‘The Shade Clan’ Halloween Giveaway

Win a free paperback of my latest supernatural horror novel The Shade Clan.

The Shade Clan

Anything could be happening in that post-industrial wilderness reclaimed by nature, the place they know as The Shade. When Tom and his friends discover the vast, overgrown quarry, they know it’s the perfect location to learn to survive in the wild. But something else has been drawn there. Something nightmarish, unspeakable. Through a chance discovery, they step into a world where great darkness dwells behind the brightest of lights. 

This giveaway is now closed and a winner drawn at random.

Congratulations Theresa Jeffries – a paperback copy of The Shade Clan will be on its way to you soon!

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THE SHADE CLAN – available on Amazon Kindle

Buy The Shade Clan for £0.99p now

Buy The Shade Clan for $1.54 now

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Man dug the quarry. Nature reclaimed it. Then something else moved in…

Anything could be happening in that place, in that post-industrial wilderness reclaimed by nature; the place they know as The Shade.

When Tom and his friends discover the vast, overgrown quarry, they know it’s the perfect location to learn to survive in the wild. But something else has been drawn there. Something nightmarish, unspeakable.

Through a chance discovery, they step into a world existing alongside the world they know, where great darkness dwells behind the brightest of lights.

What is living in that forgotten hole in the ground, and how is Aleksander, the charismatic stranger who comes into their lives, connected to what they’ve encountered?

Enthralled and afraid, Tom, Katya, Cal and Annabelle are soon asking themselves if anyone can be trusted, if anything is at it seems.

Read a taster

THE SHADE CLAN – coming soon

Anything could be happening in that place. In that post-industrial wilderness reclaimed by nature; the place they know as The Shade.

When Tom and his friends discover the vast, overgrown quarry, they know it’s the perfect location for them to set up their camp and learn to survive in the wild. But something else has been drawn there. Something nightmarish, unspeakable.

culand pit panorama tint 2

Through a chance discovery, they step into a world existing alongside the world they know, where great darkness dwells behind the brightest of lights.

What is living in that forgotten hole in the ground, and how is Aleksander, the charismatic stranger who comes into their lives, connected to what they’ve encountered?

Enthralled and afraid, Tom, Cal, Annabelle and Katya are soon asking themselves if anyone can be trusted, if anything is at it seems.

‘Sanitarium’ horror magazine giveaway

Win a free hard copy Issue  of ‘Sanitarium’ magazine 

Sanitarium is a monthly magazine that brings its readers the best up and coming horror fiction from new writers and seasoned pros. It features short stories and dark verse of real quality, plus interviews and news about the horror fiction world.

sanitarium 16 cover

To enter the giveaway, just answer this question:
In the first taster of my new novel ‘The Shade Clan’ (download here The Shade Clan – Chapter 1 excerpt), what product features on the T-shirt worn by the BMX rider that Tom and Annabelle see?

Complete the form below, including your answer and click submit. The winner will be drawn at random from those who submit a correct answer.

The giveaway closes at 12 noon GMT (UK time) on Sunday February 16th.

‘The Shade Clan’ – download a taster

“Every time he went there, Tom had the same thought: anything could be happening here and no-one would know.”

Download free tasters of The Shade Clan:

The Shade Clan – Chapter 1 excerpt
The Shade Clan – Chapter 1 excerpt 2
The Shade Clan, excerpt 3

yew woods

WHEN HORROR MOVED OUT OF THE CASTLE

Where would get your vote for the greatest horror novel setting of all time? Castle Dracula? The Overlook Hotel? There are many possibilities, but there’s a good chance your answer would fall into the category of ‘old, scary building’. Buildings, as containers for fear, are absolutely crucial to the darker side of literature.

Recently, I read the book that started it all. And it’s not Frankenstein or Dracula. It was written more than 80 years before Bram Stoker was born. And its author was, of all people, a Member of Parliament. Horace Walpole’s 1764 novel The Castle of Otranto gave us the prototype for every old, scary building that came after.

From page one, its inhabitants are terrified by surreal goings on in its shadowy chambers. The dark corridors and echoing crypts are full of whispers and shrieks of alarm. The castle is not only a setting for inexplicable and disturbing events but almost seems to be an accomplice to them.

The Castle of Otranto caused a sensation and this one short book launched an entire genre – the gothic novel, the forerunner of all horror and paranormal fiction. The gothic castle would remain the preferred setting for this kind of macabre entertainment well into the 19th century. And it’s still a powerful archetype today, even if sometimes in a tamer, friendlier form; isn’t Hogwarts just the Castle of Otranto echoing to the shouts of a rowdy school party?

Over time, the action moved into more modest, domestic surroundings. Which was lucky for writers in countries like America, where the only castles are the concrete and fibreglass ones belonging to Mr Disney. The vampires, spectres and monsters deigned to slum it in houses – as long as they were large, old and rambling. In Salem’s Lot, Stephen King places the Marsten House at the absolute heart of his narrative. It becomes almost a character in its own right, influencing events. This “beacon of evil” is not just the place where the vampire Barlow happens to end up – he has been drawn there, attracted by this powerful magnet of darkness.

So by the late 20th century horror had largely move out of the castle. Terror had down-sized. That’s perhaps because while the writers (and many of the readers) of 18th and 19th century gothic novels had occupied the upper echelons of society, modern writers tended to be ordinary people, living in ordinary houses, in ordinary towns.

This democratising of dark fiction had one very important and powerful side-effect: it brought it closer to us all; it brought it to streets and houses like our own, to our doorstep. And any psychologist will tell you that fictional narratives have a much greater impact on audiences if they happen against familiar backdrops.

Ancient battlements and secret passageways are all very well but they are not part of everyday experience for most of us. The horror that dwells in that empty house on the edge of your town is much more potent, relevant and harder to forget.