Tag Archives: Blog

Guest post: The Next Day, by Sheila Hall

A short while ago, I wrote what is as yet my only piece of erotic fiction, and I had the good fortune to have that story featured on TheDarkerhalf.com, a marvellous website run by Sheila Hall and Christopher Liccardi. Sheila and Chris showcase fantastic short stories by some amazing writers, and I consider it an honor that they chose to feature my work.

Sheila and myself were talking recently, and I thought it would be great if I could reciprocate and have her write a piece of flash fiction for me. Although Sheila is normally known for her naughty, cheeky side, she writes beautiful poetry too. I originally said jokingly that she should write a piece of horror erotica, to which she replied, “Challenge accepted!”

Well, I’m sorry to disappoint you on that score, because the story you’re about to read is anything other than erotic! I guess we’ll all just have to wait a while longer for that little gem!

As this is the first time I have featured a story by another author on my blog, I wanted things to go sweetly, so I donned my Editor’s cap for this big occasion. I read far too many stories by guests on other peoples’ blogs where there are glaring errors in both grammar and spelling, and on the odd occasion I have known there to be words repeated, or even missing! I hope that Sheila approves of my slight oiling and tweaking to her wonderful story.

This tale is a short story of sudden and shocking realization, and it’s one I know you’ll enjoy.

Stream

The Next Day

by Sheila Hall

It still feels like the middle of the night, but I know it isn’t. Instead of the moon hanging low, I see rays of sunlight filtering through the leafy canopy overhead. The forest around me is teeming with life. Songbirds are sharing gossip, and various other animals are engaging in their morning routines. All these signs start to focus my thoughts on the really important questions: where the hell am I, and why am I here instead of in my bed?

The ground is wet and cold under my cheek. It’s natural, and yet it feels so wrong. I raise my head, and the pounding that accompanies that small movement shatters all thoughts of continuing that motion. Squinting, I become more aware of my surroundings, and the lack of modern conveniences that I would normally expect to see upon waking convinces me that wherever it is that I am, this is not my bedroom. I venture a guess that I’m in the woods bordering my home. I always loved the stark contrast between urban dwelling and ancient shelter. That’s why I chose to live here.

The longing for the familiar motivates me to get up to my knees. Stomach heaving, I lurch up and stagger over to the stream a few yards in front of me. The water should be clear and sparkling, but it isn’t. Instead it’s littered with flesh and bone; the remains of some animal another creature had consumed as prey. Rotting chunks not yet fully rendered down by acid float lazily away, carried along with all the other debris sharing the same journey downstream.

The copper taste of old pennies is in my mouth, making me gag, and I gulp greedily at the tainted water to try and rinse it away. It’s then that I notice the unusual discoloration staining my skin. Looking down I see that my clothing is tainted by the red and brown hues of drying blood spatter and mud. Grabbing at myself, I look for the cuts on my skin that would account for the amount of blood I see. Please, let the blood be mine. Yet no matter how hard I look the jagged tears in my flesh I expect to see are nowhere to be found. I have no apparent injuries.

Not again. Dear God, no. Not again.

***

 The little stream flows on, uncaring. Its waters wash over the small, huddled form that is half immersed, dry heaving and tearing at its own skin. Blood, bile, and sanity travel onward towards the sea.

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Follow Sheila on Twitter

 

5-star reviews and a guest blogger invitation!

In the 8 days that my book, Darke Times and Other Stories has been available, I have had the good fortune to sell books (though I have no idea just how many), receive glowing 5-star reviews, and on the back of one of the reviews the reviewer invited me to be a guest blogger on his blog!

M.C. O’Neill, author of The Ancients and the Angels series of YA novels, Celestials and Archons awarded my book 5 stars on Amazon.com and had this to say:

I love anthologies and collections because they introduce me to new authors. “Darke Times” is no exception. When you delve into this collection’s pages, you really get what you pay for: a wonderful variety show of the bizarre. David Eccles can handle any genre thrown at him with hilarious skill. Some of the stories range from horror, fantasy, sci-fi, erotica – you get it all but his dry (and sometimes wet) wit will guarantee laughter.

I enjoy how his short stories are punctuated with flash-fiction treasures that operate almost like a commercial, but one that you would actually want to watch. “Teeth” sticks out in my mind. You’ll see what I mean when you read it.

Although I’m a yank, Eccles’ language is decisively British, and think Terry Pratchett more so than Neil Gaiman, but a Pratchett that goes to places he would normally not dare. LOVE IT!

It looks great on the Kindle with sharp formatting and beautiful cover design and you get everything the package advertises plus more.

I can’t wait to see what kind of full-length novels are going to come out of this guy’s brain in the future. I’m guessing horror or even Bizarro – and these stories are ALL bizarre – but whatever they may be, I am now a fan.

John F.D. Taff, the horror author and a man responsible for over 65 short stories and 7 novels was the very first person to review my book, and if I know John, he was probably the first to buy it too! He too awarded my book 5 stars on Amazon.com and said:

David Eccles’ first published book of short stories, Darke Times and Other Stories, is a wide-ranging look at this new author’s range of work. From flash fiction pieces like “The Teeth Police”–a short, funny and horrifying little jab of a story–to “Jack & Jill (and Steve!)”–a funny little riff on Jack the Ripper and time travel–to the titular “Darke Times”–a tale of a Rastafarian pixie who really, really wants to get to the football match–Eccles imbues his stories with a rakish wit and a firm hand. Even when they’re quite clearly horror, there’s an edge of comedy to them which makes the tales stand out. Grab it now and give it a try, because Eccles’s name is one you’ll be hearing.

To have two fantastic authors, each respected in their own genres heap praise on me like that was just the most amazing feeling, and still the 5-star reviews keep on coming! But wait! It gets better!

As I mentioned earlier, one of my reviewers invited me to do a guest blog on their website. That reviewer was none other than John F.D. Taff. John wanted to know more about  me, and about how and why I write and, of course, he gave me the opportunity to mention Darke Times and Other Stories. What a wonderful way to show his appreciation of my book and my writing talents! How could I refuse such a generous gesture! It’s guys like John and James Roy Daley and James Ward Kirk who have seen something in me and in the way that I write and have given me the chance to show what I can do, and I am eternally grateful to them and anyone who is gracious enough to show their support.

Show John your support and visit johnfdtaff.com

To see the blog that I wrote for John on July 18th, click here.

Bartender, Keep ’em Coming! New Story!

Squiffysquirrel

It’s been a while, i know, what with the madness that was Easter Bunny’s Apocalypse, but now that the flying fur has settled, here for your enjoyment is a story that i wrote just for you, my followers. It involves alcohol, and it’s called Bartender, Keep ’em Coming! And if you like it, or even if you dislike it, leave me a comment and let me know. I would appreciate it greatly!

Oh, and while i’m here i may as well tell you that i received my first rejection today, with regard to a short story i submitted. They praised my talent and writing style and said they enjoyed the story, but it was not what they were looking for. I found out later via a good friend and amazing author M. C. O’Neill that they were asking for a specific theme for their fantasy anthology, something i had not spotted, and neither had he, so i’m in good company!

I have another chance at being successfully chosen for this anthology, so i shall put on my thinking cap and this time come up with a story that has relevance to their needs!

And i have been invited back to submit for further anthologies, so that says something for me!

The cup’s half full, guys, not half empty!

The White House Comes Under Attack In Easter Bunny’s Apocalypse chapter 14

The bunnies attack.

The bunnies attack.

The bunnies are storming The White House in Easter Bunny’s Apocalypse chapter 14, brought to you all by the multi-talented Colleen M. Albert. You can read it at www.kseniaanske.com.

Colleen M. Albert

Colleen M. Albert, Author, Editor and fan of the method school of writing.

C.M. Albert is a stay at home mom and YA urban fantasy writer who secretly loves when her kids are in school so she can work on her novel, the first book in her Guardian trilogy, without guilt. Before leaving corporate America to follow her dreams of motherhood and a better work-life balance, Colleen worked for almost thirteen years as a Communications Manager for a Fortune 500 company, for the City of Charlotte as a Public Relations & Communications Manager, and as owner and chief editing nerd at The Grammar Babe (offering freelance editing services to authors and other businesses as time permits). She’s a closet Ruzzle addict and finds it no coincidence that she was born on All Saints’ Day.

Colleen has a blog, her Grammar Babe business website, and is active on Twitter, Facebook, and Google+.

Tomorrow we feature the author of Easter Bunny’s Apocalypse chapter 15, Rosalind Smith-Nazilli.

A Great Day!

Read a new author! They'll thank you for it!

Read a new author! They’ll thank you for it!

Yesterday, i read a Tweet from the fantastic author, James Roy Daley, founder and owner of BOOKS of the DEAD PRESS, advertising the fact that they were open for submissions of pieces of flash fiction no more than 400 words in length.

Recognising the fact that unpublished writers like myself have only a very small reading audience and few fans, and that we write for nothing, he has taken the decision to showcase unknown writers who are of a decent standard, thereby giving them the benefit of increased readership, as his site has had over 1,000 visitors in the last 2 days alone! What a marvellous guy! It’s great for someone such as myself to find someone who sees how hard it can be to make a name for yourself, and for that person to stand up and say, “Hey. I’ll give you a helping hand.”

A good friend and co-writer of Easter Bunny’s Apocalypse, Sandra Hould had been successful in her submission, and was featured on BOOKS of the DEAD PRESS yesterday. You can read Sandra’s story, The “V” Syndrome Vaccine here. I edited her work before submission, and as soon as i found out that her piece had been accepted, i decided to write a piece of my own and try my luck.

The tale i wrote began as a conversation between my brother and i yesterday morning, about his having to cancel a dental appointment. Something that he said made me laugh and triggered my “story switch”, so i filed it away in memory to use in a story later that day. I played around with it, altering things here and there, and i could visualize it in my head as if i was watching a movie, and it may have only been 396 words in length, but it took me until this morning, working non-stop during the night to get it “right”. I din’t get to bed until around 5.30am!

I was happy with what i had written. James had asked for our best work, and i delivered just that, and now there was nothing to do but play the waiting game, with everything crossed! Earlier this afternoon, i received an e-mail from James Roy Daley, informing me that my submission had been succesful! Attached to the e-mail was a minimally edited copy of my story. James wanted to know if his edits were acceptable, and i was to let him know whether or not to go ahead and publish. The story is better for the small edits; of that i have no doubt. Any writer who thinks that his or her story will be published without being editing is delusional. I’ve a message for you: you’re not perfect!

Within minutes of my reply, my story was emblazoned on the screen of my laptop. It felt great to have a little recognition, no matter how small. And how James Roy Daley described my writing! He said i reminded him of…

To find out who i reminded him of, you’ll just have to go and read my story, The Teeth Police. Read it on BOOKS of the DEAD PRESS, or on my blog, here. Wherever you choose to read it, please feel free to drop by my blog and leave a comment. After all, it’s the surest way that writers like me know that we are being read and enjoyed!

 

Rabbits Meet Resistance in Easter Bunny’s Apocalypse chapter 4!

Attack!

Attack! The bunnies meet feline resistance

In chapter 4 of Easter Bunny’s Apocalypse, which will be online for reading later today at www.kseniaanske.com, we see Easter and Gorse discussing their options now that it’s been made clear that feral felines have entered the fray and chosen to take sides with the humans. Is Easter’s plan doomed to failure from the start, or does he have an ace up his sleeve? Be sure to read today’s thrilling chapter brought to you by writer number 4, Seth Werkheiser.

Seth Werkheiser

Music blogger and writer, Seth Werkheiser.
Photo by Gino Depinto. All rights reserved.

As i said yesterday, i deleted everyone’s bio while cleaning up house in Gmail, so I’m quoting Seth from his Facebook bio:

Ahoy, I am Seth Werkheiser. I’ve been living on the road since August of 2010, carrying everything I own in my bag.

Hmmmm! Sparse information indeed! What else can i tell you about Seth? Ah! I know! He, like myself and Brandon Yusuf Toropov, yesterday’s featured writer, sports a most excellent beard! I see a pattern emerging here, if you discount Becky Flade, our opening author, who does not have a beard!

Basically, Seth is a writer who has not written fiction since his High school days (you could have fooled me!). His writing genre is the music industry, where he reviews albums and interviews musicians. He made the decision to jump in feet first with “…real writers. People who write books. Freaking BOOKS” , and i am so glad that he did! Seth picks up the story from where i left off in chapter 2, and it’s like he was inside my head, seeing things as i saw them. He’s written a fantastic chapter! Be sure to read it!

Seth hosts a daily Heavy Metal trivia on Twitter, Monday-Friday. Follow @skulltoaster. Answer #metaltrivia and win stuff!

He can also be found on Twitter as @sethw, on Facebook, and on his blog.

He is currently Managing Editor at CredFM.

Andrew Hovenden, writer of Easter Bunny’s Apocalypse chapter 5 features here tomorrow.

By the Goddess! It’s Easter Bunny’s Apocalypse: Chapter 3

bunny-man

You’re in for a treat today, bunny-lovers, as you will find out later today when you read chapter 3 of the Easter Bunny’s Apocalypse, the wonderful collaborative flash fiction project brought to you by 20 authors and writers! Every day, a new chapter is released into the wild, with the final chapter, chapter 20 going live on Easter Sunday, March 31st.

Read it here on the website of writer and blogger, Ksenia Anske.

Chapter 3 is brought to you, the reader by an immensely talented man, Brandon Yusuf Toropov, and i have a little confession to make: I accidentally deleted the e-mails containing all of the writers’ bios, so i’m going to have to cheat and pilfer some text from around the web to tell you a little about him.

Brandon Yusuf Toropov

Author, Brandon Yusuf Toropov.
Photo by Brandon Yusuf Toropov.

Brandon is an American writer and a convert to Islam. He is the author of over a dozen published books, including religious guides Beyond Mere Christianity, The Complete Idiot’s Guide to the Koran and The Complete Idiot’s Guide to World Religions. Other books by him include Shakespeare For Beginners and The Olympics For Beginners.

Do a Google search for his name and you’ll see that he is active in all manner of things. The man is a dynamo, a great thinker, incredibly humorous, and a really nice guy!

Read his blog, follow him on Twitter, and on Google+ and add him as a friend on Goodreads.

But above all else – read his chapter of the Easter Bunny’s Apocalypse, because after you’ve read it, you’ll come to realise that rabbits are not the cute, cuddly bundles of fur that you thought they were!

Don't be fooled! - Inside this bundle of fur, there lies pure evil!

Don’t be fooled! – Inside this bundle of fur, there lies pure evil!

Salaam (Peace)

Salaam (Peace)

Tomorrow,  writer number 4, Seth Werkheiser will be featured, so please visit and find out a little about him before you read his chapter of the Easter Bunny’s Apocalypse at www.kseniaanske.com


And Now It’s My Turn!…Easter Bunny’s Apocalypse Update.

Photo by bellasofran

Photo by bellasofran

Yesterday saw the launch of the Easter Bunny’s Apocalypse flash fiction collaboration between 20 writers and authors, one of which is myself! You can read each chapter and follow the story every day at www.kseniaanske.com, the blog of the wonderfully talented writer, Ksenia Anske.

The marvellous opening chapter by Becky Flade gave me a firm foundation to build on. As soon as i read what Becky had written, i knew then exactly what i would write, which was great! There’s nothing worse than reading something and then agonising over what you hope will enhance the story and give greater credibility to what has been written before! I think we both must have had our military heads on that day!

Having read the first 10 chapters, i am just blown away with how each writer has slotted their chapter into the story. It’s getting darker, and it’s remarkably funny at the same time! Admittedly, there have been tiny editorial issues, which is always bound to happen, but these have been discussed and resolved by the writing team via the magic of the worldwide web, with the wonderful grammar babe Colleen M. Albert acting not only as a contributing writer (she is writer number 15), but also as editor!

You want to know a little about me? Okay, here goes:

Writer and blogger David Eccles, hard at work!

Writer and blogger David Eccles, hard at work!

Born the product of a union between an exiled wood nymph and a wild haggis hunter, i grew up in the waste paper basket of H.G. Wells, where i gorged myself on his literary cast-offs, reaching manhood in just a matter of a few weeks. A wonderful time was had, and i would wend my way through the darkened streets of the city, the mischevious grin on my bearded little face illuminated by the Victorian gaslamps as i sneaked inside every opium den i could find, whipping out my Sharpie to draw cocks on the foreheads of the unsuspecting and the unconscious!

I aspired to being a mountaineer, and reached the summit of Everest at age 2 months! It was all downhill after that! Until now!

All joking aside, i would love you all to both read and enjoy the whole of the saga that is the Easter Bunny’s Apocalypse, and to show your support to all 20 of its writers.

Tomorrow, chapter 3 will be available for you to read at www.kseniaanske.com, delivered to you by the wonderful literary talents of Brandon Yusuf Toropov, who will be featured here. Until then, why not check out his blog!

You can follow me on Twitter and also add me as a friend on Goodreads and Facebook.

 

 

You Probably Weren’t, But in Case You Were Wondering…

…The words that appear in the image that makes up the header on this blog are all taken from the first paragraph of H.G. Wells’ The War of the Worlds. I pasted the text into Wordle, then made a screen capture before pasting the image into GIMP (for Gnu/Linux) (GIMP for Windows can be found here) and cropping then saving the resulting image.