Thursday, April 24, 2014


Last week I shared my short story, The Ointment for Easter. It tells of an intelligent demon's witnessing of the Crucifixion. The book it inspired is Unholy Testament - The Beginnings, which btw is on offer until April 29.
Please read the excerpt below.      

From Eco's journal:

Jesus is brought before Pilate:

The rabbi nodded. “It is as you say.”

What cheek, I thought, for you see, despite hating God I did still think it was unseemly to admit such a thing.
Then because it was Passover he said there was the tradition of an amnesty for a prisoner.
“Who do you choose, Barbaras or Jesus?”

I screamed for the other, having no idea at all what sort of beast the man was. “Barbaras! Barbaras!”
Pilate looked surprised but then he nodded; an ironic smile upon his lips. “Very well.”
The rabbi remained there. I wondered what would happen. I didn’t have to wonder long for someone shouted:

“He’s going to flog him, watch!”

The crowd surged forward to see the spectacle then of Christ being flogged. I did, too. I wished the rabbi pain on each lash for Ankata, I truly did.
Suddenly, I heard crying near me. Shouts for Jesus and cries of agony as if those who shouted his name were in pain, too.

He had many supporters in the crowd, many, but their wishes had not ruled that day.
Pilate had disappeared, and when he came back, he ordered in a great ringing voice: ‘This man shall be taken to be crucified!”

There were cheers but as before, there was much crying, too. He washed his hands then. “You have had your judgment. It has nothing to do with me!” he shouted.

“Oh yes, it does. It always will have!” some anonymous voice answered.
I looked to see who said it. I cannot be certain, but I did always think it was Louis. It was just a feeling I had.

And the feeling became a chill that nearly froze my blood. It affected me for a long time, too, for this was such a moment; a moment that changed the world forever, and it would figure that Louis would be involved, don’t you think?

I did see a man making his way out of the crowd. I even saw Pilate glance at him. The man looked back. Pilate saw and I did, too.

Wouldn’t it be something if it had been Louis? I think it would have been so like him to be present at such an event. I have asked him repeatedly about this but he never answered me other than to tell me it was quite enough that I was there. I think that, in itself, is rather telling.

I had indeed witnessed something pivotal. That was obvious for suddenly there fell a great silence upon the crowd—upon everyone, including Pilate and his guards. A crushing, mournful silence; the heavy silence that descends before disaster strikes.

But the moment passed and suddenly there was a surge of movement and noise as the condemned man was made to carry his own cross. His knees sank from the weight of it as he tried to hold it aloft.
I followed along, pushing my way continually—so intent was I on witnessing the entire thing.
As I did, I saw the follower known as Judas. He glanced at me and turned, disappearing into the crowd. I saw him emerge from it only to rush away, toward the city gates.

They took Jesus just outside the city; the crowds were huge by then, even bigger than they were before.
The Romans were laughing and teasing one another and all the while they were crucifying this Jesus.
Yet during this entire time, something was happening, something unseen was occurring. I felt it, deep inside of me.

It took him three hours to die. I was weary and wished to leave but just before he died he said something. I barely heard, yet the words tore into my being, eviscerating me with their meaning.
“Father forgive them for they know not what they do.”

People fell to their knees and shouted his name. The Roman guards looked shaken. One of them called out. “This man is truly the Son of God!”

It was then that I knew, Rose. It was the greatest truth I would ever know. I could deny it and choose not to believe it, but I would know it still.

And if I felt that way then worse was to happen for on the third day he rose, fulfilling the prophecy.
I saw the empty tomb. I saw his apostles and the woman he had saved from stoning—yes, that was a great story, you know. Some harlot about to be stoned and Jesus stepping forth to urge the crowd to go ahead if they were without sin. I had been told this by a man who said his name was Peter.

How they wept for their emotions were so great. And I wept too, but I wept for a different reason. My weeping was selfish. My sorrow was for myself, for I knew then that God was all powerful; that he and his angels ruled everything; that the forces of evil could succeed so far and no farther. We were little more than flies, pesky insects that the power of light could step on at any time.

I don’t remember anything much after that; someone said I screamed for days.
“You were delirious. Not awake in your mind, brother. You shall rest here.”
Isn’t it funny, Rose? Don’t you see the irony and humor in this? I was cared for by one of his followers!
“I am mad now,” I said. “And I shall be forever more.”

He tried to help me, this man. He spoke to me of peace and love. And with each word, he drove me further into the dark abyss that had already become my home and always would be.
Eventually, the crisis passed for that was what it was. I would cope the only way I could. If I could never be saved, I would wallow in my damnation. I would glory in it.
Yet, knowing truth as I did, I would also be mad and would remain mad.

(End of excerpt)

99 cents - April 29

AMAZON                      AMAZON UK

Wednesday, April 23, 2014


The day Eco first laid eyes on Rose Baines was the day she discovered her family’s savage butchery at the hands of her mad, incestuous father.

“I saw you leave the house that day, Rose. That terrible day you discovered your family butchered. I saw you…”

Eco, realizing he has fallen in love with her, pens a confession documenting all of his sins committed in the course of his immortal existence. His one request is that Rose reads his confession.

From Ancient Egyptian vampire cults to Roman vampire brothels to The Dark Ages, between The Crusades and The Black Death of 1348, to his meeting with the child murderer and Satanist Gilles de Rais, and concluding with his wicked affair with the Blood Countess herself, Erzebat Bathory, the Unholy Testament will take you through historical times. The pages are filled with debauchery, vice and murder - yet there is also something Eco swears to be love.


'92 Horror authors you need to read right now'
Carole Gill -- the Blackstone Vampires series
~Charlotte Books EXAMINER
"In the attempt to find the just measure of horror and terror, I came upon the writing of Carole Gill whose work revealed a whole new dimension to me. The figure of the gothic child was there. Stoker's horror was there. Along with the romance! At the heart of her writing one stumbles upon a genuine search for that darkness we lost with the loss of Stoker."
Dr. Margarita Georgieva ~ Gothic Readings in The Dark


"Once again I was blown away by the amazing vampires that have sprung from the imagination of Carole Gill." - SKN Hammerstone 

"The author dives deep into the suspense of the story right from the start. We know something terrible is about to happen, and when it does, we're left wondering how it will all unfold." - Natalie Guillaumier-Owens 

This is the 2nd edition of Unholy Testament - The Beginnings, the second novel Carole Gill's Blackstone Vampires series. 

AMAZON                                AMAZON UK

Saturday, April 12, 2014

To Outline of Not To Outline

That is the question! Whether tis nobler to taketh thy pen and outline in scrupulous detail or to forsake such careful planning and say: 'stuff it this doesn't work for me, or whether it is better in the proverbial long run to plan...but then again, it is subjective! After all friends, Romans and Countrymen, it may be true that despite it all, a writer must to thine ownself be true!

Okay, enough already! I'll tell you about outlining. I wish it worked for me. I truly wish I could keep and develop a detailed outline from which to work up my novel. Confession: I've tried and I can't. It doesn't work for short stories or novels. I do have a basic idea in my head about where I'm beginning and ending. But that's it.

And as for characters, well--I get a 'sense' of them. After they become real to me I stick them on the page and they lead me to a story I find that sounds plausible. Experiment: take two characters, make them men. One's a thief with a criminal record and the other is a cop. They're both armed. Have them fall into a cellar and you'll have a story.

Yes, it's different with a book but not that different. I've tried (remember, this might very well work for you) character sheets. I've written in great detail about eye color, hair color and eating habits. The thing was, when I began to write I couldn't focus on those sheets.

My fingers were going, "over here stupid! We're moving on the keys. We're getting your page filled up. Are you with us or against us?"
They got my attention. "I'm with you! Wait a second."
"Are you watching?"
"Yeah, I'm watching!"

They had me just write, it was in the writing that the characters' personalities emerged. Hair color and height are purely secondary I find, certainly for the shaping of the story they are! Here is something to consider, Ken Follett's Eye of the Needle.

Ingredients for a superb story (novel): 

WW2, England
Nazi spy with secrets is shipwrecked,
Take one crippled RAF pilot,
One love-starved wife...what do you get?  ONE VERY SUSPENSEFUL BOOK!

Remember, every writer is different and whatever comes naturally to you is the right method for you.

Wednesday, April 9, 2014


I blog over at Skelat and am doing weekly film reviews (every Wednesday). They will be a mix of new and not new. Classics, both mainstream and cult--in fact I'll be reviewing all sorts of films. Mainly horror but expect the unexpected too!

I do see weekly films so it will be timely. Noah review is done and that's next. There is a permanent link up for the film reviews on my sidebar here.

This first week, I reviewed Wolf Creek, the film that scared the hell out of me! I hope you'll go over and read it. And if you haven't seen it already and you scare easily, BE SURE TO READ MY REVIEW FIRST!

Saturday, April 5, 2014

Winner 2 Categories eBook Festival of Words 2014: The House on Blackstone Moor!

"They say my father was mad, so corrupted by evil and tainted by sin that he did what he did. I came home to find them all dead; their throats savagely cut. My sisters only five and eight were gone as well as my brother who was twelve. My mother too lay butchered in her marriage bed. The bed her children were born in...- 

After young Rose Baines discovers the savage murders of her family by her mad, incestuous father, she is plunged into a nightmare of hell and incarcerated in two madhouses. In time, she is helped to obtain a position as governess at Blackstone House. Nothing is as it seems for Blackstone House, and its inhabitants have numerous secrets. Amid the unimaginable horror there is love - which comes at a terrible price.

The House on Blackstone Moor is the first novel in Carole Gill's Blackstone Vampires Series. It is both a tale of the eternal struggle between good and evil, and a story of love that strives to prevail, despite all odds.


"With that in mind, I decided to go to sleep and if I didn’t wake up, what did it really matter? I fell into a heavy sleep but woke during the night. I had the distinct impression that someone had entered my room—no doubt a genuine lunatic. I recalled the words of the grim-faced attendant who told me about the violent ones who were kept in a separate building. Had they grown tired of staring at the cemetery? Had they in fact somehow escaped their ward and were now standing in my room watching me, ready to hack me to pieces? I did hear breathing. Not even breathing either, but heavy breathing—a man’s breathing. 

I shall just lie here and not open my eyes. Not challenge him, perhaps he’ll go out… I heard him move. That is, I heard a footstep, then another. The breathing became louder—he was closer. No! Please go away. Don’t hurt me. Was this lunatic holding a knife or a razor perhaps? When would I feel the slashing? Suddenly, I felt fingers upon my neck. Not in a grip but softly touching me. No, not me, I realized—they were touching the collar of my shift to draw it down! And as it was pulled down I felt the chill in the air as my body became exposed. A hand then—hot, probably with misplaced passion, touched my breast, held it and squeezed it. 

Go away! Please, I don’t want your hand there! But the touch grew more ardent and the breathing more labored. And then he grunted. “Mmmm!” 
No don’t, please. But there was more, much more. I felt his hand begin to reach under my shift. That was when I screamed. I screamed like I never screamed before. I yelled with all the strength I could summon and didn’t stop. An unending cacophony of shouts of anger and hurt, of grief and fear—all of it fueling my shrieks as if to bring the place down around me. Many people came in—attendants and even Dr. Bannion, disheveled and breathless, who said he was working late, came in. “What happened?” 

I told him. “Please sit with me. I cannot be alone!” 

He sat and told me how sorry he was. “I shall have a thorough search done. Now I shall give you something to calm you.” 

He did, the familiar sting and the sensation of something warm began coursing through my agitated body, calming me. It was like heaven. I allowed myself to smile and, I thought, at least it was a stranger. At least it wasn’t my father..."

(end of excerpt)

eFestival of Words 2014: Best Villain, Eco/ Best Horror, The House on Blackstone Moor
Top 10 Books - 2013
Aoife Marie Sheridan - ALL THINGS FANTASY
Publisher, Ultimate Fantasy Books
"92 Horror authors you need to read right now"
Carole Gill -- the Blackstone Vampires series
~Charlotte Books - EXAMINER
I for one found this gloriously gothic, refreshingly brutal, honestly horrific and a great read.
~Taliesin Meets the Vampires

purchase The House on Blackstone Moor for $2.99

or purchase all four novels in this acclaimed series for $3.99

Wednesday, April 2, 2014

Living With Madness

No, not me--not as far as I know, but I have lived with it. 'Insanity' is a rarely used term these days. There are various psychoses and neuroses. There are Borderline Personality classifications. People stay in mental health facilities, places that look like dorms. As the meaning of just what's insane and what isn't has changed, I think this post is important.

When I was married a number of years ago, I had the misfortune of living with a husband I considered to be insane. He had a drinking problem. He was paranoid, delusional and threatening. He refused to see a psychiatrist.

He was able to keep  his job for a time. I left him and understood in time, he was pensioned off fairly quickly. He had by that time, been banned from certain pubs and the like. The illness was no longer able to be hidden or denied.

I write horror because of him. I do. I know what it is like to live with a monster, to live with someone who is not in touch with reality. Your days are not 'normal.' No sitting around watching television or reading or shopping. There is no 'normal' or 'ordinary' in the closed fortress that you share with the insane. You survive (I did) as best you can, planning an escape asap. And then you fly. When I left, I rented a flat and kept locking the front door and unlocking it. I could not get over the fact that I was now permitted to lock a door as I had been told: I WILL HAVE NO DOORS LOCKED IN MY HOME!

Over the top? Only to those of you who have not lived under such circumstances.

With regard to violence, there wasn't any. In fact, I had fully assured him what I'd do if pushed too far. I made the point there was no capital punishment in the U.K. I wouldn't have done that (I am fairly certain), still who can say?

That's all long ago. I forgave him in my own heart pretty quickly. Hatred only hurts those who hate. I have been happily married for years. Yet, i still write horror! I write it because I can tap into terror easily. And perhaps my writing helps people.

When you see madness portrayed in film or fiction, please consider the fact that there are people who really are menacing, violent, and murderous. We read about them in the newspapers and see them in the news. What I find fascinating are the people who live with them and know them inside and out.

Those afflicted deserve our empathy and the best care possible, but please spare a thought for those who live (for however long) under their roof, it isn't easy living with madness.

Note: I have left out incidents of horrific occurrences, those are too painful and personal to recount. Just accept my assurance that they happened and somehow I survived them.

If Only the Count Had Gone to New York!


Dracula going to New York!  There he is sailing past the Statue of Liberty, wearing tinted glasses and looking very dishy as in Coppola's film. He's eyed up by more than a few ladies. Well see, there's this thing about him. Don't ask me why but there just is!
Now, in my version (purely to write an engaging and entirely speculative blog post) a New York Real Estate Firm has sent Jonathan Harker's American cousin, Jack over to see the Count. He isn't left there because he's a fast talking guy and he manages to get away from the Count's wives. He eventually goes back to his office but by the time he gets there, his boss doesn't want to know about any problems he's had almost being drained. See, Peter Hawkins' New York Office has sold the Count a few apartment buildings in Manhattan.
Dracula's favorite is in Greenwhich Village. Being the smoothie he is, he mainly rents to women. They consider him very naughty and sexy. Actually he starts a blood worship cult and within no time at all there are clubs and parties and New York is so excited, he regularly makes the society page. Word has it that the mayor is a favored client.
Ah! Spin, don't you love it? I do. Actually it works for most stories and it's fun.
As for Van Helsing, didn't forget about him! He follows along anxious to warn everyone, but no one is bothering with him. They like Dracula. He's hospitable and he's wickedly interesting.
Van Helsing finds to his horror that quite a number of people become bored with his dire warnings. So Van Helsing who is brave, intelligent and most sincere and still determined to save people, decides to travel around 1900's America on speaking tours. He organizes rallies (mainly in the South) and before you know it, both political parties are being coveted.
"Stand up and fight against the blood suckers! Your wives and daughters are not safe!"
There are marches and rallies and the vampires go underground possibly. But then after awhile, a lot of the anti-blood suckers go join up with the anti-drinkers so that eventually the one great rallying cry is for the prohibition of liquor. The question is does the Count remain in America?
Vampires: don't you love the scope, the possibilities? They're infinite! I would say Dracula does stay in America. He eventually becomes a film star. No, Max Shrek doesn't become famous because the real thing is there! 
Dracula might eventually be suspected of Communist affliation. That wouldn't surprise me at all, post World War 2. I think he'd have been of use during the war--but toward the end like so many others he might have come under suspicion.
He plays it cool then, hiding out in his Hollywood mansion (remember Norma Desmond, Sunset Blvd)? But he doesn't mind because he is an avid film buff. And being wealthy he watches all the Hammer Dracula films in his own home theater.  He particularly loves Christopher Lee's portrayl of him. Never misses any of them. He might be there still, but I have to carry on with my post, so here I go:
Actually the film that got that right and made for a delicious send-up of Dracula, was Love At First Bite with George Hamilton. Remember that gem? The Count is seen leaving the East because of Communism. Yup, he's bound for New York and a hilarious adventure there.
With regard to fiction, I would say the next big thing, came along in the 1970's with Stephen King's Salem Lot and Anne Rice's Interview with a Vampire.
King did something revolutionary. He took the vampire and brought him to a house near you! He made it timely and different. King's vampires were different. They were kids you knew. There were also parents who tried to save those bloody kids and got turned into fanged up vampires! The familiar became scary! Speaking of which, I will never forget my terror at reading of Mr Barlow. I still have nightmares.
About the same time, Anne Rice gave the world her unique look at vampires. New Orleans was made to have vampires. It is America's Gothic bastion. Its homes and streets, it's history and culture makes for the great tales that Rice writes.