Ecstatic Birth – A Short Horror Story

A year ago today my short story Ecstatic Birth was published in audio by The NoSleep Podcast. The cast did an incredible job, with Jessica McEvoy giving a truly sinister performance in the lead role as Mandy.

Now, for the first time, I’m publishing this story in text format here on my blog, so you can read at your leisure. If you would like to listen along to the audio while you read, you’ll find Ecstatic Birth at around 00:19:55 in Episode 18, Season 17 of the NoSleep Podcast.

Content warnings: foul language, disturbing imagery, traumatic birth

Ecstatic Birth

There is a cold drip in my spine. I turn to you and smile the lopsided smirk of a stroke victim; my lazy muscles grant you just half the effort you are so adamant you deserve, despite having put so little effort into this endeavour yourself.

“D’you think it’s a boy?” I slur. The beeping heart monitor makes patterns in the air alongside my voice.

“Shut up,” you tell me.

I start to giggle. Can’t help it. Don’t want to help it.

“Mandy, seriously. Shut the fuck up.”

The midwife gives you a sharp look. Even funnier. She counts down to a contraction and I burst into hysterics.

I see your teeth grinding. “Can we make her stop laughing?”

“No. It’s a common side-effect. Survival reflex, we think.”

They both hold me down as my body nearly shakes itself off the bed in a fit of humour.

“Did you know,” I gasp, “that some women– some women!– say that giving birth is like– is like– having an orgasm!

It’s too hilarious. I sink deep into the pleasure of its absurdity. Ecstatic birth, they call it. The bliss of expelling a whole lifeform from your core. It must be the body’s joyous reaction – a celebration – to finally be relieved of the parasite sucking on its juices.  

My body is preparing for this celebration. My nerve endings are tingling. You look at me with disgust as I start to writhe, as moans escape my throat and mingle with the other sounds dancing about the ceiling lights.

“We need to get it the fuck out of her.”

“The doctor is on her way.”

“We need more than a fucking doctor.

There is panic in your voice and it is delicious. It lends a mottled hue to the other colours in the air. The monitor blinks in and out with a prickly pink noise. My pleasure-sounds are the rich undercurrent, and we are all swimming in its waters.

The midwife is arguing with you, she is fed up with your language. You are fed up with the entire awful situation. Fever dances in you. You’re so close to the edge. We’re both so close to the edge.

I just want my wife back!” you scream in a white-hot jet of pain.

That does it. The midwife hisses under her breath, a silky dissonance. “This is it.”

Shivers of ecstasy run through me with every contraction. I feel that my scream is red and bloody, and though my mind says bliss my body says agony.

I’m still laughing, wheezing, straining, as my flesh tears and I am split open in a throbbing symphony of joy and terror, and my swollen uterus finally ejects its horrid passenger.

Behind thick walls of glass, a crowd of figures in white coats bend their heads and scribble on clipboards. I see the quiet sound of their pens scritching; it claws at the glass like a nervous animal.

You have backed into a corner, face too pale, staring in stiff dread at the thing the midwife is wrapping in fabric.

“I don’t want to see it!” I shout, except my voice has ground down to a hoarse, pebbly whisper. It falls from my mouth like little stones. “Take it away. Take it away.”

“Is it over?” you say. You know it isn’t.

The midwife is expressing some information to the bodies in white coats. Her words patter in matter-of-fact data droplets onto the glass. She turns to you, still holding the parcel of infant lifeform. “We’ll need to run more tests.”

“You said we just had to get through this,” you say faintly. “We just had to get it out of her.”

Other bodies are spilling into the room. They have noticed me, that I am still spilling, too. I thought the flow of red might have been the sound of my own breathing, but it appears to be tangible to them and they begin mopping, and prying, and stitching. Someone presses the button on my drip and coldness floods into my back. “Is it a boy?” I ask, and fade from consciousness.

* * *

There is a whole ward dedicated to us. Practically the entire hospital. Only three women currently in its care.

You have been staring at me for a long time. Your voice is so hollow. It has the same weight as an echo as it bounces in and out of the empty beds.

“You won’t give it up, then?” you ask again. You have been asking for days.

A nurse hovers on the edge of the ward. Military personnel swap shifts on the doors.

“We’re just fine,” I murmur, and I blow the sound towards my daughter like a kiss.

“Mandy, it’s not real. You understood what it was, before. Before it was– here.” You touch my arm. The sensation is flimsy, insubstantial. “Please tell me you understand. This is not your baby.”

“I gave birth, didn’t I?” I break from my humming to answer you. I am always humming now. It keeps her warm and calm. She loves the feel of my voice.

You, on the other hand, are a black hole for my sounds. They distort and twist as they near your event horizon, then briefly flare before being sucked irretrievably into your silence. I give them freely, as gifts. I don’t mind that you waste them, these miracles. You’ll have miracles of your own, soon.

Eventually, you speak. Little flashes of energy on the frayed edges of your tired soul. “Do you even remember how it arrived?”

“We were walking in the woods,” I trill.

“Then what?”

“There was music.” The memory may be vague, but the warm flush of anguish is unquestionable. It tinges my cheeks with longing. “It was beautiful.”

You bury your head in your hands. “This is a nightmare.”

“Isn’t it funny,” I say.


I hum a laugh, tickled by the old thought that has suddenly resurfaced. “Isn’t it funny,” I say again, “that pain is so necessary?”

The look you give me, it tips me fully into giggles, so I cannot finish the thought to completion. But you would know it, if only you could pause to taste the words. We’ve had the conversation before. Giving birth is the one acceptable trauma, we agreed. Necessary trauma: for the propagation of species; for the flighty thing we call family.

No matter how many chemicals we siphon into our bodies, we can’t escape the aftermath, the broken flesh. And perhaps worse, the result of our efforts remains to cling to us in its fragile newborn skin; a whole lifetime cradled in our palms, unaware of the horrors we shall have brought upon it purely by being in the world.

My daughter pleases me beyond all comprehension. They say you forget the pain, and it shall all be worth it in the end.

You pull me from reverie. “Mandy, look at yourself,” you say softly.

Your hand trembles as you touch my stomach. I know you are afraid to lift the dressings, to see how much of me is really left. The bandage sinks a little, falling into a deep depression under your fingers.

You jerk away, choking back a cry. The noise attracts the nurse, who arrives swiftly at your shoulder, indicates visiting time is drawing to an end. You become ghosts on the edge of my vision.

“Is she going to live?”

“We’re doing everything we can. I promise she’s comfortable. But she won’t be going home.”

“What are you going to do with her?”

“She’ll be looked after. Studied, but well looked after.”

“And the… thing?”

She glances nervously at the guards on the door. “I wouldn’t know about that.”

She escorts you into the corridor. You hold a near inaudible conversation, which gently floats back to me over the rest of the day.

“I thought you could help her. They said it was just an infection!”

“It’s not. Listen. You need to let her go. They’ll stop allowing you in here soon.”

“They can’t. She’s my wife.”


“What’s that supposed to–”

“You’ll disappear, do you understand? If you don’t let this go. She’ll be safe. They just want to study her. And keep other people… safe.”

“I can’t leave her like this.”

I pluck the speckled sound of your fear out of the air and plait it into my daughter’s pretty gurgling. It weaves into a dappled blanket that curls across the room and drapes around the heads of the soldiers. I send it to keep them warm.

Soon they are muttering. Their skin itches. A heavy base note thuds along their arteries. There is emptiness in them, a hollow well of silence aching to be filled. I send them gifts all throughout the night, until they can feel it dancing inside their swollen stomachs. They drop their weapons and clutch at their bodies, contorting, crying.

What miracles they are blessed with. All life is a miracle: as improbable as pleasure and the forming of stars; as implausible as music born from errant sounds. We shall all be miracle-bearers.

I continue to hum with my daughter, while their screams blend into our beautiful, blissful melody.

Thanks for reading! If you enjoyed this story please consider supporting me for the cost of a coffee or recommending my work to a friend! 😊

For more sinister, supernatural stories themed around motherhood, check out my Dark Folklore series of books.

Blog Tour: Androids and Aliens by J. Scott Coatsworth

A book launch, a giveaway, and a special excerpt!

Today, I’m taking part in a blog tour for the launch of Androids and Aliens by speculative fiction author, J. Scott Coatsworth. The book released last week on 8th December, and as part of the launch celebrations Scott is giving away a $20 Amazon Gift Card! Keep reading to find out how to enter.

Androids & Aliens is Scott’s third short story collection. I’m a big fan of speculative short stories and I’m currently enjoying dipping into this delightful selection. It contains eight sci-fi and science-fantasy shorts, with a mix of sobriety and comedy in the storytelling, and often a side-helping of romance. Scott’s writing is vivid and engaging, drawing us into worlds both alien and familiar; the characters are vibrant and their struggles compelling. Here’s a quick rundown of the stories you’ll find inside…

Rise: Because of the rise in sea levels associated with climate change, Venice vanished beneath the lagoon half a century ago. But what if we could bring it back?

Ping: I was a real estate agent by day and a museum curator in the evenings at a sci-fi museum. What I saw one night changed everything.

What the Rain Brings: Miriam struggles to make a living in post-climate-change Vancouver. But her friend Catalina has it even worse in the Arizona desert. So Miri hatches a plan.

High Seven: Zan dreams of making full reals – immersive live virtual reality skins – but his low test score may doom him to a life of cheap graphic coding.

Full Real: Dek’s given up his life of spying for the city. But one more case awaits him. Will he regret it more if he takes it. or if he turns it down?

Shit City: The Bay Area’s being walloped by a hurricane, and seventeen-year-old Jason Vasquez has been relocated to a refugee city in the Nevada Desert. Will it be temporary shelter, or a change of life?

Firedrake: Kerry has always wondered about his deadly powers. But a mysterious bunch of violet roses start him on the path to discovery – even if he’s not sure he’s going to like what he finds.

The Last Human Heart: I’m one of the Remainers, the few cyborg humans still living on this busted planet. But if my still-human heart finally gives out, I may not live to find out the truth.


Scott is giving away a $20 Amazon gift card with this tour. To enter, just click on this Rafflecopter link: 

Keep reading for a special excerpt from the book! 👇

Excerpt: The Last Human Heart

I slip out of the culvert as the sun falls behind the tawny hills on the horizon, a green flash lighting the sky. My heart beats at a steady pace.

Climbing back up onto the highway, I check the co-ordinates. With luck and a steady pace, I should reach the Trading Station by morning.

The stag crosses my mind again, that strange stare, beast to beast. There’s so little out here for it to live on or in, no trees or shade or shelter from the blistering sun. Just grass. Lots and lots of grass. Where did you go?

Taking one measured step after another, I start on my way, timing them to the beating of my heart.

A heady sense of possibility fills my chest. It’s strange, something I haven’t felt in years. I’ve traveled the length of the continent, from New York to California. I’ve been to Alaska and as far south as the isthmus, where rising seas finally finished the work of the Panama Canal, severing North and South America. In a few short centuries, humankind accomplished what Nature had labored for eons to do.

An hour later, I get my first look at the towers of Sacramento. I haven’t been here in decades, but it looks much the same as before. Its hulking skyscrapers and superscrapers look like bloody teeth in the infrared. Many are broken. Some still standing, others long since crashed back to the ground whence they came. They glow with stored heat, slowly bleeding it off into the atmosphere as the air cools.

Whence they came? I snort. I’m in rare form tonight, practically Shakespearian. Erik would have teased me endlessly for that.

I frown. He’s been on my mind a lot lately. Mortality having her fun with me?

I flash back to nights in Shanghai, fighting with my metal brothers and sisters in the street-to-street combat of the last wars. Flashes of light and explosions as nano bombs fell into civilian neighborhoods, eating everything in their path: stone and brick, flesh and bone.

I shudder. I should delete those memories; they only bring me pain. And yet – sometimes we need to remember the pain, so we don’t repeat it. But we can’t let it define us.

Who said that? Erik? My father?

No. It was Cassie. My erstwhile traveling companion for a couple years after the upload. When all that remained in this empty, broken world were the bots and empty, broken cyborgs like Cassie and me.

She’d finally shut herself down two decades ago. I’m tired of living, David.

Pain leaches away some of my good will. Maybe she had it right. Maybe it’s time for me, too, to give in to the inevitable. But I’m not quite ready yet, so I just keep moving.

Scott lives with his husband Mark in a yellow bungalow in Sacramento. He was indoctrinated into fantasy and sci fi by his mother at the tender age of nine. He devoured her library, but as he grew up, he wondered where all the people like him were.

He decided that if there weren’t queer characters in his favorite genres, he would remake them to his own ends.

A Rainbow Award winning author, he runs Queer Sci Fi, QueeRomance Ink, and Other Worlds Ink with Mark, sites that celebrate fiction reflecting queer reality, and is the committee chair for the Indie Authors Committee at the Science Fiction and Fantasy Writers of America (SFWA).

Find out more on his website:

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Blog Tour: Parasite by Ridley Harker

A review, a giveaway, and a special excerpt!

Today, I’m taking part in a blog tour for the launch of Parasite by fabulous new horror author, Ridley Harker. As part of the launch celebrations Ridley is giving away a $20 Amazon Gift Card: keep reading to find out how to enter!

I had the pleasure of receiving a review copy of this book and I am so thrilled to introduce it to you. Parasite is a horror-romance novel – and if that sounds like a difficult combo to nail, you’d be right. So understand the full weight of my enthusiasm when I say that this book nails it.

Jack Ives, a trans teenager with a very troubled home life, finds his world changed for both better and worse with the arrival of Lucien, a charming, yet off-putting stranger to his island. I was fully invested in the characters and the romance itself, while also remaining gloriously uneasy about the sinister aspects lurking in the shadows around them. Jack made for an interesting and complex main character, while Lucien’s behavioural quirks had me paying close attention every time he was on the page. (One of my favourite scenes is the two boys discussing what scares them, and Lucien answers, clipped and blunt: “Vivisection.”)

All the secondary characters also felt well-rounded, and I enjoyed seeing multiple character arcs develop: Mitch became a quick sympathetic favourite, while I am still intrigued by the emotional complexity to Spencer that I absolutely wasn’t expecting to be smacked in the face with near the end. (Not that the author does any smacking here – everything is subtly implied through small words and actions that kept me hooked, looking for more.)

Harker is brilliant at layering subtle clues through the story, and the true nature of the central horror is revealed in deliciously small doses during the first half of the book, building into a thrilling climax that lasts most of the second half, with all gory secrets revealed. A note on gore, for the squeamish: while there is some body-horror and plenty of blood in this book, I personally didn’t find it too extreme or gratuitous, and always perfectly fit the mood and character motives at the time.

As for setting, Eldrick Isle is a character all by itself. The entire story takes place on this remote and gloomy island, and that sense of gloom pervades Harker’s writing perfectly. Jack feels trapped there, and with such a small, close-knit and close-minded community, it’s not hard to find everyday horror in the situation Jack finds himself in even before Lucien arrives. By the end of the book, this characterisation of the island as a prison takes on a whole new meaning, and the murky grey atmosphere is a perfect reflection of the shades-of-grey morality within the overarching narrative. (SO many questions raised here about consent, conscience, control, and morale judgement.) True to this, romance lovers can expect a morally grey happy ending – rest assured that the story does not finish on a tragic note.

If I have one complaint, it’s that I wish there were just a couple more pages at the end to dwell on the fate of Eldrick Isle, and particularly the state of Jack’s relationships with the people there. However, the story is still wrapped up very well, and is tantalisingly full of opportunity for a sequel. So, Ridley Harker, if you’re reading this . . . I am desperately hoping for a sequel. 😉

Seventeen-year-old Jack Ives is used to being unlucky. His only friend has just moved away to college, his parents are alcoholics, and he’s relentlessly bullied by the town psychopath. All that begins to change with the arrival of a handsome but quirky new student, Lucien, who wants to be more than friends.

Their newfound happiness doesn’t last, however, as a strange new illness strikes the island. Fishermen go missing, and the villagers left behind aren’t themselves anymore. When Lucien is suspected to be the cause of the outbreak, can Jack overcome his teenage hormones and save Eldrick Isle? Will he even want to?

Warnings: Abuse, alcoholism, animal death, bullying, graphic violence/gore, guns, homophobia, misgendering

Universal Buy Link | Goodreads


Ridley is giving away a $20 Amazon gift card with this tour. To enter, just click on this Rafflecopter link:

Keep reading for a special excerpt from the book. 👇


Lucien wanted to hit something. He wanted to lash out and make himself feel better by making someone else feel worse—Spencer, preferably, but Lucien was too upset even to fantasize. Something scuttled under the floorboards beneath him. Tiny claws on warped wood. A nearby hole in the floorboards… Vermin would have to do.

He brought his index finger to his mouth and bit down, worrying at the skin with his teeth until it broke. He tasted blood. The takeout bag sat beside him so he picked up a fry and, after seasoning it with blood, tossed it toward the hole. And then he waited.

A whiskered nose appeared first, followed by a furry brown face and black, beady eyes. A rat. The animal snatched the fry and disappeared back into the darkness. Lucien smirked and licked his finger clean. He absently probed the torn skin with his tongue until it was smooth again. Then he paused, momentarily forgetting about the rat. Something on his fingers tasted off.



Some sort of grease.

He glanced dubiously down at the soggy french fries, holding his breath and waiting for disaster to strike. Nothing happened. His stomach rumbled. He licked his lips again. The scent of greasy, fried potatoes became too tantalizing to resist, and he reached into the bag and pulled out a fat, golden fry. He shouldn’t—years of lectures told him he shouldn’t—but a rebellion brewed deep inside him. He sniffed, and his stomach gurgled in approval.

Lucien popped the french fry into his mouth. It was cold. The texture was strange: crisp on the outside, soft on the inside. He had to chew before he could swallow. Grease coated his tongue.

His nutrient shakes were garbage.

Lucien scarfed down the entire bag of fries and then licked his fingers clean. Jack had left his milkshake behind, and Lucien drank that as well. The shake had a familiar texture, but the flavors… What would hamburgers taste like? He was going to find out.

An ear-piercing squeal erupted from beneath the floorboards. Lucien smirked into his straw and waited, listening. Judging from the sounds, more than one creature had taken his bait. The rat dragged itself out from the crevice. Little clawed toes curled in on themselves, and beady black eyes bulged out from their sockets. The bald tail became discolored, patchy and waxen. It flopped onto its side, its chest heaving madly as it labored to breathe. A black substance leaked out from its jaws, followed by a tiny, purpled tongue. It shuddered violently, and then it lay still.

Lucien didn’t notice. The paper cup crumpled in his grasp, and the remains of the strawberry shake dripped down his wrist. Behind his dry, irritating contact lenses, his pupils dilated. Lucien clutched at his belly, smearing milkshake across Jack’s borrowed shirt. It was like having shards of glass in his stomach, stabbing into his intestines. Ripping. Tearing. Sweat soaked his skin. He staggered to his feet and gagged. Waves of nausea threatened to bring him to his knees. His throat burned, and his stomach lurched.

He was going to be sick. Sick in the middle of Jack’s private sanctuary. Lucien clamped a hand over his mouth and stumbled toward the guest room. The door’s hinges screamed in protest when he fell against it. He landed heavily on his knees. The floorboards were wet and slimy, blackened with rot. They sloped toward the center of the room, where he saw the stony lip of the well peeking out from amidst the wreckage. The house was strange, but he had no time to explore, not when his stomach lining was burning its way up his esophagus.

Lucien dug his fingers into the moldering floorboards and dragged himself forward. Up close, the well stank. The putrid fumes of fetid water rising up to meet him suggested something had fallen in recently. Lucien leaned over the well’s side and vomited. The remains of french fries and strawberry milkshake hit the water below with a liquid slap. Strings of shredded tissue and dark, brackish blood soon followed.

Unbidden tears streamed down Lucien’s cheeks. He choked on a sob and then choked again as something elseslithered its way up his throat. The edge of the rotten boards gave beneath his clenched fingers, turning to splintery pulp. He tried to clamp a hand over his mouth, tried to keep it inside, but it was too late. Lucien curled in on himself, his mouth opened wide in a silent scream. His eyes rolled back behind his lids, and the world went dark.

It splattered onto the floor. It resembled a fattened leach, pulsating and slimy, and was the size of a large rat. It wriggled about, leaving behind a trail of black sludge. An alien kudzu sprung from the mess and cemented itself to the floor. Lucien opened his eyes, watching as the thing squirmed away from him. He felt a muted sense of alarm as it neared the edge. His head was foggy. He should grab it. Before it was too late, if it wasn’t too late already.

His fingertips scrabbled against the wood, mold and sludge filling the spaces beneath his nails, but his arms wouldn’t obey. He managed to brush the spongy tail of the creature before it tumbled over the edge and into the darkness below. It hit the water with a faint, echoing splash.

Lucien struggled to catch his breath. Empty and frail, his chest felt like a cage of papier-mâché. He rolled onto his back, panting. His eyes fluttered shut. Something moist crawled across his arms, up his ankles, under his jeans. It slithered through his hair. He was too tired to object. He wanted to sleep. He didn’t want to think about what could have happened if he had eaten in front of Jack. Or worse, if they had been in the middle of the crowded diner.

Inky blackness rose up to meet him, and Lucien didn’t resist.

Ridley Harker is an up-and-coming horror author who delights in all things gay and spooky. Influenced by Billy Martin (Poppy Z. Brite), Clive Barker, and Gemma Files, his favorite books are those with enemies to lovers, great villains, and queer main characters. Horror-romance is his favorite genre. He lives in the Middle of Nowhere with his two dogs, a grumpy old snake, and a host of pet tarantulas. Ridley is currently working on his MFA.

Find out of more on his website:

Follow Ridley Harker on:





Among Strangling Roots: New Release!

A dark fairy tale in a modern German setting. After inheriting her mother’s dilapidated farm, Marion suffers nightmare visions and a monster from old nursery tales that stalks her daughter in the fields.

Among Strangling Roots is the fourth standalone novelette in the Dark Folklore series, inspired by tales of the Rye Aunt, or Roggenmuhme. The Rye Aunt is a type of Feldgeister, or ‘field spirit’ from German folklore. This is the darkest story yet, with a strong rural horror vibe and not-so-happy ending.

When Marion returns to the house she grew up in, she is haunted by her unpleasant childhood and her own inability to connect with her eight-year-old daughter, Lilli. As her mind unravels, Marion finds herself plagued by waking nightmares and visions of the Rye Aunt: a terrifying, tar-stained shadow that stalks the fields and steals away naughty children.

Among Strangling Roots is available from all popular eBook retailers, and a few more besides. Grab it from your favourite store today!

Amazon UK:

Amazon US:

Kobo UK:

Kobo US:

Google Play:


Barnes&Noble (Nook):


Can’t find your preferred store? Or want just One Link To Rule Them All to show your friends?

Try this Universal Retailer Link instead:

Across Screaming Seas: New Release!

A dark fairy tale in a modern Welsh setting. The lives of a diver and a reclusive mermaid collide. Will one be the death of the other?

Across Screaming Seas is a standalone novelette in the Dark Folklore series, inspired by tales of Welsh mermaids – or ‘morgens’. Set on the south coast of Wales, this story follows a snorkelling instructor named Erin who comes to the aid of a sea creature caught in fishing nets. Erin is shocked to discover she’s rescued an injured mermaid – which swiftly disappears back into the ocean. Determined to find the creature again, Erin sets out to lure the mermaid into another encounter. A twist of circumstance finds Erin trapped in the mermaid’s lair, wrestling against her own conscience and the instinct to survive…

Across Screaming Seas is available from all popular eBook retailers, and a few more besides. Grab it from your favourite store today!

Amazon UK:

Amazon US:

Kobo UK:

Kobo US:

Google Play:


Barnes&Noble (Nook):


Can’t find your preferred store? Or want just One Link To Rule Them All to show your friends?

Try this Universal Retailer Link instead:

Across Screaming Seas book cover with a mermaid swimming underneath a stormy sea

2022 Submissions: Halfway Checkpoint

Photo by Lisa on

Each year I keep track of the writing submissions I put in to journals and anthologies, and it’s now practically tradition that I check-in at the halfway point to take stock of how it’s going. 2021 was a great year for my submissions record, including an acceptance from the NoSleep Podcast who produced my horror story Ecstatic Birth for their show! (You can listen to it for free here:×18)

But as you’ll see, things have slowed down quite a bit this year. Here are my stats so far:

Submissions to magazines, anthologies, and competitions

Number of Submissions: 8

Submissions Declined: 5

Submissions Accepted: 0

Still under review: 3

Despite last year’s success, it’s clear that I haven’t been prioritising journal submissions in 2022. (Last year I already had twenty submissions in by June.)

I’m fine with this. The lower productivity on this side is indicative of the energy I’ve put into other publishing endeavours: namely, my new Dark Folklore series. This is a series of dark fairytales written as standalone novelettes (8000 to 12000 words in length), each based on a piece of folklore from around the world. I’m pleased to have kept a steady publishing schedule with a new Dark Folklore story releasing every 2-3 months, which is very rapid compared to my usual writing speed.

So I’m feeling pretty chill about my stats this year. No unnecessary shame or self-loathing required. (An achievement in itself for any writer, amiright?)

Plans for the rest of 2022: Across Screaming Seas releases next week! I have at least two more Dark Folklore novelettes to write, and then will form them into a paperback coIlection due for release sometime around Halloween, if all goes well. Alongside this, I’m still drafting Season Three of The Jack Hansard Series which will eventually reach the free beta stage for your reading pleasure.

I also intend to keep pottering along with submissions, and will let you know my final stats at the end of the year.

Are you in the submissions game? If so, how’s it going? What have your wins been so far?

Within Trembling Caverns: New Release!

A dark fairy tale in a modern Polish setting. A grandmother cares for an ailing dragon… but her compassion puts her own grandchildren in danger.

Just released: the next installment in the Dark Folklore short story series. Within Trembling Caverns is a standalone short story (or novelette, if you’re feeling fancy) inspired by the Polish legend of the Wawel Dragon. Set on the outskirts of modern Krakow, an elderly woman named Truda feels a sense of duty to look after a cave-bound dragon near her home. But when misfortune strikes and she can no longer feed the beast, her own family are at risk of becoming meals for her starving, scaly ward…

Within Trembling Caverns is available from all the most popular eBook retailers, and a few more besides. Grab it from your favourite store below:

Amazon UK:

Amazon US:

Kobo UK:

Kobo US:

Google Play:…/Georgina_Jeffery_Within_Trembling…


Barnes&Noble (Nook):…/1141363135


Can’t find your preferred store? Or want just One Link To Rule Them All to show your friends?

Try this Universal Retailer Link instead:

Beyond Thundering Waters: Book Launch and Giveaway!

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Today marks the launch of a brand new fantasy story, and a new series along with it. Beyond Thundering Waters is a dark fairy tale set in the lush surroundings of the Utladalen Valley in Norway.

Our young heroine, Ida, gets into trouble when she catches the attention of Maja, a huldra who lives in the forest. Maja is drawn by Ida’s grief – she’s still grappling with the death of her Mamma… and it seems Maja is keen to fill the void that was left behind. Will Ida end up with a huldra for a mother? Can she save her Pappa before Maja takes him away forever?

The Giveaway

To celebrate, I’m giving away a whole bunch of free copies of this eBook! Today you can grab one of TEN freebies using this special coupon code at Smashwords:


Find the book in the Smashwords store here:

Simply enter the code at checkout to get the book for free. Remember, there are only ten copies available: the first ten people to enter the code, win! The code expires next week on 10th May.

This isn’t the only giveaway. You’ll find another code to use on Google Play via my Facebook page, and yet another code in my Reader Group. Current subscribers to my newsletter will get their own chance to win one of TWENTY free copies tomorrow!

And of course, if you want to purchase the story instead, you can find the ebook on all retailers via this universal link:

If you’d like to help out this little launch, please reblog this post, shout about the giveaways, and share the book link! Love to you all, and I hope you enjoy the story. 😊

Dark Folklore… Coming Soon

Dark Folklore: A Short Story Series

Dark Folklore is a new short story series inspired by myths and monsters from around the world.

I love discovering folklore in all its flavors… from elusive beasties that stalk the aging forests to twisting fates in fairytales told from the shadows of a campfire. The more obscure and sinister the tale, the better.

Dark Folklore is a series to indulge this love. Each installment is inspired by a folk legend from a different country, reimagined in a modern setting with new twists and themes. More than just a retelling: each short story is a new, original tale. Expect some spooky vibes and a few unhappy endings… but also the odd uplifting one as well.

The first installment of Dark Folklore releases on Tuesday 3rd May: a story called Beyond Thundering Waters. With a lush Norwegian setting surrounded by mountains and waterfalls, this story draws on a menacing interpretation of the huldra (one of my favourite folkloric creatures). Ida, a young girl still grieving the loss of her mother, must race against time to save her Pappa from the clutches of her own wild valley and the huldra who would keep them apart.

This story is already live for preorder on all the usual storefronts. Stay tuned for a special Launch Day Giveaway: I’ll be handing out TEN free copies of Beyond Thundering Waters via my blog, and even more copies via social media and my newsletter!

So remember to hit the Follow button on my website, and check out my socials on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram. Subscribe to my newsletter (and receive another free short story) by clicking here.

For even MORE folklore content and chances to win, you can also join my Reader Group here:

Are you excited for this series? Let me know if you’ve picked up Beyond Thundering Waters already, or are joining us on 3rd May for the Giveaway!

‘Ecstatic Birth’ – Free Audio Horror Story!

The NoSleep Podcast banner image

Do you like dark vibes, spooky tales and Twilight Zone-esque anthologies? Then I’ve got the podcast – and the story – for you!

The NoSleep Podcast releases weekly episodes with their curated selection of the best short horror stories, brilliantly adapted to audio for your listening pleasure. The first half of each episode is FREE to enjoy on their website. (And unlocking the rest is a paltry $2, or $25 for all 25 episodes in a season.)

I’m beyond proud to tell you that one of my stories, Ecstatic Birth, was featured in Episode 18 (Season 17) of The NoSleep Podcast earlier this month. Even better, my story appears in the free portion of the episode, so you can check it out whenever you feel like it! You can find the intro to the story at roughly 00:19:55 in the recording. [Content warning for underlying themes of traumatic birth and postnatal depression: this is darker than other stuff you may have read from me and I don’t wish you to be caught off-guard.] Click here to go listen to it on the NoSleep website.

Episode credits for S17E18 of The NoSleep Podcast
So excited to be in these credits!

The cast did a brilliant job, and I’m especially in awe of Jessica McEvoy’s performance as the lead. Her wonderfully deranged portrayal of Mandy took the story to new heights and conveyed such a sinister aura that it stayed with me for a long time after listening. The NoSleep crew are topnotch at what they do, and I highly recommend following and supporting their work.

If you listened to my story or the rest of the episode, let me know what you thought of it in the comments!