Tag Archives: Thank you

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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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.

Another submission accepted!

Serial Killers Tres Tria. Edited by James Ward Kirk and published by JWK

Serial Killers Tres Tria. Edited by James Ward Kirk and published by JWK

On the back of my short story Doing it for JRD (Justice, Revenge and Deliverance) being accepted for publication in Sex, Drugs & Horror, an anthology edited by the wonderful James Ward Kirk, I am pleased to announce that another of my short stories has been accepted for publication in another of James Ward Kirk’s anthologies; this time I am to be published in his third Serial Killers anthology, Serial Killers Tres Tria, available later this year. Check out the killer cover by William Cook! Isn’t it just awesome!

If you click on the cover image above, you’ll be taken to the submissions page for this particular anthology, and because submissions are still open, I suggest you all get writing and give it a go.

Better still, get on over to JWKfiction.com and see what other submissions are open, and while you’re at it, treat yourself to some wonderful books!

And before I forget — A huge thank you once more to the wonderful James Ward Kirk, and to all of you wonderful people who take the time to read my stories, especially the author and a good friend of mine, M.C. O’Neill, who does a great job beta-reading for me and pokes me with a huge barbed stick and tells me to submit my stuff. Thank you, Mark!

A huge thank you to Troy Blackford!

My printed, signed copy of For Those With Eyes To See by Troy Blackford

My printed, signed copy of For Those With Eyes To See by Troy Blackford

I try to be very loyal to the authors I read, and with Troy Blackford, I have all of his available books and I try to read all the short stories that he has had the fortune to have published online.

He was one of the main people to inspire me to take up writing, and for that I thank him. Reading his books led me to make the decision to finally do it and not just sit there reading other peoples’ books and thinking i wish i could do that. He, along with another truly inspirational author, Ksenia Anske spurred me into action.

I was scrolling through my writers and authors list on Twitter not long ago when suddenly up pops a mention from @TBlackford3, Troy Blackford informing me that I had been fortunate enough to be a runner-up in a prize draw that he had held, though the prize I had won remained a mystery to me at that time. I duly gave him my address via a Twitter DM, and lo and behold, a few weeks later I receive a package in the mail from the USA. Carefully opening it, I found it contained a lovely printed copy of Troy’s latest short story collection, For Those With Eyes To See, complete with a great inscription to myself.

For that wonderful prize and a great inscription, my reply to Troy is: No, Troy. You the man, bro’! *smiley face* And thank YOU so much!

Go and support both of these wonderful authors. You can find Troy at http://www.troyblackford.com/ and Ksenia at http://www.kseniaanske.com/.

 

The Sex, Drugs & Horror cover is awesome!

Not long to wait now until my short story that i mentioned in my previous post is published. I took a stroll on over to jwkfiction.com, the website of horror author and publisher James Ward Kirk to check out the cover for the Sex, Drugs & Horror anthology, and i must say that i love it!

Great artwork, and a font that takes me back to the science fiction paperbacks of the 1970s. I’ll show you a picture of it below, and clicking on it will take you to the submissions page for the anthology, which are still open until the 30th of June, by the way.

The cover for the Sex, Drugs & Horror anthology, edited by James Ward Kirk

The cover for the Sex, Drugs & Horror anthology, edited by James Ward Kirk

And once again, a great big thank you to James Ward Kirk for including me in what i know will be a wonderful anthology and a truly great read. Roll on publication in the first week of July.

Versatile Blogger Award

Versatile Blogger Award

Another award, this time coming from Destiny Allison, a wonderful person, and an amazing sculptor and writer. Details of Destiny, and of the award the award and the rules for accepting it here.

ABC (Awesome Blog Content) Award

ABC Award

I love getting these awards! Most people might find them pointless, but i think they’re very endearing, and i appreciate being thought of by all who nominate me. You’ll find my nominations and the rules for accepting the award here. My thanks to Rosalind Smith-Nazilli for this award.