The House on Beaumont Grove: The End.

J. S. Collyer:

For Halloween, the last instalment of ‘The House on Beaumont Grove’ by horror writer M J Wesolowski. This is an extremely intense story as it happens to be true.

Links to all previous sections in this post. Be sure to read them all, and get in touch with the writer to see if you have Ny explanations

Originally posted on Beyond The North Waves:

Part 1

Part 2

Part 3

What the priest must have thought when three half-dressed and hysterical teenage girls, with bare feet, tangled hair and makeup streaming down their faces came clattering into Beaumont Grove Polish Orthodox church as the congregation filed out after Sunday mass is anyone’s guess.

By Sunday morning, the regular occupants of Wynwood house had left early; Carla, Marney and Rose remained.

“I don’t pray.” Rose said.

“Me neither.”

The ding of the telephone handset still resonated from when Marney had put it down. She looked to the others, back and forth.

“My grandma’s a medium,” She said, frowning. “She knows what to do.”

The others looked at their feet. Chipped toenail polish. The stained, threadbare carpet beneath.

“She said we have to. If anything happens, we have to pray.

Rose tried not to think of the flame that flickered from beneath the grill this…

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Who is Jessica B. Bell? Find out, if you dare…

J. S. Collyer:

More on Who Is Jessica

Originally posted on The D/A Dialogues:

Jessica Promo 6Who is Jessica? It’s the collaborative story taking the interwebs by its creepy storm. It’s a hashtag – heck, it’s a Twitter handle, and soon, it will also be a website.

Check out the ongoing serial over at Helena Hann-Basquiat’s internet abode. There are four parts so far for your reading enjoyment – but be warned: you’ll want to start at the beginning to fully appreciate the abyss you’ll be staring into in order to understand the question: who is Jessica B. Bell?

JESSICA: Part One | Part Two | Part Three | Part Four

And, while you’re over at Helena’s, check out her exciting news on that upcoming website . . .

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JESSICA – Part Four

J. S. Collyer:

Part 4 of A group of writers’ attempts to answer the question ‘who is Jessica Bell’ is out! With contributions from many writers, including yours truly, this collaborative work is spooky speculation for Halloween. Check the original post for more info and links to parts 1 – 3 if you’ve missed them

Originally posted on Being the Memoirs of Helena Hann-Basquiat, Dilettante:

NOTE: if you are not a weekend reader, and/or you’ve missed parts one, two or three…. READ FIRST

PART ONE

PART TWO

PART THREE

——

August 20, 2001 

I think I’ve found her. After all these years of keeping my eyes and ears open for stories of the unusual – no matter how strange or unbelievable – I believe that she may have actually come back to me. Whether she is aware of my existence, or whether this is just a coincidence, I don’t know, and that uncertainty frightens me.

I have been at Arcadia Heights now for nearly thirty years, and I have seen a great many things that have baffled and confounded me. There have been cases of what some might have called multiple personality disorder but were, in fact, elaborate frauds, sometimes carried out by the patient, and sometimes, it’s sad to say, carried out by psychiatrists…

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JESSICA – Part One

J. S. Collyer:

Who is Jessica Bell? Read on to try and find out…if you dare

Originally posted on Being the Memoirs of Helena Hann-Basquiat, Dilettante:

“She’s gone,” I cried, running carelessly up the creaky basement stairs. If I wasn’t careful, I could trip and break my neck.

“Who?” Penny asked. My niece had been ignoring my frantic behaviour for the past half hour, but she finally broke her silence.

“Jessica,” I said. “She’s just… gone.”

There are rumours that I keep a writer trapped in my basement, chained to a chair, writing stories by candlelight in her own blood on dirty yellowed parchment, but I assure you, those rumours are exaggerations, darlings. Jessica is and always was here of her own free will. She’s a strange one, I’ll give you that, but I didn’t abuse her. You have to believe me.

“Where would she go?” Penny wondered. “I mean, does she have any family, or friends, or…”

I looked at Penny as if to ask what she was thinking, or rather, to remember who…

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MISSING

J. S. Collyer:

Keep your eyes peeled, folks. Someone’s missing…and you don’t necessarily want to find her.

Tomorrow sees the launch of a collaborative effort where writers have come together in an attempt to answer one question…who is Jessica Bell.

Truth can be stranger than fiction…

Originally posted on Being the Memoirs of Helena Hann-Basquiat, Dilettante:

HAVE YOU SEEN JESSICA?

TAKE 2TAKE 1

Contact Helena or Penny via Twitter @hhbasquiat #Jessica #WhoIsJessica

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How Much Are You Willing to Believe? Truth is Stranger than Fiction

J. S. Collyer:

For this, the horror season, get ready for something new. Something scary. Something with a question…

A horror calibration edited and moulded by the inimitable Helena Hann-Basquait with contributions from myself and other members of the armies of darkness, COMING SOON

Originally posted on Being the Memoirs of Helena Hann-Basquiat, Dilettante:

Jessica Promo 3

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Mickey and friends in human form are more charming than we had imagined! 【Pics】

J. S. Collyer:

This is doing all sorts of things to my head…Micky and Minnie I’m finding slightly sinister and yet I find myself quite fancying Timone! But whatever it’s doing to my brain, the talent behind them is unbelievable and the drawings beautiful. Wonderful start to Saturday!

Originally posted on RocketNews24:

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Disney and their ever-expanding lineup of charismatic characters continue to capture the hearts of children and adults alike. The biggest hit of the year is Frozen with its double princess lineup, but even though Elsa and Anna are tremendously popular, when we think of Disney, the first image that comes to mind is still that of a certain talking mouse and his chirpy giggle.

That’s right, Mickey Mouse! And his gang of talking animal friends, of course. Although Mickey and friends wear clothes and talk and sing and dance, they are still not quite as human as they sometimes seem. Have you ever imagined what Mickey and Donald would look like as humans? Personally, I haven’t; not until now. Check out these fabulous “humanized” Disney characters drawn by Japanese illustrator Chaico!

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The House on Beaumont Grove : a true ghost story…coming soon…

J. S. Collyer:

Well…I’m already scared

Originally posted on Beyond The North Waves:

For a summer, back in the mid 1990s, I lived in a haunted house.

Really.

Some of us, in retrospect, agreed that the thing that drove three of the girls into the street in their pyjamas one morning, in tears to the local church was a poltergeist rather than an actual haunting; we were never entirely certain. None of us are, to this day.

There were things in that house that we all saw, which none of us can explain.

All of this is true.

What I saw was real and so frightening I will never, ever forget it.

I will change the names of those involved and the name of the location; apart from that, I will be as truthful to what happened as I can.

Nothing will be exaggerated in terms of what we saw that summer.

Halloween is coming.

My story is too.

Stay tuned.

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From One Retreat to Another

The sands at Grange-Over-Sands are all at once eerie, beautiful, overwhelming and inspiring

The sands are all at once eerie, beautiful, overwhelming and inspiring

Well, good evening all and greetings to my new followers. Great to have you on board! Long may we continue.

I have now returned from my Grange-Over-Sands writing retreat, and what a great retreat it was. I highly recommend it as a location for any writer. Moody, atmospheric countryside and promenades for those inspirational walks, an almost endless supply of top-quality afternoon teas, and, the most important thing a writer needs, peace and quiet.

I have returned with a great deal of progress accomplished on my current WIP and the great feeling that accompanies such an achievement.

In fact, I don’t want to jinx it…but I feel nearly done. The first draft, anyway. There is still the unchartered heights and pitfalls of the re-drafting, editing and streamlining to navigate…but I must confess, that’s the bit of writing novels I love the most so I’m just looking forward to getting to that point.

(More info on this current WIP as and when I can release it. I know, I’m a tease. But I’m hoping it will be worth the wait!)

It's always important to have a break. I went creature-spotting in the woods

It’s always important to have a break. I went creature-spotting in the woods

Further to this end, I’m taking myself off again this weekend to bury myself back in the draft and get it as fettled as possible. I’m just heading home to Shropshire this time, to a quiet corner of my parents’ living room, not far from their well-stocked kitchen (how come parents always have a loads of food? And good food, too. No Sainsbury’s own 11p noodles in sight) and a leafy park for walks to clear my head.

Here’s looking to managing another shed load more progress by this time next week.

In the meantime, so you don’t miss me too much, as well as for the seasonal proverbial and giggles, if you would like to win the chance to actually appear in my next novel, head on over to my Facebook page for a ‘like and share’ competition! Share…if you dare, mwahahaha! Because, after all, anyone who has read my debut science fiction novel Zero or my short fiction knows how I treat my characters. It’s not always with hugs and a gentle, guiding hand.

Sometimes there are machetes.

So consider yourself warned! But there’s got to be some appeal in the potential for adventure!

The competition closes at midnight on the 31st October so get clicking! And get that imagination whirling. You can even choose what sort of character you would like to be!

And, since it is that time of year, also…I think I feel a new ghost story coming on…

It's also important that it not be all work and no play. Here's a hard-earned break with an even harder-earned traditional cream tea whilst looking out over the sands. Jolly good, too.

It’s also important that it not be all work and no play. Here’s a hard-earned break with an even harder-earned traditional cream tea whilst looking out over the sands. Jolly good, too.

Will get one sorted for a Halloween posting for your reading pleasure…or pain mwahaha.

If you have any challenges for a Halloween short story, hit me up!

I do likes a challenge.

In the meantime, keep it real chums! Don’t forget my space-pirate romp Zero is out now on Amazon in paperbook and for kindle. You can also keep track of me on Facebook and Twitter for updates and more, but either way, I’ll see you on the other side of this draft!

Bon soir!

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Hello from The Pit and Book Review of ‘Convergence’ by Michael Patrick Hicks

Hello there and greetings to all, both to new followers and old faithfuls. Sorry if I’m echoing, but these greetings are coming to you from the depths of the Writing Pit.

I am currently pretty much a permanent resident of said Pit. As I hinted at in my last post I have one of those things: a deadline. So this Pit comes complete with a Pendulum.

Tell me you didn’t see that one coming.

As I always say, however, progress is steady. Which is genuinely is if you make the time to write and keep yourself engaged with your draft.

Thus, I soldier on and you will be the first to know whenever I get a chance to come up for air.

Further to this aim, I am off on a writing retreat this weekend. I am really excited. I can honestly say nothing compares to the productivity you achieve when you go away somewhere and concentrate on nothing but writing. Fingers crossed for reaching of heady new heights of production and engagement this weekend.

Grange Over Sands, the chocolate box town

Grange Over Sands, the chocolate box town

My usual haunt, Gladstone’s Residential Library in Cheshire was, unfortunately, fully booked so I am instead taking full advantage of the wonderful countryside that is just on my doorstep and staying in a hotel in Grange-Over-Sands, Cumbria. Horror writer M. J. Wesolowski of The Black Land has used this location as a retreat in the past and his description of the remote location and chocolate-box town has won me over.

Magical Spirited Away Train

Magical Spirited Away Train

I scouted it out last weekend and it is like a fairy tale town. The train goes over an estuary, complete with egrets, and the station is right on the water. If anyone has ever seen Spirited Away, it’s just like the train ride Chihiro takes across the water. Inspirational or what?

So I will no doubt check in from there, for sanity’s sake if nothing else.

In the meantime, I simply couldn’t wait any longer to give you my review of this SciFi novel I read last month by Michael Patrick Hicks: the unparalleled Convergence.

Enjoy the review, stay tuned and, if you’re looking for action, drama and adventure in your Autumn night reading, head to Amazon for a copy of Convergence!

(If you’re after two of a kind, my debut SciFi Space Pirate romp, Zero, is also out on Amazon in paperback & ebook form and still receiving consistently positive reviews ^_^)

Convergence‘: Michael Patrick Hicks

A SciFi adventure with action, emotion and drama. available on Amazon

A SciFi adventure with action, emotion and drama. available on Amazon

Convergence is the first of Michael Patrick Hicks, SciFi writer’s books that I’ve read. And, boy, was it an action-packed blast of a novel.

It’s set in a post-revolutionary America where the oppressive establishment has rounded up those who have so far survived the take-over into refugee camps little better than internment camps. There’s security checks, poor rations, poor living conditions. Crammed into these camps are what once were the ordinary people of modern day America, suddenly without jobs, homes or stability. Families have been split up or destroyed and every semblance of their lives overturned.

The main character, Jonah Everitt, has tried desperately to find a way to scrape by with his sanity in tact, whilst trying to keep his daughter alive and manage an ever-increasing need to experience other people’s memories.

Surgically implanted computer ports in the brain are the norm for people of this generation, allowing them to upload and download the memories and thoughts of themselves and others, meaning they can relive moments of intense emotion whenever they choose. But in this war-torn world, what began as a recreational and commercial activity is now at once a commodity and weapon. Information is power and with people’s thoughts and memories recorded and stored and accessible by others, literally everyone’s information is up for grabs.

It’s when there’s information that more than one person is, with power, weapons and influence, is after it that the problems really start to escalate.

Convergence is fast-paced, full of action and a thrilling ride from start to finish. Everitt struggles even more than he perhaps realises to cope with the hand that’s been dealt him, and sometimes makes questionable decisions in his fight for survival. But you’re right there with him and want him to succeed, however he goes about it. You ache for his redemption, or even just a crumb of comfort or stability, right along with him.

The language is clipped and bold, which is what you want for this kind of story. It keeps the prose active and doesn’t tell you what to think. You come away with your own ideas about the situations and the characters but cannot entirely argue that you wouldn’t be doing the same things were you in their shoes, be they friend or enemy.

The plot is many-layered and intricately woven. The narrative stays tight, focusing on Everitt’s journey, but you learn of the vast reality that’s the backdrop to his experiences. This is how I love to explore fictional worlds rife with intrigue, strife and wide-reaching ramifications: through the eyes of one or two characters only. It makes you feel like you’re living in it with them. Disturbing as this can be at times, it makes the narrative real, which is what I like in my escapism. I want to believe. And with Hicks, I do.

There is violence, depth of feeling, explosions, car chases and tenderness. The book has everything and is perfect for those who like their SciFi gritty, edgy and realistic.

May there be many more.

Pick up a copy of Convergence from Amazon today, and/or find out more on Goodreads!

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