the first anthology and some individual works by the authors included in this new collection, so I’m very keen to read this book!

You can find and follow Faith Marlow on
FACEBOOK | TWITTER | INSTAGRAM | AMAZON | GOODREADS

Red Cape Publishing’s Book Choices for Women In Horror Month – February 2019

Originally posted on Red Cape Publishing:
February is Women in Horror Month, and this is why we bring to you a fantastic selection of books from female authors, in a variety of sub-genres. Have a browse, pick up a few new books, and maybe even discover your new favourite author. Starblood by Carmilla Voiez Star…

In this post, Red Cape Publishing presents a shelf full of excellent horror books by female authors in honour of Women In Horror Month.

I’ve added a few to my own shelf, and I would encourage you to peruse the titles presented here and do the same.

Red Cape Publishing

February is Women in Horror Month, and this is why we bring to you a fantastic selection of books from female authors, in a variety of sub-genres. Have a browse, pick up a few new books, and maybe even discover your new favourite author.

Digital 3D Illustration of a gothic FemaleStarblood by Carmilla Voiez

Star craves freedom, but her lover, Satori, refuses to let her go. He casts a spell to make her love him again, opening a gateway through which Lilith, mother of demons, enters their lives.
​Lilith serves no man. Instead she seduces Star, assuring her that there is no shame in love, only completion. Thus begins a strange and terrible love triangle that leads them to Scotland and the Cairngorm mountains. Purchase here

hellhoundHellhound by Lou Yardley

Read our review of Hellhound here

* 2018 Independent Author Network Book of the Year Awards Finalist *

The Hound & The Philosopher Inn looks like…

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A Dozen Amazing Ladies of Horror and Dark Fiction

Meet twelve amazingly talented Indie writers of horror and dark fiction.

2019 marks the tenth year of Women In Horror Month.

In honour of Women in Horror Month 2019, this post is dedicated to twelve amazingly talented Indie writers of horror and dark fiction.

If you enjoy reading horror and other genres which often blend with it such as dark fantasy, urban fantasy and dark romance, these are the authors you should follow and read.

Each of them will be featured individually on this blog in the coming weeks, but by introducing them all now, you can be following them on social media and becoming familiar with them even before their individual profiles hit the page.

Lily Lamb aka A. Drew is a Turkish Australian multi-genre indie author. She works as a nurse by day where she feeds her soul by caring for others. At night she tends to her imaginative alter-ego by writing tales involving love, passion, mystery, and horror.

FACEBOOK | TWITTER | AMAZON | BOOKBUB |

Faith Marlow is a dark fantasy/ paranormal/ horror author with Vamptasy Publishing, an imprint of CHBB. Her stories stir emotions and explore the thin veil between human and the inhuman. Dark, yet inviting and familiar, Faith seeks to deliver chills with a sense of class, and sometimes a bit of heat. With each story, she hopes to build exposure for fellow women authors and artists who create horror.

FACEBOOK | TWITTER | INSTAGRAM | AMAZON | GOODREADS

Lucretia Stanhope is the award-winning author of The Elemental Witch Trials series, featuring witches and vampires in an eternal struggle for power. She also writes horror, and paranormal romance.

FACEBOOK | TWITTER | AMAZON | GOODREADS

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. 

FACEBOOK | TWITTER | GOODREADS | BOOKBUB | WEBSITE

A.Giacomi is the author of the wildly entertaining Zombie Girl Saga, a four-part series from CHBB Publishing. She is a wife and mother two tiny humans. She is a Canadian born writer, educator, and artist. A. Giacomi is a zombie enthusiast, lover of all things Tim Burton, Shakespeare, Jane Austen, Marvel, Star Wars and just generally just loves film and literature, essentially she’s a fangirl.

FACEBOOK | TWITTER | INSTAGRAM | PINTEREST| AMAZON | GOODREADS |

Fiona Cooke is a writer, editor, poet and blogger living in the Midlands of Ireland.  She has four books published on Amazon – The Lights Went Out and Other Stories; a collection of unusual fiction in a mix of genres, What Happened in Dingle; a romantic comedy novella and two collections of gothic horror- Death Comes Calling and The Nightmare.  A Tolkien obsessive, she lives for music festivals and all things horror related. She hopes to  publish her latest horror novella – Death Dues in the near future.

FACEBOOK | TWITTER | WORDPRESS | AMAZON

S. K. Gregory writes horror, urban fantasy and paranormal romance novels. When she isn’t writing, she works as an editor and promoter for Indie authors. She resides in Northern Ireland and has been writing since she was a child.

FACEBOOK | TWITTER | INSTAGRAM | GOODREADS | BOOKBUB | WEBSITE

Lou Yardley is an Office Gremlin by day and an author by night: it’s the best time, really, as it’s when all the monsters come out to play. ‘The Other’s Voice’ (2016) was her first novel. 2018 saw her publish a delightfully gory werewolf tale called “Hellhound”, as well as a short stories “When the Sun Sets” and “The Forest”.
She currently lives with her partner Mark, and their eight cats in Greater London. When she’s not performing spreadsheet alchemy in her day job, Lou likes playing the banjo, reading, listening to the kind of metal where the vocalists growl at you, and watching B-movies.

FACEBOOK | TWITTER | INSTAGRAM | GOODREADS

Suzi Albracht lives near Annapolis, Maryland in a town called Bowie with her boyfriend, Tim. She is the author of Supernatural Horror Crime Thriller books in The Devil’s Due Collection and a Paranormal Romance/Ghost series – An OBX Haunting – that takes place in the Outer Banks of North Carolina.

FACEBOOK | TWITTER | INSTAGRAM

D.J. Doyle was raised by pot-smoking hippies and spent her days worshipping pagan deities in the HellFire Club and her nights watching horror movies and reading horror books. She now lives with her family in a treehouse, preying on unsuspecting travellers, and where she likes nothing better than coming up with ideas for new stories and plotting her next novel. Some of this might have been made up.

FACEBOOK | TWITTER | GOODREADS | WEBSITE

Joanne Van Leerdam has lived all her life in Australia, she has, thus, far, avoided being killed or consumed by any of the deadly wildlife, which is probably a good thing. Other than Australia, Canada is her favourite place in the world. 
In addition to writing powerful, thought-provoking poetry and short-but-incredibly horrifying stories, she keeps teens enthralled in her senior high school English, History and Drama/Performance classes. She is an active member and performer in her local theatre company and has directed high school musicals for ten years.  
Her poetry is contemporary, sensual, moody and easy to read – and it will get you in the feelings. Her horror fiction is deliciously creepy and macabre, and deeply satisfying.

FACEBOOK | TWITTER | INSTAGRAM | PINTEREST| WORDPRESS | AMAZON | GOODREADS | BOOKBUB | WEBSITE

Lily Luchesi is the USA Today bestselling and award-winning author of the Paranormal Detectives Series, published by Vamptasy Publishing. She also has short stories included in multiple bestselling anthologies, and a successful dark erotica retelling of Dracula.Her Coven Series has successfully topped Amazon’s Hot New Releases list consecutively.She is also the editor, curator and contributing author of Vamptasy Publishing’s Damsels of Distress anthology, which celebrates strong female characters in horror and paranormal fiction.
She was born in Chicago, Illinois, and now resides in Los Angeles, California. Ever since she was a toddler her mother noticed her tendency for being interested in all things “dark”. At two she became infatuated with vampires and ghosts, and that infatuation turned into a lifestyle. She is also an out member of the LGBT+ community. When she’s not writing, she’s going to rock concerts, getting tattooed, watching the CW, or reading manga. And drinking copious amounts of coffee.

FACEBOOK | TWITTER | INSTAGRAM | GOODREADS


‘Smoke and Shadows’ – Multitasking With Genre

This new release book is more than “just poetry”.

One of the questions authors are often asked is “What do you write?”

I used to simply answer “poetry”. Then I turned my hand to horror, so my tagline became “Poetry with soul and horror with none”. Then I wrote a couple of fantasy novellas for the Once Upon A Time Anthology.

As my 11th book hits the stores, it’s fair to say now that I am a multi-genre author. While my poetry and horror only occasionally converge, they certainly did so most effectively in A Poet’s Curse.

‘Smoke and Shadows’, though, really is a genuine multitasker when it comes to genre. It’s much more than “just poetry”.

In the pages of this book, you will find:
Fantasy
Fairy Tale
Magical realism
Allegory
Mystery
Tragedy
Humour
Reflection
True stories

Whatever genre you prefer to read, you will find ‘Smoke and Shadows’ a refreshing change of perspective.

I’m really proud of this book, and I hope you enjoy my work.

‘Smoke and Shadows’ is widely available as both paperback and ebook.

Current Status: Anticipation

There is a very particular thrill in waiting for a new book to hit the shelves.

There is something extraordinary about seeing a book you have written hit the shelves on release day.

Months of work. Writing. Refining. Painstaking editing. Preparing a marketing plan and creating ads.

And then the day comes, and you wait for the clock to tick over. Because time is a contrary beast, it drags its heels and makes you wait.

The waiting, though, is as exciting as it is tiresome. It really is a lot like waiting for Christmas or a birthday,

There is another layer of joy in this anticipation for me. After several really challenging years, it feels as though 2019 is starting in a very positive way that closes the door on those painful chapters.

That’s because while there are still poems in this collection that explore the darkness and the shadows that can plague us, there is a greater focus on looking at experiences and challenges with the clarity of hindsight that enables us to see through the deceptions and illusions to which we so often fall prey.

I see in many of these poems a fulfilment of the desperation expressed in some of my darker work. There is, quite frankly, more light and more hope .

It is that positivity and hope that I intend to carry into the new year.

So that’s where I am at this point in time.

New year. New book. New beginnings.
Bring it on!