Dark Visions: an anthology of 34 horror stories from 27 authors: Volume 2 (The Box Under The Bed) Dan Alatorre and 26 others! #BookReview

A short while ago, I was approached by Robbie Cheadle, a great blogger buddy of mine, with a request.

She is branching out into writing horror fiction – another string to her already impressive bow, wife, mother, children’s author, baker, blogger, financial whizz… and now this too!

Robbie has had two stories chosen to be included in a new collection of spooky short tales, the second volume of Dan Alatorre’s collections, named Dark Visions: an anthology of 34 horror stories from 27 authors: Volume 2 (The Box Under The Bed)

She wondered whether I may have the time to peruse this collection, which includes 34 short horror stories, perfect for this time of year, and possibly leave a review.

And I have to say, I jumped at the chance! I have had the first volume on my TBR pile since it was published, and haven’t been able to read it yet, but I cleared my schedule last weekend and got reading.

I wasn’t disappointed!

Alongside Robbie’s tales are stories from other familiar indie authors, many of whom I have followed, admired and read for a while. You will have heard of them, I am sure!

Dan Alatorre, Jenifer Ruff (Everett), Allison Maruska ,  J. A. Allen, MD Walker, Juliet Nubel,  Dabney Farmer, Sharon E. Cathcart, Heather Kindt, Bonnie Lyons, Sharon Connell, Geoff LePard, Anne Marie Andrus, Christine Valentor, BA Helberg, Ernesto San Giacomo, Alana Turner, Nick Vossen, Robbie Cheadle, Betty Valentine, Frank Parker, Bonnie Lyons, Lori Micken, Chuck Jackson, Ellen Best, Victoria Clapton

It was truly a (spooky) pleasure to read!

My Review:

If you like to be able to dip in and out of a collection of spooky stories at your pleasure, then this is definitely a book for you!
A wonderful anthology filled with various delights ranging from the ghoulish to the gruesome!
I especially enjoyed the tale of a troublesome mother who helped her son’s business in a truly bloody manner, thanks to Geoff LePard, titled Ice Cream.
Robbie Cheadle’s tale The Haunting Of William was another that left me spooked out! For the record, that William deserved to get haunted!
Ellen Best’s entry, The Documentary is a short, sharp shocker too!
If I could, I would review each and every story, but that would defeat the purpose of you reading for yourself, so I urge you to take a chance on this fantastic collection of tales, perfect for the month of October, and Halloween!

My Rating: ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐

Goodreads Review: here

Amazon Review: here

Available to buy on Amazon now! Click here to buy.

Chai and a Chat – #2 #ChaiAndAChat

Well hello there!

A week has gone by and it is definitely time for our weekly catch up over a chai, or any beverage you fancy!

Chai and a Chat

  • If we were sipping a chai together, I’d tell you that my exhaustion has not stopped. In fact, it near killed me at the beginning of the week, with a two-day migraine, that got me sent home from school on Monday and kept me off on Tuesday too. I even missed a trip to take the children to the library, so you know it was bad!
  • If we were sipping a chai together, I’d tell you I was pretty nervous about going back to school, but that everything was actually pretty good in the end!
  • If we were sipping chai together, I’d let you know that another extremely special BBF of mine had her 45th birthday, and we celebrated by her drinking her pink gin present, followed by me getting another migraine!
  • If we were sipping chai together, I’d be complaining about the fact that my taxi service is back in service now too, now that Lil Man’s indoor Cricket training has started up! Meh!
  • If we were sipping chai together, I’d be discussing the 11+ tests, and telling you how hard it was to see and hear about the children who had passed/failed – cried/jumped for joy, all for this selective education that is not actually accessible to everyone, and the results of which can affect a child negatively, if they think, at 11, that they failed.
  • If we were sipping chai together, I’d confess that I have become a Baby Shark addict and that I play it as a get-up and dance song with my nursery children on the two days I am in charge of them!
  • If we were sipping chai together, I’d tell you that we had a wonderful Friday evening with my Brother in Law and his wife. It was an impromptu evening full of food, drink and a whole lot of belly laughter!
  • If we were sipping chai together, I’d mention that we had a day out as a family on Saturday and I had the joy of taking a certain young lady for her first bra fitting – EEEK! We went to the cinema and watched Night School, which was really funny, but also touched upon Special Educational Needs – a topic close to my heart.
  • If we were sipping chai together, I’d say that Sunday was almost idyllic, with me sitting on the sofa most of the day, unless I needed to feed people, reading. My perfect downtime.
  • If we were sipping chai together, I would tell you that Pops cataract operation went really well, and hopefully, the follow-up appointment will be positive, resulting in him getting a date for the other eye op too!
  • If we were sipping chai together, I’d be showing off my lovely french manicured nails too. I do love a fresh set of nails!!!

And for the week ahead?

  • If we were sipping that chai together, and possibly reaching for cake or cookies, I’d let you know that I am trying not to count down, as every day is a new day, but that this is the last week before our October half term week off! 
  • I would mention that it is harvest festival at school this week and that I need to remember the donations for the food banks that my kids need to take in!

So, what’s your week been like, and what are you looking forward to?

If you want, drop a line in the comments, or even link back to this with a Chai and a Chat post of your own!

#writephoto regulars ~ Ritu Raps

Please head on over to Sue’s to check out my rap… Yes… I rapped! It’s recorded and posted on her blog for posterity!!!

Sue Vincent’s Daily Echo

I asked the writephoto challenge regulars if they would like to come over and introduce themselves. The first one to do so is Ritu Bhathal, from But I Smile Anyway.

Without those of you who write and read the pieces inspired by he weekly photos, the prompt would not exist.

So, if you follow or take part in the weekly challenge, why not drop me a line?


“So,” wrote Ritu, “I sat here, thinking of what to do… and instead of a ramble about general stuff, I came up with a rap!”

The Ritu Rap

Well hello there,

My name is Ritu

I’m here to introduce

Myself to you

Who am I?

And why should you care?

So I’m a creative person

And I got good hair!

I like to write poems

All different styles

And I like to spin tales

Short, or lasting miles!

I’ve dabbled in singing

View original post 446 more words

Sue Vincent's Daily Echo

I asked the writephoto challenge regulars if they would like to come over and introduce themselves. The first one to do so is Ritu Bhathal, from But I Smile Anyway.

Without those of you who write and read the pieces inspired by he weekly photos, the prompt would not exist.

So, if you follow or take part in the weekly challenge, why not drop me a line?


“So,” wrote Ritu, “I sat here, thinking of what to do… and instead of a ramble about general stuff, I came up with a rap!”

The Ritu Rap

Well hello there,

My name is Ritu

I’m here to introduce

Myself to you

Who am I?

And why should you care?

So I’m a creative person

And I got good hair!

I like to write poems

All different styles

And I like to spin tales

Short, or lasting miles!

I’ve dabbled in singing

View original post 446 more words

Spidey’s Serene Sunday – Part 191

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“Almost everything will work again if you unplug it for a few minutes… including you.” Anne Lamott

Thanks, Spidey!

I think we may have read this one together before, but it is so important, I’m glad Spidey brought it to my attention again.

I am constantly on the go; work, family and writing.

It is non-stop, seriously, and I didn’t understand before, the importance of putting myself first at times, and listening to my body telling me I needed time away from the rigours of life.

But I have managed to balance things now, and learned to spot the signals that I need to rest, break away from normality for a while, in order that I stay on track for 99% of the time.

No one can be on it 100% of the time, but we just need to learn when to switch off, and charge up!

I’ll sleep, watch films of programmes I never get a chance to, read, potter about my house, that is what I need to ground myself.

How do you unplug? 😘

Have a peaceful Sunday Peeps ❤ And enjoy your week!

Writer’s Tag

Thank you Simon, of Planet Simon blog, for tagging me in this Writers Tag!

☆ Post the Tag and Image on your blog (see above).

☆ Thank whoever nominated you and give a link back to their blog.

☆ Mention the creators of the tag and link back to their blogs.

☆ Nominate 6+ deserving bloggers and notify your nominees by commenting on their
blogs.

This Writers Tag was created by Lorraine Ambers and Ari Meghlen.  Click on the highlighted names to check out their blogs and don’t forget to leave a comment to tell them that you’ve played the fun Writers Tag so they can connect with you too.

So let’s get started with this fun, quick-fire Writers Tag and get to know each other a little better. 

The Questions!

  1. Name one novel that inspired you to write – I have to say Enid Blyton’s books carried me to another world as a child and made me want to write stories!
  2. What’s your favourite genre to write and read? – pre-blogging I was a bonafide Chick Lit reader. the stories I wrote seemed to have that chick lit flavour to them too. But since blogging, I have been introduced to so many different genres, I don’t think I can actually say I have a preference to read any more! Writing-wise is the same. I have tried a few different styles and find that they all satisfy me as a writer!
  3.  Do you prefer to write stand-alone or series? Having only been in this writing game a short while, I can honestly say I have only written one full-length novel, and it was designed to be a stand-alone, though since finishing, there is a possible novella spin-off that could be written!
  4. Use 3 words to describe yourself – eclectic, positive, loopy
  5. Reveal your WIP aesthetics or an image that represents your MC or setting.  Ooh, this is hard! On my mock-up cover, I used this image… Mock Up cover
  6. How long did your first MS take to draft? Mine was an epic journey and the idea and first words were written in 2001. The last words of the first draft were typed in April of 2018… my teenage WIP turned adult!
  7. Who is your author idol?  Having had the pleasure of getting to know her, my author idol is Amanda Prowse, best-selling author of over twenty books. Her story of how she got to where she is now is inspirational. She started out as an indie, like many out there, and her sheer graft was rewarded by an agent approaching her and a fantastic publishing deal… and the best thing? She is so down to earth!
  8. Share a writing memory that made you determined to carry on. Reading my WIP out aloud to my children, and them wanting me to carry on reading this story!
  9. Tell us something surprising or unique about yourself. I don’t think there is anything surprising, or unique about me! I’m a run of the mill British Indian, born to parents of Indian descent, but born in Kenya, themselves!
  10. Share the hardest part about being a writer and how you overcame it. Time. I think time, for me, was the biggest factor, and I knew with my teaching career, that things like NaNo, though amazing, would never work for me, timing wise. So instead, I created my own writing month, RiNoWriMo, in August last year, which was when I managed to add 50,000 words + to my now finished first draft!
  11. What’s your favourite social media and why? Share your link. Oh I have to say I love far too many! Facebook for the camaraderie and interaction, Instagram because I love sharing and looking at photos, and Twitter for the ease of sharing!
  12. Share some uplifting wisdom in six words or less – Never give up on your dreams ❤

To my nominees, here are the questions for you to copy should you wish to play this tag. I’ve left them the same as the question I was given… 

  • Name one novel that inspired you to write.
  • What’s your favourite genre to write and read?
  • Do you prefer to write stand-alone or series?
  • Use 3 words to describe yourself
  • Reveal your WIP aesthetics or an image that represents your MC or setting.
  • How long did your first MS take to draft?
  • Who is your author idol?
  • Share a writing memory that made you determined to carry on.
  • Tell us something surprising or unique about yourself.
  • Share the hardest part about being a writer and how you overcame it.
  • What’s your favourite social media and why? Share your link.
  • Share some uplifting wisdom in six words or less

I nominate:

All my writer friends that are out there in the blogosphere!!!!!

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