Romance Is Dead Again

Romance Is Dead C L RavenHappy beheaded saint’s day! Once again we are celebrating/mocking this day of love with our annual collection of anti-Valentine’s stories. Romance Is Dead trilogy is out now! And you can buy it here: Amazon UK Amazon US Smashwords.


Don’t give your lover roses, give them nightmares.

Ten disturbing stories about the dangers of falling in love. Nothing says ‘I love you’ like giving your lover a heart for Valentine’s. Especially when it’s ripped from their body before they’ve drawn their last breath.

“I’d made a terrible mistake. I should have killed him in the shower.”

Gone are the expensive chocolates in fancy packaging, the wilting roses from the petrol station forecourt and the heart-print boxer shorts. Valentine’s is about to get bloody. And some unfortunate lovers will learn the true meaning of ‘til death us do part.’

Real love is worth killing for.

To celebrate we’re giving away a love spoon and a signed copy of Romance Is Dead. The signed copies aren’t here yet but you’ll get them as soon as they’re available. The competition is inspired by a game of Cards Against Humanity we were playing with our mates Tom, Amy & Bryn. All you have to do is finish this Cards Against Humanity card:

‘A romantic candlelit dinner would be incomplete without…’

You can make it as funny/dark/inappropriate as you like. In the game we played, Tom won with ‘oncoming traffic’.

You can comment here with your answers, tweet them to @clraven or comment on our Facebook page. Good luck.

Romance Isn’t Dead

Romance is Dead C L RavenWhether you’re going to celebrate Valentine’s the traditional way by beheading a saint, or the modern way by buying roses, we’re going to celebrate  by releasing Romance Is Dead! Buy it here – Amazon US  Amazon UK  Smashwords


Three dark stories that won’t give your lover butterflies, but nightmares. A fallen goddess enacts gruesome revenge on anyone who wrongs her; an artist turns a romance play into a horror story; and a hopeless romantic ensures his lovers live forever. They all share one belief: real love is worth killing for.

Finally, the last book in the anti-Valentine’s trilogy is out. It’s a sad moment. We’re going to miss our bloody attack on this romantic day. But like all monsters, this might not be the end. We’re thinking of releasing a print version next year with the three books combined, plus a bonus story. Perhaps a Trey prequel.

Siren's CallBut that’s not all. We have another gift for you. No, it’s not someone’s ripped out heart. Strangely, we couldn’t find any willing sacrifices. Our mermaid story, A Mermaid’s Kiss, has been published in Siren’s Call’s Women In Horror issue and it’s FREE to download! Download it here  We love their Miss Voorhees cover.

Bloody Valentine

Gunning Down RomanceTo celebrate St Dwynwen’s Day on January 25th, Gunning Down Romance is free all week! We started writing anti Valentine’s stories a few years ago, after being sick to death of hearts and teddies and gushing soppy Valentine’s crap that gets shoved in your face every February. Then in 2012 we decided to take the plunge and start self-publishing. We thought what better way to do it than put together our anti-Valentine’s stories and release them as a collection to help those who are sick of the holiday as we are. We only had 2 stories  – The Black Kiss and Til Death Us Do Part, both of which had been previously published. We just needed one more. And so Kiss of Death was written.

St Dwynwen’s Day is the Welsh Valentine’s Day. Dwynwen was the daughter of Brychan Brycheiniog in the 5th century. She fell in love with Maelon but her father had already arranged for her to marry someone else. Maelon raped her then left her. She prayed to God for help to forget Maelon. An angel appeared and gave her a potion that would help her forget him and turn him to ice. God then granted her three wishes. She prayed that Maelon be thawed, that true lovers find happiness together and that she never falls in love again. So we’re not exactly far out when we decided to turn Valentine’s Day into a horror celebration. After all, St Valentine was beaten with clubs and then beheaded.

Also in celebration, GDR’s sequel, Bad Romance will be free Feb 3-7th and the final in the trilogy, Romance is Dead will be released Feb 14th. Because real love is worth killing for.

Watch GDR’s trailer

Love Kills

Ok, a few days have passed since we announced our challenge to have an ebook out there for Valentine’s Day. We’ve been regretting it ever since. We knew it would be a lot of work and we only gave ourselves a month’s deadline, but we didn’t realise how many precious brain cells we would lose in the process. We can’t afford to lose any more! They’re too little and confused to be let out alone. After several more sleepless nights and frustrating days, we might actually be getting somewhere. By that we mean we haven’t checked in to the mental hospital. Yet. The Black Kiss is done and polished. Til Death Us Do Part is probably done. Kiss of Death has been extensively worked on, rewritten in parts and slaved over so much we’re sick of the sight of it. Can’t bear to look at it for a few days. So we’ve been working on our promo trailer. We thought we could have it done in a day and set about excitedly collecting royalty free images and music. We started that on Monday. Thousands of images and hundreds of songs later, our eyes and ears are bleeding from the effort and our trailer is still locked inside our heads. We don’t do anything small. We don’t just think big, we think EPIC. If we had Hollywood’s budget and talent, we would be dangerous. Instead we’ve got writers’ budget and zero talent. Just a lot of fantastic ideas that would be more beneficial in someone else’s head.

We now have three covers for Gunning Down Romance mocked up with the same graphic but different fonts. One of our FB friends gave us a link to a free font site and we spent the day hyped up on excitement. Is it weird that we get just as excited over fonts as we do over ghost tours? Simple things…Seeing the book cover keeps us focused on our task when we all want to do is run outside and scream. But that would probably bring the chuckle wagon straight to us. We’re pretty sure our mum has them on speed dial. It’s our birthday three days after Valentine’s Day so we might book a room as a present to ourselves. We have nothing else planned, we’ve been too busy with the book.

We plan to hold a book launch on Facebook on Valentine’s Day to celebrate it’s release. Might even take our laptop to the pub so we can enjoy the release of a bloody romance collection surrounded by happy couples presenting each other with wilting red roses bought from the petrol forecourt and fluffy teddies holding hearts. Since when did teddy bears become the gods of romance? They’ll be staring all googly eyed at each other, we’ll be playing anti Valentine’s songs and reading gory scenes where lovers meet a grisly end. So come Valentine’s Day, if no-one has bought their lover a cheesy cliché and wants something different, download our book. There’s romance (sort of), sex, humour, blood and scenes some readers may find disturbing.

Give your lover a Valentine’s Day they’ll never forget…

Valentine’s Slay

We’ve been so caught up in all things ebook we’ve forgotten to blog. Yes, we are that unprofessional 😀 We’ve spent so long reading up on formatting and e self publishing that our brains have reached full capacity and are now on standby preparing to hibernate. They’re also divorcing us for cruel and unusual punishment. We’re not going to contest it. We’ll just go our separate ways and look back on our fond memories of the past 28 years. *Tumbleweed blows past* They’re so full we haven’t slept properly for days and are now purely powered by Red Bull. If you put your ear against our veins, you can hear them fizzing.

We’ve discarded the idea of releasing Death’s Cold Kiss and hit upon another idea. Releasing a trilogy of bloody Valentine’s tales on Valentine’s Day. Which gives us a month. We work better when there’s a deadline because it stops us wandering off and getting distracted by shiny things. Anyhoo, the trilogy will be made up of Til Death Us Do Part (previously published in Dark Fire’s ezine), The Black Kiss, (previously published on Draven Ames’ blog) and a new story, Kiss of Death. We’ve redrafted Til Death Us Do Part and added 500 words to The Black Kiss but because their original versions are available to read for free, we’re going to price the whole trilogy at 99 cents (Smashwords are American so we presume we’ll have to price it for the American market). We feel it would be unfair to price it higher for that reason.

And we are so close to being done the tingles have started. And that’s not because we’ve only had one small Red Bull this morning. The Black Kiss is polished so much we can see our faces in it *shrieking and running behind the settee.* Til Death Us Do Part needs to be printed and checked for hidden errors and Kiss of Death is being redrafted and redrafted and redrafted and having its ending changed. We’ve done the copyright notice, the licencing agreement, the acknowledgements page, the author page and the table of contents. Just got to put everything together and format it. Our mate Ryan mocked up a cover for us last night and it looks fantastic! He’s doing another version today. At least he said he is. If he hasn’t…*fetching jump leads and car battery* we know where he lives 😉 And today we’re going to start working on our book trailer. We’re currently downloading images of hearts from Morguefile. Though most of the hearts are all lovely and Valentiney. We want images of wounded hearts, burning hearts, the type of hearts that will never feature on Valentine’s card because the image of a shattered, bloody heart just doesn’t say ‘I love you’ in a commercially acceptable way.

Just got to find creepy copyright free music for the trailer. This is so scary. It’s so different from print publication in anthologies or magazines. Once they’re published our involvement is over, except for some promotion. We don’t get feedback on it. But this is all us. If the format’s wrong, that’s our fault. If people hate the stories, that’s down to us. If it fails it’s because we haven’t worked hard enough at promoting it. We’re preparing ourselves for bad reviews. There will be bad reviews, our writing isn’t to everyone’s tastes. It kinda feels like standing in front of a giant target on a shooting range and waiting for hotty soldiers to pull the trigger. Mmmm, hotty soldiers. If it all goes horribly wrong, we’ll go and live in a cave. And you’ve never heard of C L Raven. Then if anyone asks about us, shrug, mumble, look really embarrassed and create such an air of awkwardness they’ll stop asking. At least, that’s how we do it 😉