Tagged: Free Fiction

Trembling With Fear 12/05/21

I am pleased to announce we are now open for the short flash stories which lead each week’s TWF! Refer to our submission guidelines for further information.

After waiting for months for the UK Ghost Story Festival in Derby, it’s been and gone! I had a really good time despite the weather affecting attendance and the schedule and met some lovely people, including authors Simon Clark and Tracy Fahey – please check out their books. I also survived my first panel experience and I met members of The Dracula Society – which I didn’t know existed! Wonderful people and hopefully we’ll meet up again at Chillercon in Scarborough next year!

Whilst we were away however, Storm Arwen hit our home and we returned to some damage – broken window and garden fencing and gates, a tile and guttering – but overall liveable with. I feel so sorry for those up North who are still without power or water or both whilst I write this. I know one of our writers, Jimmy Graves, was affected in this way and I hope he’s now got the water back on! For ourselves, we are still trying to get the insurers out. And on top of that we seem to have wildlife in the attic – either mice, bats or squirrel. I suppose our run of good luck following our move had to come to an end! I don’t mind if it’s bats though. They’re harmless – and they are protected in the UK.

In other news, I’ve been sharing online a little of a project I’ve been working on with Cindy O’Quinn, a really talented poet and writer. We’ve created a collection of found poetry, Foundlings, based on the work of Linda D. Addison and Alessandro Manzetti. It should be out in February and comments coming back from the ARCs have made us so happy. A new anthology, A Silent Dystopia, is also out from Demain Publishing. Set in the world of Dave Jeffery’s A Quiet Apocalypse, and edited by D. T. Griffiths, it includes a story from me alongside many familiar names on the indie scene. It was huge fun to write in someone else’s world!

The first story in Trembling with Fear this week is Hunted by Deer from Will H. Blackwell, Jr.  A monologue told in a slightly disjointed way following an accident, it brings with it an unawareness of their situation which adds a chill to the finale. It is also not a good idea to listen to that little voice in your head to justify your actions. The consequences can be disastrous! Excellent writing as always from Will H. Blackwell.

Genius by Patrick Winters reminds me a little of Jack and the Beanstalk where the slightly dim Jack doesn’t follow his mother’s commands. In this instance, a simple bit of wordplay turns the whole story in a similar manner. Neatly done.

Recipe for Horror by Mike Rader is a gorgeously gruesome take on Shakespeare’s witches from Macbeth. Wonderful parody.

Surprise by RJ Meldrum plays on the feelings of someone who knows they’re alone and anything else is impossible – or is it?

 Enjoy our stories and send in yours!

Steph

 

Stephanie Ellis

Editor, Trembling With Fear

As you read this, I’m down to the final in my current class for my MBA. Knocking this out means I have a month and a half of time to breath (and even more as the next class should prove to be much easier.) So, no real updates for here. I am hoping that this newly about to be found free time does mean that I’ll be able to knock out the new layout that I’ve mentioned previously for the site. I’m hoping to be able to make it a bit easier to navigate moving forward. Enjoy the fiction and the weekend my friends!

Stuart Conover

Editor, Horror Tree

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Trembling With Fear 11/28/21

Please note: We are temporarily closed to short flash stories (unless for one of the Specials) but open to drabbles, unholy trinities and serials. Please also remember to read our guidelines, especially on word counts!

By the end of the year, we will have caught up on all our short story publications for TWF. With that in mind, I feel it safe to reopen at the beginning of December – but please do not send before this!

I feel as though I’ve been talking a lot this week! From the live Youtube panel with Raul Reads about the What One Wouldn’t Do anthology, to a chat with Alyson Faye about our upcoming appearance at Derby’s UK Ghost Story Festival, to The Writing Sparrow podcast chat with Salina Langer, I haven’t shut up! It’s that other side of today’s writing career where you have to be more visible – but I will say that I enjoyed all, and I’m getting used to it.

I hope you all notice the Indie Bookshelf ‘specials’ appearing recently. One is a special promotion of the (2021) work of all patreons/sponsors/staff as a thank you for keeping the site running. If anyone reading this, fits this category and missed out on the call (Stuart alerted patreons and sponsors), let me know and I’ll add your work to the post. The other is a gathering up of the charity anthologies published in the past two years, to give a number of worthy causes a boost.

Our first story in Trembling with Fear is Settlement One by Hayden Waller an enjoyable sci-fi horror and the consequences for humanity when it attempts to settle other worlds. Can we start again or do we take our old problems and fears with us? We don’t get that many sci-fi/horror mashups and it would be nice to see more. And sci-fi doesn’t have to mean space either!

Rose-Coloured Cream by Claire Fitzpatrick is a tale of guilt and loss and with a gut punch of a last line.

Scurry by Natasha Lewington is one of those awful nightmares which you wake up dreading might be real. In this case it just might be!

The Long Walk by DJ Tyrer is a ghostly and very atmospheric drabble, nicely done.

 

Enjoy our stories and send in yours!

Steph

 

Stephanie Ellis

Editor, Trembling With Fear

For all of those who celebrated, I hope you had a great Thanksgiving and have been celebrating what has become a time for gluttony and sloth. Now that you’ve recovered, we once again have a great line up of fiction for you to enjoy!

Stuart Conover

Editor, Horror Tree

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Trembling With Fear 11/21/21

Please note: We are temporarily closed to short flash stories (unless for one of the Specials) but open to drabbles, unholy trinities and serials. Please also remember to read our guidelines, especially on word counts!

By the end of the year, we will have caught up on all our short story publications for TWF. With that in mind, I feel it safe to reopen at the beginning of December – but please do not send before this!

This week I’ve been getting things ready for the UK Ghost Festival in Derby next weekend. I’ll be around for a panel and event but most of the time I’ll be at a table in the Quad (with wonderful husband, Geraint, manning it during any absence) selling books. If you’re around come over, say hello, perhaps pick up a book or two. Alyson Faye will be with me and we’re selling copies of Black Angel Press’ Daughters of Darkness I and II in addition to our own books which we’ll be more than happy to sign.

Reading has been Morning Star by Karl Ove Knausgaard (almost finished!) and The Fiends in the Furrows II. The latter is an excellent collection of new folk horror stories which I really enjoyed. I’ve also been reading editions of Hellebore Magazine which deals with folk horror and the occult. It’s a lovely little mag, informative and interesting and I’d recommend.

I’m also looking at some special Indie Bookshelf Release Posts leading up to Christmas and I’m going to try and create a charity one. If you know of, or have been part of, any charity anthologies released this year – and I’ll say last year as well, due to covid – please let me know and I’ll add them to post.

Our first story in Trembling with Fear is The Rat Goes Underground by Rodolfo Boskovic is a grim tale recounting the consequences of selling people out. What was particularly enjoyable about this one was the ‘voice’ of the narrator, its fluid tone, the sense of being ‘in confidence’, which draws the reader in naturally.

Grandpa’s Girl by S.C. Fisher is a slightly ambiguous ghost story but one which reinforces a family bond from beyond the grave.

Reversion by Alyson Faye is a lovely gothic poem with some gorgeous imagery illustrating decay across the passage. Evocative.

Short Order Supervillain by Brian Maycock has an ending which equates human life in a shocking manner to an everyday product. This sort of blunt statement is a good trick to add in an extra level of horror.

Enjoy our stories and send in yours!

Steph

Stephanie Ellis

Editor, Trembling With Fear

We’ve been having some huge issues with our mailing list the past two weeks. I believe it may be resolved this week. If not, I’ll likely be juggling around room in the budget to go back to our old newsletter provider. So, that’s been fun. Thankfully, there are some great stories to cheer us all up below!

Stuart Conover

Editor, Horror Tree

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Trembling With Fear 11/14/21

Please note: We are temporarily closed to short flash stories (unless for one of the Specials) but open to drabbles, unholy trinities and serials. Please also remember to read our guidelines, especially on word counts!

By the end of the year, we will have caught up on all our short story publications for TWF. With that in mind, I feel it safe to reopen at the beginning of December – but please do not send before this!

Another week gone far too quickly. Not much writing was done on my part, most of it was ‘around’ writing in some way and also in creating cover designs for some notebooks I’m putting up on amazon. One of my buys this year was an XP-Pen drawing tablet. It’s proving its value as I’ve used it for a few book covers now and hopefully will pay for itself one day. It is also great fun and a nice change from concentrating on the written word.

I’ve finished reading The Jewish Book of Horror, ed. Josh Schlossberg. I wasn’t sure what to expect but the sheer richness of tradition and history which comes from this culture made it a refreshing experience.

Our first story in Trembling with Fear is Critic by Alejandro Gonzales. This is a story of writerly obsession and thereby a warning to those who read it. A masterclass in how a writer should not behave!

Pristine Porch by Kevin M. Folliard is a perfectly painted picture of a story, so many little details adding nuance, plus a very alliterative last line – cleverly done!

Return Notification by G.A. Miller is a lovely bit of dark humour which touches the effects of lockdown.

Water Babies by Steven Holding is very dark and cleverly engages your sympathy for a character who may not be what you expect.

 Enjoy our stories and send in yours!

Steph

Stephanie Ellis

Editor, Trembling With Fear

Today’s first story is ‘Critic’ by Alejandro Gonzales and I’m going to have to give it a 1 star! (You’ll appreciate that after you read the story.)

Had a huge test for my MBA this last week so unfortunately wasn’t able to make much progress outside of that on the site. NEW UPDATES SOON! (I hope…) 😉

Stuart Conover

Editor, Horror Tree

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Trembling With Fear 11/7/21

Please note: We are temporarily closed to short flash stories (unless for one of the Specials) but open to drabbles, unholy trinities and serials. Please also remember to read our guidelines, especially on word counts!

By the end of the year, we will have caught up on all our short story publications for TWF. With that in mind, I feel it safe to reopen at the beginning of December – but please do not send before this!

Halloween has passed and suddenly the shelves are full(er) of Christmas stock. It started appearing a while ago but is now proudly showing its face – but still too soon, I say! That said, remember Amanda edits a Christmas Special for TWF so get those stories in – all forms, drabble, short flash, trinities – all welcome.

Some of you will be taking part in NaNoWriMo. I hope it’s going well for you and you’re having fun with it. I had thought I would be doing it this year now I no longer have the day job demands but for some reason, my time seems to be shorter than ever so I will be missing it. I am continuing to work on a couple of poetry projects but I’ve also been thinking about ideas for the cover and artwork for my next novella with Silver Shamrock. I’m not creating the cover thankfully, just making suggestions. The book should be out early next year – I think.

First up this week in Trembling with Fear is The Wrong Turning by Fiona M. Jones is a great little morality tale dealing with the horrors of an afterlife coloured by your behaviour when living. I really enjoyed the snobbish and manipulative character of Gwen – yes, she was awful, but oh, so believable.

Baby by RJ Meldrum makes you look at pregnancy in a whole new light. Be careful what you wish for!

Beasts on the Borderland by Mike Rader is a chilling revenge tale of war. I enjoy different settings and times. More historical horror please!

Swarms by Patrick Winters brings us a medieval flavour of horror which also has a nice revenge element to it.

Enjoy our stories and send in yours!

Steph

Stephanie Ellis

Editor, Trembling With Fear

Last time I’ll be asking but if you could provide any feedback, I’d love if you could please share your thoughts on our video refresher posts

Also, If you run a website and would like to write an article about Horror Tree or Trembling With Fear, we’d really appreciate that! Please reach out with any questions for facts in the article (who does what, when sections were started, etc), any promotional artwork, or with a link once it is live so we can feature it on the site and on our social media.

Stuart Conover

Editor, Horror Tree

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Trembling With Fear 10/24/21

Please note: We are temporarily closed to short flash stories (unless for one of the Specials) but open to drabbles, unholy trinities and serials. Please also remember to read our guidelines, especially on word counts!

By the end of the year, we will have caught up on all our short story publications for TWF. With that in mind, I feel it safe to reopen at the beginning of December – but please do not send before this!

My week has been busy reading works for those authors appearing on the Shotgun Logic podcast (which is currently undergoing a renaming). Last week, Shane Douglas Keene, Beverley Lee and I chatted to Craig Wallwork, author of the short story collection, Human Tenderloin. This is a new to me author but his work is excellent, he even had a rave blurb from Stephen Graham Jones! This Sunday, we’ll be chatting to Coy Hall, author of the Grimoire of the Four Impostors, another excellent book. I’m also looking forward to appearing on a different podcast in November with fellow authors and the editor of the What One Wouldn’t Do anthology. For someone who hates talking/appearing in public things seem to have been changing and it’s not been as bad as I feared! (Famous last words 😊 )

Remember if you have an upcoming book release or one recently launched, let me know and I’ll make sure it goes on our Indie Bookshelf Releases which is posted every Friday.

Our first feature in Trembling with Fear this week is The Cutoff by Jen Mierisch. A revenge tale which has a rather gruesome outcome for the guilty parties. Sometimes things don’t stay dead and buried. Revenge is always a good driver for a story and this has a nice change in the circumstances which triggered this.

Carousel by Robert Allen Lupton is one of those ‘be careful what you wish for’ tales and has a lovely touch of humour.

Daisy by Kevin M. Folliard is told through dialogue alone and again, some nice humour.

Terms and Conditions by Ryan Benson is a story in a loop – once a contract is signed, there is nothing you can do.

Enjoy our stories and send in yours!

Steph

 

Stephanie Ellis

Editor, Trembling With Fear

If possible, I’d love if you could please share your feedback with your thoughts on our video refresher posts

Also, If you run a website and would like to write an article about Horror Tree or Trembling With Fear, we’d really appreciate that! Please reach out with any questions for facts in the article (who does what, when sections were started, etc), any promotional artwork, or with a link once it is live so we can feature it on the site and on our social media.

Stuart Conover

Editor, Horror Tree

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Trembling With Fear 10/17/21

Please note: We are temporarily closed to short flash stories (unless for one of the Specials) but open to drabbles, unholy trinities and serials. We hope to reopen later in the year once we have caught up with the publication of those already accepted. Please also remember to read our guidelines, especially on word counts!

Having finished writing my latest novella and sent it away, I’ve paused work on the other WIP – I’m about halfway through. I’ve decided to allow myself to focus more on what I regard as fun, in this case writing dark poetry and working on some ideas for a book cover. These in turn free up more reading time – in theory. Well, it’s a plan. I think it’s important to sometimes change things up a little so you don’t become stale or bored. If you find things becoming a bit of a slog, time out is always good!

First this week in Trembling with Fear is Beneath the Clean Cotton Mountain by Lindz McLeod. A man is instructing his son in survival and it’s one of those moments when you have to cram in everything you want to say to your child before they go. What this story also does, is feed in the emotion and the worry by the use of the little interruptions from the unheard, they are responses to the worries of the child and he has to deal with these quickly. This gives the well-crafted monologue it’s pace and tension.

Prey by G.A. Miller takes standard expectations and turns them on their head.

The Headless Man by Mike Rader is a great parody of the classic poem, The Highwayman, by Alfred Noyes. The original rhythm is very cleverly followed and the mix of headless man and vampire allows for some nice humour.

The Incubation Garden by Christina Nordlander offers up a dreamlike and dystopian setting. Will there be any escape?

Enjoy our stories and send in yours!

Steph

 

Stephanie Ellis

Editor, Trembling With Fear

This week has been mainly looking at ways to optimize and speed up the site. Progress is being made in a few areas but unfortunately, nothing O can demo quite yet! What I can do is say if you want to enter to win a copy of Trembling With Fear: Year 4 you can enter this contest!

Also, If you run a website and would like to write an article about Horror Tree or Trembling With Fear, we’d really appreciate that! Please reach out with any questions for facts in the article (who does what, when sections were started, etc), any promotional artwork, or with a link once it is live so we can feature it on the site and on our social media.

Stuart Conover

Editor, Horror Tree

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Trembling With Fear 10/10/21

Please note: We are temporarily closed to short flash stories (unless for one of the Specials) but open to drabbles, unholy trinities and serials. We hope to reopen later in the year once we have caught up with the publication of those already accepted. Please also remember to read our guidelines, especially on word counts!

Where has the time gone? Our supermarkets are full of Christmas goods and seem to have forgotten Halloween. In the UK, its popularity had grown for a while but it seems to be fading away again, and you will be hard-pressed to find much more than a few shelves of anything related to this celebration (in the areas I’ve experienced anyway). This is in stark contrast to our US cousins. When I was younger, Halloween meant carving turnip Jack-o-lanterns, reading ghost stories and shivering at the hoot of an owl. Being in a rural location, that was enough to create a spooky atmosphere and to this day made it feel more real to me than the modern version (in the UK) which focusses on slasher movie masks, cheap decorations, and sadly attracts some anti-social behaviour. Ho hum.

First this week in Trembling with Fear is Pink Balloon by James Rumpel. An accident brings trauma, but is it all just in the mind or is there something more diabolical afoot?

Do Not Enter by Sam Lesek brings to mind initiations, the tricks played on a novice employee. A nice twist to this trope.

Shrill by Steven Holding is a touching love story with a dash of darkness.

Space Scrap by Margarida Brei is an imaginative sci-fi which has you feeling sorry for the androids – which is no easy feat

Enjoy our stories and send in yours!

Steph

 

Stephanie Ellis

Editor, Trembling With Fear

Hey all! I hope you all had a great week. I’ve been slammed here between work, school, etc. Whew. Had a mini-hiccup. One of our Patreons left early this week. However, I love you all so much, within an hour of posting about it we had two new Patreons step up and surpass what we had lost getting us MUCH closer to our next goal level! THANK YOU!

A couple of reminders (this is the last week for one of them!):

  • Trembling With Fear is open for our Halloween Edition until October 13th, so be sure to get your stories in! Full details can be found here.
  • If you run a website and would like to write an article about Horror Tree or Trembling With Fear, we’d really appreciate that! Please reach out with any questions for facts in the article (who does what, when sections were started, etc), any promotional artwork, or with a link once it is live so we can feature it on the site and on our social media.

Stuart Conover

Editor, Horror Tree

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