Playlist: March 2023

Playlist: March 2023

Playlist: March 2023

All the Ghosts

This month’s playlist was inspired by the Netflix series, Lockwood & Co, and a short story for members of the Th1rt3en Club that I’ve just finished writing.

It features Simeon Fable, the ghost who writes a column in my newsletter, and his ex-husband as they unravel the mystery of the resurrection of a boisterous corgi.

With their friends, Cecilia and Pride (a moonlighting vampire and an unassuming god, respectively) they uncover an unregistered necromancer misbehaving in London, a plot to kill a king, and an ancient vampire with a grudge. And ghosts. All the ghosts.

If you haven’t already, you can join the club using the form in the side bar (scroll down for the purple form if you’re on mobile).

You’ll also receive the prequel novella for my series, Not the Same River. Navigate to the Books or Not the Same River sections in the menu above for more information on the series.

Happy listening!

Gothic Christmas witch with amber eyes and fiery red hair

Special Death – Mirah

Ghosts – James Vincent McMorrow

all the good girls go to hell – Billie Eilish

Walking with a Ghost – Tegan and Sara

Don’t Fear the Reaper – Gus Black

Love Like Ghosts – Lord Huron

Your Ghost – Kristin Hersh

Two Ghosts – Harry Styles

Misguided Ghosts – Paramore

Ghosting – Mother Mother

Sex with a Ghost – Teddy Hyde

Psycho Killer – The Wrecks

Where is My Mind – Safari Riot, Grayson Sanders

Holy Ghost – BØRNS

Ghosts – Fanfarlo

Ghosts – Hooded Fang

Ghostride – Crumb

Werewolf Heart – Dead Man’s Bones

The Ghosts of Beverly Drive – Death Cab for Cutie

Where is My Mind (Piano Rendition) – The Blue Notes

Rue des trois frères – Fabrizio Paterlini

WIP Update: January 2023

WIP Update: January 2023

WIP Update: January 2023

Thirteen at the Leash


Today, I finished writing my first book of 2023. Weighing in at 37.6k words, Thirteen at the Leash is the longest of the Tales from the Noctuary series. It’s also the last in the series, so that’s two complete series that I’ve written now. It’s about a resurrected murderous cult of witch shifters, whose only target is vampires. Let’s just say they’ve gone a little off the rails since they came back to life.

Below is a first draft snippet from chapter 1.

Click on the picture below to see my Pinterest board for this project.

character art of Raven Albright. Young man with long black hair and makeup.

WIP Progress

Thirteen at the Leash: draft complete, 37, 692 words

Series: Tales from the Noctuary (#4)

Stage: drafted

Projected publishing date: Summer 2024

Gabriel sighed as he laid the telephone receiver in its cradle. “Why must these people hound me so?”

Jelly, his capable assistant, looked up, a subtle smile on his face. “What is it now?”

“The Thirteen Club.” Gabriel closed his eyes and pinched the bridge of his nose, massaging away the pressures of the job. “Protestors on the doorstep. Almost a hundred this time.”

“Well, I have an answer as to why they hound you so,” said Jelly. “I shall quote you as a reminder.” Jelly put on an authoritative voice that Gabriel thought was rather overdone. “Any trouble, and I want to hear about it. The first sign of trouble, do you hear me?

“I do not sound like that,” Gabriel protested.

“On every day of the week that ends in a Y,” said Jelly.

Gabriel wasn’t sure why he let the man get away with such cheek when they were in private, but he couldn’t find it within himself to make him stop. “Get your coat on, then.”

Merry Christmas!

Merry Christmas!

Merry Christmas!


I’ll be working on the last of the proofreading changes with cider in one hand and terrible Christmas music in the background, but I’m gonna get this done because I want Book 2 up for ARC readers before the year is out, and I need some time off next week with the fam.

However you’re spending this Christmas, I hope you’re surrounded by those you love and who cherish you in return.

I’m so grateful for the community I’ve found myself in this year. It’s like having my own personal cheerleading squad of readers and writers, and I can’t thank them enough for making this year such a good one. You know who you are. I appreciate you all so much, and it makes my day hearing from you.

For 2023, I’m wishing you peace, health and joy. If this has been a year of challenges for you, I wish you a year of calm, resolve and strength, so you can rise above that tide and come out the other side smiling. I love it when you smile.

May 2023 bring you all that you deserve 💕

character art of Raven Albright. Young man with long black hair and makeup.

You can still get 50% off the ebook versions of A Storm of Paper Starlings and From Tangled Roots Come Twisted Wings at Smashwords until January 1st.

Have a fantastic Christmas, don’t take any crap, and I’ll see you in the new year. 2023 is gonna be a good one!

In the meantime, this cider isn’t gonna drink itself. Cheers!

A Storm of Paper Starlings is Live!

A Storm of Paper Starlings is Live!

A Storm of Paper Starlings

is Live


From a scrappy page of notes in my twelve-year-old handwriting, to accidentally signing up to Camp NaNoWriMo in July 2014, to its final formatting in 2022, Violet’s story has gone through so many changes. But it’s finally here, the story of my heart.

character art of Raven Albright. Young man with long black hair and makeup.

Available Now

A Storm of Paper Starlings is available to buy now at all major retailers and to order from your local library.

468 pages

What if the ordinary family you crave isn’t ordinary at all?

When an accident lands Violet in hospital, her mundane life in a London children’s home is disrupted by relatives she’s never heard of—the Penhaligons—and a mysterious visitor who disappears into the night after claiming he’s the father of the twin sister she never knew she had.

With her long-lost sister, Amethyst, to find, Violet turns to her new family for help. But the Penhaligons are far from ordinary.

Power and magic lurk at the priory, Violet’s new home in the Oxfordshire countryside, and she learns fast that nothing is ordinary here, least of all the hostile new neighbours—a coven of vampires, vaewolves, and demons.

As Violet grapples with family secrets, four powerful new brothers, and latent abilities of her own, Amethyst and the man who raised her find themselves in mortal danger—a danger that draws Violet and her family into a battle to save them.

Finally embracing the meaning of family, two questions burn at the back of Violet’s mind.

If vampires and demons exist, what are the Penhaligons?

And what is she?

A Storm of Paper Starlings is the first of six already written books. The Not the Same River series follows Violet as she goes from lost, gobby orphan to treasured—okay, she’s still gobby—warrior, finding the clan she would die for along the way.

If sibling banter, precious friendships, bitey neighbours, and terrible goats are your jam, settle in to meet your new ride or die crew today.

Due to adult language and dark themes, this book is recommended for readers aged 15+ and is ideal for upper YA/crossover readers who enjoy diverse stories. The series should be read in order.

Bad Timing

Bad Timing

For eighteen months, Derek had attempted to cajole a smile out of stone-cold Claire. He’d been counting. He’d tried small talk. Will the car park ever reopen? Will the leaky roof ever get fixed, or must customers forever dodge traffic cones with their squeaky trolleys? And whatever happened to the deli counter?

Derek eyed the row of checkouts and, out of habit, checked his broken watch. He didn’t even know why he put the stupid thing on every morning. He glanced left and right again, as if his choice wasn’t already made, and shifted quietly into Claire’s line. It wasn’t the shortest queue, but Claire was efficient. Her line would move faster. At least it would with the collection of sturdy pensioners in line. Sturdy meant no fussing. Pensioners meant none of that Challenge 25 nonsense.

A tomatoey blush crept up Derek’s cheeks as he remembered how strangely Claire had looked at him when he’d mentioned how the customers attempting to buy alcohol just kept getting younger and younger. He knew he looked younger than twenty eight, and he’d never tried to buy alcohol from Claire before. He wondered if she’d ID him. But more than that, he wondered if she’d ever smile at him. He couldn’t even figure out why he wanted to see her smile. Derek didn’t fancy Claire. That would be absurd.

Claire glanced along the line. He was here again, the one who wittered endlessly about all sorts of nonsense. Beautiful nonsense. Tempting her with his youthful blushes. God, he was gorgeous, his dark head bobbing above a foamy sea of white and grey. Why must he always get in her line, reminding her of days lost to the cruel tick of time? She was young and beautiful once. Full of laughter. Laughter, she thought, with a mental harrumph. She couldn’t even remember the last time she’d smiled.

Derek kicked his basket forward, the polished floor providing little friction, and popped a mint into his mouth. He had tried everything, even jokes. Jokes about horses walking into bars. Jokes about jaywalking chickens. Unfaithful cartoon characters. Jungle-dwelling kitchen appliances. Fruity marsupials. The only thing worse than Derek’s jokes were his puns. He shouldn’t be allowed out in public.

Stone cold Claire with her ice cold glare, he thought, as their eyes met across the loaded conveyor belt. No wonder she always looked at him funny. She could probably tell he was making up rude rhymes about her in his head. He blushed again and checked his useless watch, just for something to do.

“Did you remember your loyalty card today?” said Claire, lifting the checkout divider and sliding it into its rack. Good god, woman, you’re not his bloody mother. Might as well be. Oh god, he’s blushing again.

Derek fished the card out of his wallet. “And I have some coupons.” He laid them out in a curve in front of her. Like a rainbow, he thought.

Like a smile, she thought. BEEP! “What are these like?” she asked. “I’ve been meaning to give them a try.” She looked at the packet in her hands. Fishfingers. She was asking him what fishfingers were like. Generic brand fishfingers.

BEEP! BEEP! BEEP! Answer, you idiot! “They’re alright, but I don’t think you’d like them.” BEEP! “They’re cheap and bland.” BEEP!

“Ah, they aren’t worthy of me,” she said. “Is that what you’re saying?”

Was that a smile? Did I miss it? “Absolutely,” he said, determined to make her smile reappear. “I’m uncultured. I’ll eat anything. But a fine lady, such as yourself, deserves only the finest foods.” BEEP!

She chuckled, a smile lingering on her face, lighting her eyes. Derek stood, holding his breath, as if releasing it would cause time to tick on, taking Claire’s smile with it.

“If I was twenty years younger,” she said, with a wink. What the hell did I just do? Did I really just wink at someone half my age?

Derek smiled, then blushed. How young does she think I am? Fifteen? She can only be ten years older than me, if that. God, she has a lovely smile.

“That will be twelve eighty four please,” said Claire.

Derek fumbled with his wallet, his fingers suddenly too fat to pull out a twenty pound note.

With just a smile to sustain him until his next visit to Claire’s line, Derek headed along the high street to get his watch repaired. The queue was long and he cursed his bad timing. Should’ve got here sooner, he thought, thinking of Claire. Twenty years sooner.

Inspired not by Derek, but by Clive. Cheers dude.

word count 760. A little long for flash.