Halloweentown

Sorry for all the posts lately, it’s been a busy time with the release of Deadly Reflections and taking part in the treasure hunt. But today we’re giving you THREE Halloween treats. No trickery involved.

The first treat is a Halloween flash fiction we wrote for Eve Jacob’s blog. We had the idea after visiting the Edinburgh Dungeons, but didn’t have a chance to write it. So when Eve asked for Halloween flash fiction, we knew this was our chance. It’s called House of Wolves and follows Ripley and Tristan as they visit a haunted house attraction on Halloween and find that some monsters are real. Read it here.

Our second treat is a crazy/awkward interview we did with Anya Breton. Find out what we think of robots, which of our characters we’d like to bring to life and that wouldn’t be such a good idea. Check it out here.

And our third and final treat is from L K Jay, our fellow ghost hunter. Her ghost story, The Listening Post is FREE today and tomorrow. Who doesn’t love a ghost story on Halloween? Download it here UK    USA

And here’s a random picture of our pumpkins.051

HAPPY HALLOWEEN!

 

Halloween Treats

As Halloween is galloping towards us like the headless horsemen, it’s time to go trick or treating. Except the only trick you have to do is find the answers to the following questions then protect your sweet bucket from any ghouls who may try to steal it and run down the long, dark path to Ravens Retreat (here) to leave your answers at the door. As it’s Halloweek, we’ll also be giving away a copy of our ghost story collection, Deadly Reflections. So you get to win four books!

First, go knock on Reece’s door and search his crypt for these answers:

Reece’s blog

  1. What is the final book in the Buan trilogy called?
  2. What is Reece’s secondary career outside of writing?
  3. How old was Reece when he started writing?

Now creep over to Jeremy’s and rummage around in his creepy basement to find these answers:

Jeremy’s blog

  1. What are Razorbacks?
  2. What does Jeremy have in common with Orion?
  3. What is the name of the board game in The Orion Chronicles?

Time to brave the dank corridors of Ravens Retreat (don’t mind the patients; they’re already dead) and search for these answers:

C L Raven’s blog

  1. Which company did C L Raven threaten to invade with glitter guns and make them sparkle like a Twilight vampire?
  2. In Soul Asylum, in what year did the East Wing burn down?
  3. What did Calamityville Horror do when they were meant to be doing a vigil in the Skirrid Inn?

Did you survive? Post the answers in the comments and the first 3 correct answers will win. Happy hunting!

Ghost Punting

CambridgeIt’s been a while since we went ghost hunting with fellow writer L K Jay and Cambridge had been planned since last year so this weekend we finally managed to meet up and travel to Huntingdon. It’s three and a half hours from Cardiff, which meant waking at an ungodly hour – 5:45 a.m. It should be illegal to be up at that hour. Perhaps it wouldn’t have been so bad, if we hadn’t still been awake at 2:00 a.m. The week before any trip will always be a bad week for sleeping, due to pre-trip/packing anxiety. We’re pretty sure it was Red Bull driving General Pinkinton. Either that or we’re great at driving whilst asleep 😀 When we stopped at the Services, some guy shouted “I like your suspenders!” at Cat – she was wearing bright orange and black stripy tights. We refused to acknowledge him, so he kept shouting it then he and his mate stood way too close behind us on the escalator. One centimetre closer and we would’ve kicked them back down the escalator. We try to avoid human contact and being space invaded by strangers is the fastest way to having our fists lodged in your oesophagus. Listen dickwads – if you are too stupid to realise that suspenders are a belt worn around the waist to hold up stockings and are not in fact tights, then we are not even going to waste the energy it would take to flip you the bird. These guys are the reason the Eugenics debate still rages.

Then the junction we wanted to get to Huntingdon was closed because of an accident. The entire stretch of road was blocked off, leading to us being diverted. Somehow we still managed to get there. After arriving in Huntingdon, we dumped our stuff, grabbed our cameras then caught the bus to Cambridge. We were fascinated by the weird bus road – it was a specialised bus route with strips of road separated by large rectangular gaps filled with weeds and grass. We thought perhaps the council couldn’t afford to fill in the road properly, but it turns out they were car traps to prevent cars from using the road. On our journey we passed fields owned by Ministry of Defence. One of the fields had cows in it. So we concluded that a herd of cattle is actually protecting our country. They must be some kind of super soldier. We have to congratulate them – it’s a great disguise. It will totally fool any enemies.

016As we got to King’s College in Cambridge, we saw students in their mortar boards and gowns. It was graduation day, which meant we couldn’t get into any of the colleges to do some ghost hunting. L K Jay’s an ex Cambridge graduate so her Cam card is like a key to the city, but today they’d changed the locks. We always manage to visit a place on the same day that some big event is on that we didn’t know about it. It’s a gift. There was also a scavenger hunt, so there were runners clutching maps trying to fight their way through the crowds. We were tempted to tackle one of them and steal their map so we could navigate through the crowded streets, but we didn’t fancy our chances of outrunning them.

Then as we reached a section of shops, we heard a fire alarm blaring. Everyone was being evacuated. A little while later when we returned, the road was closed off and there was a fire engine parked up. It turned out to be a bomb scare.

We definitely picked a fine day to visit.

008We visited a haunted bookshop, which is haunted by a little girl whose presence is always detected with the scent of violets. The bookshop is tiny and smells of old books. We would have liked to stay there for a while, but you could only really get three people in there comfortably, so we didn’t have the room to explore properly. We went to see a haunted photography shop, where people have seen a ghost standing on the stairs. We made our way to Peterhall, the oldest college in Cambridge. There used to be a shadowy figure that lurked above the gate. Anyone who saw it supposedly committed suicide. Priests performed an exorcism in the 1960s and there haven’t been any sightings or suicides since. Right by Peterhall was a hidden graveyard. Naturally we explored it.

021As we were in Cambridge, we had to have the full experience, so booked to go on a punt ride. You can hire the punts and control them yourself, but that sounded like a recipe for disaster, so we decided the safest thing for everyone would be to have a guide. We didn’t bring a change of clothes, so didn’t particularly want to end up in the Cam, delighting the other tourists. Our guide, Max, was great and told us lots of interesting facts about the bridges and the colleges. The whole time we were there, we were desperate to see someone fall into the Cam (don’t judge, we know we’re bad people) and on the way back, we got our wish. Well, Cat did. She was lucky enough to witness a man falling off the punt into the river 😀 We’re hoping the camcorder captured the momentous occasion, but if it didn’t, there’s plenty of footage of ducks and geese for you to enjoy.

CambridgeIn the evening we went on a ghost walk around the city. Cambridge has a lot of ghosts so we didn’t get to hear about all of them. During the Black Death, Cambridge’s priests were dying and the townspeople were terrified that without a priest, the dead’s souls would be at unrest. So they built a college to train more priests. It was a spooky building and is apparently haunted by Reverend Butts (no laughing at the back). He hanged himself and was found by one of the choir boys, with his dog lying beneath him, apparently waiting for help to arrive, rather than fetching help. There’s now a statue of the dog. Though to be fair, our boys also would have sat there, rather than gone for help. The cats would eat us. It’s also haunted by a man and woman. He was a student, she was the daughter of someone important (it’s been a tiring time, so forgive our bad memories). They’d met for a clandestine tryst in her room. When her father came home, she stashed her lover in the linen press. Her father told her they were going on holiday to their country home, her bags had been packed and the carriage was waiting. The college was then locked over the holidays. Three weeks later, she returned home and when she opened the linen press, her rotting boyfriend fell into her arms. There wasn’t a handle on the other side. She died not long later and her father went against her wishes and buried her away from her lover. But their ghosts now meet up at night and walk hand in hand until dawn when they go to their different churchyards. The guide thought it a romantic story. Yes, we also find the idea of your decomposing boyfriend falling into your arms highly romantic. Mills and Boon is filled with that sort of stuff.

075Turned out, near where that college stands, used to be a ditch to protect the city. It soon got filled with rubbish, rotten food and you guessed it, bodies. Then they filled it in. We were basically standing on a giant grave. And some of the houses are now sinking into the ditch. Can’t help thinking someone should’ve drawn the ditch on a map years ago. Then just to add to the random things that seemed to stalk us in Cambridge, our bus out got held up by someone being put in the back of an ambulance. It seems we might have jinxed this historic city.

On our way home we seemed to drive right into the storm that is heading for the UK tonight. Pinky is not good in high winds. He was like a pink pinball being buffeted along the motorways. Crossing motorway bridges or passing lorries turned a normal drive into a fairground ride. A weekend of accidents, ghost hunting, people falling into rivers and a bomb scare. Cambridge will definitely not be forgotten!050

Treasure Seekers

Welcome to week 4 of the treasure hunt! This time there is shiny new booty added to the buried treasure – $10 Amazon voucher! Here are the answers you need to find:

The answers to the following questions can be found on www.TheOrionChronicles.com

  1. What are the names of Orion’s parents?
  2. What is the name of the Card Game Jeremy created for The Orion Chronicles: Curse of the Phantom Brotherhood? (You can LEARN THE GAMES if you want).
  3. What does Francine make Orion in the 3rd chapter of The Orion Chronicles: The Journal of Forgotten Secrets?

The answers to these questions will be found on www.CLRaven.wordpress.com

  1. What is the name of C L Raven’s newest book? (Out now on Amazon by the way)
  2. What’s the name of the movie considered to be the twins’ favorite?
  3. The twins stayed in “the Mecca for Ghost Hunters.” Name it.

These answers will located on the pages of www.ReeceBridger.com

  1. Why does Reece write what he does?
  2. What is Reece’s Twitter handle? (Great way to contact him by the way.)
  3. What is the name of the main villain for Reece’s newest work, Company of Heroes?

Don’t forget to ready yer crew and sail to Jeremy’s blog to be the first to deposit the treasure.

Release the Ghosts!

Deadly Reflections C L Raven, Lizzie RoseDeadly Reflections is out now! It’s available on Amazon and Smashwords . For once the launch has gone smoothly and there hasn’t been a single meltdown from us. Which is rare on launch days. If you want to see the trailer for Deadly Reflections, check it out here.

In true gothic style, the heavens opened, accompanied by atmospheric thunderstorms. Unfortunately there was no lightning.

It will be out in print, probably next month.

Here’s the blurb:

Death is only the beginning…

You’re born, you live and you die. And sometimes, you come back.

When the veil between life and death is torn down, the darkest souls crawl from the shadows to wander the world that rejected them.

But these are not the restless spirits that haunt the pages of folklore, or the childishly gruesome tales whispered over torchlight. These are the ghosts that dwell in the deepest dungeons of your imagination and prey on you when you think you’re alone: bored ghosts trapped in the monotony of office life at the Scare Department; a haunted jail where the prisoners believe in revenge over rehabilitation; a mirror that steals the souls of whoever falls under its spell; and a ghost bride who makes sure the wedding vows are never broken.

Thirteen stories that prove the monsters in your mind might just be real.

The past is no longer a nightmare.

Deadly Reflections Cover Reveal

Ladies and gentlemen, we are gathered here today to witness the unveiling of Deadly Reflections’ cover! *insert applause* It gives us great pleasure to share our beautiful cover. It’s a combined effort of stunning artwork from Lizzie Rose (check out her page here) and typography from Ryan Ashcroft from Love Your Covers. *tugs rope to part curtains.* *smiles nervously. Tugs harder. Pole falls down to an embarrassed silence.*

We give you Deadly Reflections!

Deadly Reflections C L Raven, Lizzie Rose

Treasure Island

Have ye repaired your ships from the canon attacks from the other treasure hunters? Are ye ready to set sail to be the first to claim the treasure? Here be the map ye need:

From the darkened corridors of Ravens Retreat, ye must find the answers to these questions:

  1. What album do the twins think would be their ‘Death Row album’?
  2. Which debut novelist visited the twins on the 1st of August last year?
  3. What kind of car does the main character in Soul Asylum drive?

Time to turn your ships to face the Atlantic and sail to the shores of the Orion Chronicles for the booty of Jeremy Shory:

  1. What is a grouping of Fangtooths known as?
  2. What is Jeremy’s birth year?
  3. What organisation do Leslie and the ‘mysterious man’ discuss in the prologue of ‘Curse of the Phantom Brotherhood’?

Now race the other ships back across the Atlantic and invade the shores of Reece Bridger:

  1. What sport does Reece engage in besides scuba diving and kayaking?
  2. What is Reece’s favourite genre of music?
  3. In Reece’s opinion, what is the worst job to have during the Apocalypse?

Found all the treasure? Be amongst the first three to stake your claim on Reece’s blog to win.

Here be Treasure

Welcome to the second week of the scavenger hunt! Are your ships still intact from battling other pirates for the booty? Are your canons restocked and ready to fire at the other ships circling the treasure? Have you sent the smallest crew member to the crows nest? Then check your compass and it shall lead you to your heart’s desire! Free ebooks!

The Onion ChroniclesSoul Asylum C L Ravenreece

If you want to read the blurbs to these blogs, check them out here

Enter the dark corridors of Ravens Retreat to find the answers to these questions. Beware the patients. Some of them are hungry for revenge.

  1. What is the title of our Horsemen of the Apocalypse WIP novel?
  2. What happened when we visited Soul Asylum’s real life location?
  3. In which cursed Calamityville Horror location did us and team member, Neen, perform zumba moves, to the horror of our tour group?

Board yer vessels and sail across the Severn to the shores of the olde enemy, England and dig for the treasure on Reece’s blog.

  1. What does Reece usually wear for good luck?
  2. What does Reece have in common with Tim Burton, Courtney Love, Dan Aykroyd and Mozart?
  3. What is the name of the villain in the second book in the Buan trilogy Company of Heroes?

Raise yer anchors and turns the sails to cross the treacherous Atlantic Ocean to Jeremy’s blog and beware the Sirens which await ye.

  1. What are the names of Jeremy’s gorgeous Golden Retrievers?
  2. What did try to do to his wife when she had a horrible cold?
  3. What is the name of the world Orion stumbles into?

Avast! Grab the booty and sail as though the kraken has been released! The first three pirates to return to Ravens Retreat with the correct answers will win all 3 books.

Are you ready?

 

Trick or Treat

Halloween is galloping towards us like the four horsemen of the Apocalypse and as excited as we are about the best day of the year, we’re trying to focus on Deadly Reflections. It will be out soon and if you’re a subscriber to the Ravens Retreat newsletter, the ravens should have delivered the scroll containing the opening 600 words of Paranormality, the first story in the collection. If you’d like the ravens to deliver you that same October treat, sign up here.

But we thought it would only be fair if our faithful blog followers also got a spooky treat, so here in keeping with our recent ghost hunting expedition where we tried to find the Gwrach y Rhibyn, here’s an extract from The Witching Hour, where you’ll get to meet her in all her fleshy glory.

The Witching Hour

Something stirred in the water. My K2 meter bleeped once, its red lights flashing. I pressed record on my digital voice recorder.

“EVP at Caerphilly Castle waiting for the moat hag.”

I checked the video camera had plenty of battery life. I needed backup in case the photos were blurry, although if they were too clear, I would be branded a fraud and shunned. Photoshop would become complicit in my crime.

My hands shook from excitement as I zoomed in, finger on the button like a trigger-happy executioner in a firing squad. I stepped closer, my black fishtail skirt clinging to my legs. The K2 bleeped twice. I hoped this wouldn’t mirror old horror films where you spend the entire film waiting to see the monster, only to find he came from Funzo’s Fancy Dress Shop and not the bowels of Hell.

“Come on,” I whispered. “I’m not catching hypothermia for a rubber mask.”

I had been here every evening of Halloweek. People took one look at my Gothic clothes and presumed I was here to open the gateway to the spirit realm and release the demons to walk the earth so they could feast on the souls of those destined for the fiery lakes. Perhaps I was, but I wasn’t about to admit that. I didn’t want them branding me as a stereotype.

Bubbles popped on the surface. Another ripple distorted the moat. The K2 bleeped slowly, like a life support machine about to die, the needle climbing towards the red zone. This was it. This was the moment that made showering with my clothes on worth it. I hoped the bubbles were from the creature I sought. I didn’t want to spend all night in the rain and catch pneumonia only to find I had photographed a frog.

A shadow crept across the moat then vanished. This was the moment I unveiled the legend for all its brutal reality. This was the moment I brought the dead to life.

The moat yawned, water gushing off the entity that rose from the hellacious depths.

She was real.

And she definitely wasn’t a frog. The K2 responded urgently, its lights staying on red as it bleeped like a TV presenter having a swearing fit. My finger instinctively pressed the shutter button. The flash banished the darkness; a thrown lightning bolt as the storm gods waged war in the skies. Dark hair trailed down her waxy face like matted seaweed. Funereal, ragged robes shrouded her skeletal form, like a supermodel displaying the latest Halloween Collection. Wizened decaying skin caressed her bones. Not even Hollywood could conjure this horror, even after five hours in the makeup chair. Guttural moans escaped her peeling lips. I snapped off photos, praying my camera captured the nightmare. Unfortunately, my Panasonic didn’t have Monster Mode on its settings. But she was real.

The Gwrach y Rhibyn.

She was one tourist attraction you didn’t want your photo taken with.

Unsurprisingly, she didn’t feature in the guide book of Things to See and Do in Wales.

I scanned the stragglers patrolling the castle. Nobody glanced her way. Not even the resident ducks and geese noticed her. I was privy to a private performance. I hoped the after show party wasn’t in Satan’s palace.

Her wails were a siren song of suffering. Piercing eyes were sunken into her repulsive face. Bat wings fanned out, beating the air. Her talons clawed the water, her screeching suddenly dying. She smiled, revealing gruesome razor sharp teeth set in decomposing gums. As she disappeared into her gloomy watery grave, she hissed her next victim’s name.

“Saffron.”

My name.

Scavenger Hunt

Alright ye filthy landlubbers, ’tis time to hoist the mainsail, raise the anchor and steer yer fine vessels into the treacherous seas in search of treasure. Here be the first scavenger hunt.

The first three landlubbers to reply with all the correct answers will win a FREE copy of The Orion Chronicles: The Journal of Forgotten Secrets by Jeremy Shory, BUAN: The Perfect Mortals by Reece Bridger, and Soul Asylum by the dread pirates C L Raven. All answers for this one will have to be posted on Jeremy’s Blog here.

The Onion Chronicles        Soul Asylum C L Ravenreece

If you’ve read the rules to this contest then you’ll know you’ll have to answer three (3) questions for each of our websites. If you haven’t read them yet, you can check out the gist of the contest here: (add link here). Without further ado, let’s get the party started.

The answers to the following questions can be found on www.TheOrionChronicles.com

  1. What are the colors of the Spellcaster Flag?
  2. What is the name of the first character we are introduced to in The Journal of Forgotten Secrets?
  3. What is the name of the period of time when a Paranormal loses their previous abilities and inherit their new Paranormal abilities?

The answers to these questions will be found on our blog.

  1. What Horror movie legend took time to pose with us (and his famous prop) when wevisited ComiCon: Cardiff?
  2. What is the name of the character who works for “the paper” and unexpectedly shows up looking for a tour in Chapter 1 of Soul Asylum?
  3. What do we not believe in, but are “desperate to be proved wrong?”

These answers will located on the pages of www.ReeceBridger.com

  1. How many words did Company of Heroes end up at?
  2. What is the name of the main characters in The Perfect Mortals?
  3. What instrument does Reece play in his college band?

Don’t forget to post the answers to Jeremy’s blog. Good luck!