Tagged: Free Fiction

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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Trembling With Fear 10/03/21

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!

The season has very definitely slid from summer into autumn, the past few days have seen more grey skies than blue and the wind has been howling more often than not. Despite the chill in the air we are holding out against putting the central heating on – knowing the bills are going to be horrible this year. One antidote is reading and I read a book set in the UK during the drought of 1976 – oh yes, I remember that well. The stifling heat described in those pages kept me oblivious to the cold around me for a while!

It’s been a good week for writing and for a few publications. I was delighted to see Scott J. Moses’ What One Wouldn’t Do hit the No.1 Hot New Releases on amazon. I’ve got a story in it, Cry Me A River, which has been very well-received but I think Scott deserves a huge amount of credit for this anthology. It’s his first and he has been very open about the trials and tribulations he went through to bring it into being. Considering all he has undergone, I hope this book brings him great success and a big sense of achievement. Creating, editing and formatting an anthology is no easy job.

Whilst I know Stuart is always giving a shoutout for more drabbles, I’d like to throw in we need more drabbles by women! Normally there’s a good balance but as I went through what we had, I’ve noticed a more definite leaning to the male side.

The first story in Trembling with Fear this week is Blood by Harry Wilding. This tale is told as much through its layout as its words, life ebbs away, blood drips and so do the words, pouring down the page like liquid. The flow is punctuated with the crime of which the victim is condemned, the crimes of others in our world also brought to book. A quite powerful – and poetical – way to tell the story. [Please note – it has been very difficult to replicate the formatting in the original document on WordPress but I’ve done my best, Steph]

Banned by R.J. Meldrum shows how a subtle alteration of wording isn’t always a mistake and perhaps, should not be questioned!

It’ll Be Different by Andrea Allison draws you in by demanding you sympathise with suffering but … is it all that it appears to be?

Pretty Bird by Patrick Winters uses a known safety device, the canary down the mine, and then adds an ‘aah’ moment amongst all the horror. I found it strangely touching!

 

Enjoy our stories and send in yours!

Steph

 

Stephanie Ellis

Editor, Trembling With Fear

I hope that everyone is having a great weekend so far!
As Steph mentioned, today our story is a bit visual on top of being an interesting read which makes it a bit more interactive than usual, mentally at least.
A quick update on the site, moving forward our guest posts are becoming a more personalized as bios located on those posts will target the actual writer and not Horror Tree (or once upon a time myself.) For those of you with multiple works featured on Horror Tree, it should also allow readers to easily find their other posts! While, it is currently going to be on posts moving forward, I eventually would like to update all of our old guest posts, blog tours, and WiHM posts as well. However, that will be quite time consuming so it could take a bit. (We’re talking late next year not in by the end of 2021. I, unfortunately, just don’t have the time to do this quickly.)

Finally a couple of reminders:

  • 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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Trembling With Fear 09/26/21

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!

This week has been quiet – thankfully – and I’ve continued on with my latest novella. At the moment, I am still writing it longhand. There will come a point when I transfer it to pc and go from there but for the moment, the notebook is keeping me focussed and I am not dipping into social media too much! I had planned for most of it to be set on the streets of Victorian London’s East End but whilst it started there, it has now gone underground to the massive vaults that lay beneath the warehouses back then. My characters are down there and not showing any sign of coming back up soon! Having this book to work on has been a great antidote to a few rejections I’ve had lately!

Delighted to see Were Tales – A Shapeshifter Anthology appear this week. Yes, I’ve got a story in it but I want to give it a plug a) because there are a huge number of wonderful indie authors in the TOC b) it includes poetry c) finishes with a bonus non-fiction piece, One and Done, from Cindy O’Quinn, which everyone should read in these covid times (and when you’ve read it, pass it on) and finally d) because this is Brigids Gate Press first publication. Steve and Heather Vassallo set up their new press this year. They are not necessarily focussing on one specific genre – which is great news for those who want to try other areas to work in – and have been both enthusiastic and professional. If you are looking for a home for your work, keep an eye out for this publisher.

Our first story in Trembling with Fear is Clozapine Daydream by Jim Graves is a bleak story of psychosis and effectively terrifying use of the character of Humpty Dumpty. Using a nursery character usually regarded as innocent and harmless really heightens the darkness of this tale.

After Dark by Stephanie Parent is the story of someone at war with themselves, trying to be someone else, but then they are summoned home.

Beneath the Waves by Toshiya Kamei brings us the Namazu, a giant catfish from Japanese mythology which causes – well, I’ll let you read for yourself. More monsters from other cultures please!

Tools and Weapons by Ryan Benson is a sci-fi thriller in a drabble. This sort of pacing allows you to put the character under huge pressure – and what can go wrong when that happens?

Enjoy our stories and send in yours!

Steph

Stephanie Ellis

Editor, Trembling With Fear

Today’s thanks goes to our Patreons who I feel I have not been thanking enough lately! While our advertising has gone up a bit, it is still the Patreons that are the heart and soul of keeping the site running as a fully ARMED and OPERATIONAL battle station! … Oh, wait, no that was the Death Star. You HAVE been keeping us running though and for this I thank you!

We made a small update to our calendar view of upcoming open calls. Previously, if you opened a calendar item you could export it to your calendar only if you used Google Calendar or iCal. NOW, we also have Outlook integration!

We’ve had a few users reach out about this very thing so I’m thrilled to be able to add the requested functionality! Expanding on this. Do you use our calendar religiously? Do you wish it was more filterable? Consider becoming a Patreon & mentioning that. We need another $89 a year to add an advanced filter bar where we could have it filter on anything from genre to length to pricing!

Just as a reminder, last week our store unofficially relaunched! With it going live we also added the sticker that so many were requesting after I showed off a prototype I got on my laptop and they’re available in 3 sizes! You can get the logo in our current style, sepia, grayscale, and red! (Thanks to those who ordered them early!)

Finally a couple of reminders:

  • 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.

Have a great weekend!

Stuart Conover

Editor, Horror Tree

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