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: https://www.facebook.com/groups/aninspiredmess


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!


Book Launch & Giveaways! The Jack Hansard Series: Season Two

This week I’m celebrating the launch of my latest book, The Jack Hansard Series: Season Two!

It me!

The paperback looks and feels fabulous and I adore the cover illustration by Dominique Lane. In Jack and Ang’s latest misadventures, we get to wrap up the mystery of Ang’s missing coblynau and finally find out what lies behind the ominous names of Baines and Grayle. Quiet Eyes makes another appearance, and the phoenix eggs stolen at the end of the first book have a large part to play as well. Lots of mysteries solved… and a few more to be opened.

For Jack Hansard, Purveyor of Occult Goods, things are looking up. With the coblyn Ang as his new business partner, he has a solid friend to back him up in every dangerous situation. Together the pair face shapeshifters, piskies, and ancient magics in their quest to track down Ang’s missing kin. A new lead means the trail is about to get a whole lot hotter.

But when an old enemy presents Jack with an offer he can’t refuse, will he risk Ang’s trust to see it through?

Intrigued? Come and join the virtual Launch Party!

I’m running giveaways all week to celebrate this book release. Join us over on Facebook for a chance to win some Jack Hansard swag, free book codes, and a $10 Amazon gift card! (The gift card giveaway has just opened!)

If you’re subscribed to my newsletter, you’ll get an extra chance to win a separate $5 gift card later this week~

I recommend grabbing your copy of Season Two soon as I’ve kept it discounted to $2.99 as a special release offer for this week only. From next week it will go to full price: $4.99

If you’re after the paperback, it’s currently filtering into stores and should be available from a wide range of retailers soon. 😊

Thanks for helping me celebrate my book launch! Maybe I’ll see you at the party later. 🥳

Celebrating a Year in Print!

Jack Hansard book with birthday cake

Today is Jack Hansard’s book birthday!

A year ago today I hit publish on The Jack Hansard Series: Season One, the genre-bending episodic fantasy I’d first conceptualised five years before. The exploits of this occult salesman and his cantankerous coblyn sidekick have become very close to my heart.

It has taken considerably less time to produce the book’s sequel, bolstered in no small part by the confidence I gained in finally getting the first one ‘out there’. So it’s with a great deal of pleasure that I can announce The Jack Hansard Series: Season Two is now available for pre-order everywhere ebooks are sold!

The paperback version will become available for pre-order some time in December, once the book cover design has been finalised. Follow me on social media or my newsletter to receive updates and sneak previews of the cover art as it develops.

I’m also running a flash sale to celebrate this milestone

For a limited time only you can pick up The Jack Hansard Series: Season One for just 99p. Grab your copy here!

My short story The Hub is also FREE to download from most retailers for a very short time. Find it here.

Thank you for your support over the past twelve months, and here’s to more exciting times ahead!

Book Birthday! The Jack Hansard Series: Season One ebook cover

The Hub: a supernatural sci-fi story

Photo by Phil Goulson on Pexels.com

When an app developer accidentally creates a maliciously benevolent social media network, only her girlfriend can save her from what she’s brought to life…


Happy days! I was incredibly pleased to release my short story The Hub as an ebook last week. This story was first published by the wonderful folks at Thunderbird Studios in their anthology The San Cicaro Experience – a weird and dark anthology exploring the titular urban fantasy location.

The Hub ended up straddling the line between sci-fi and urban fantasy with its technological menace, but ultimately it’s a story about love and compromise.

It’s now available for just $0.99 from all the main retailers: Amazon, Kobo, Nook, Apple, etc. Universal shop link below. 😄

The Hub: a speculative short story

In sunny San Cicaro, a new app is dominating the city’s streets – and its people.

Max loves her city, and believes everyone deserves to enjoy its hidden treasures. So when she launches the SC Hub, a new social app to connect people and places, she couldn’t be happier with its blazing overnight success. But her reclusive girlfriend, Ellie, can’t help but worry about the magnetic pull the app is having on its creator, and the strange occurrences in town that seem linked to it.

Are people driving the app… or the other way round?

A Wyrd and Wonderful Occasion

Wyrd and Wonder fantasy banner

Earlier this week I stumbled across a blog post about ‘Wyrd and Wonder’ : a month-long online event celebrating fantasy in all its forms. Hosted by the folks at onemore.org, the Wyrd and Wonder party straddles social media channels with blogs, reviews, streams, games, and a shared love of all things fantasy!

Regular readers know I need a bit of a butt-kicking to update my blog (I’m normally a ‘one post a month’ kinda gal) but this is exactly the kind of motivational event I can get behind. So I’ve joined the Wyrd and Wonder party and planned a few (small) activities of my own to take part throughout the month of May. My list is definitely small fry compared to others (how do you all keep up with your TBRs?!) but I’m excited to have some goals to aim for!


My Quest Log:

  • Finish reading The Shepherd’s Crown by Terry Pratchett. I started this book at the beginning of the year and was halfway through when… I put it down. For some reason. Maybe a few tiring nights from kiddo had sapped my energy, or I just had to get on with other stuff that evening. These days, unfinished books are like my forgotten cups of tea scattered around the house – not for lack of wanting to finish them. Something else just gets in the way. So I’m looking forward to finishing this final instalment in the Tiffany Aching series, and when I’ve completed it I’ll also have finally read every single Discworld novel. I’m still sad that there won’t be any more.
  • Read Rivers of London by Ben Aaronovitch. It’s been on my TBR list for a loooong while. This month I’d like to read (and finish!!) the first book in this urban fantasy series and then maybe write a review post afterwards!
  • Buy a new indie fantasy book. I’ll pop this as a thread over on Twitter where peeps can pitch their own (or their favourite) fantasy book by an indie author, and I’ll pick at least one to buy and read for myself. I’m grateful to others who’ve posted these writers’ lifts/book lifts in the past and I’d love to try my own. If I’ve got time, I want to post my review of the chosen indie book this month as well.
  • Offers and such? I’m involved in some group fantasy book promotions this month. I’d like to support my writing community and help readers find new fantasy authors to fall in love with – I’ve put the current ones below as it doesn’t seem right to make them a separate post. There are some giveaways which start later in May as well. Would people be interested in a post just about free fantasy books…? They’ll be on Twitter, anyway. 😆
  • And of course, getting involved! I’ll read and follow as many Wyrd and Wonder posts as I can manage. I’d like to try answering some of the Challenge Prompts via Twitter or Instagram. The community looks really friendly and I’m excited to dip my toes in and meet you all.


Not gonna lie, I’m hoping this will jumpstart my reading habit again. Aiming for two and half books in a month is pitiful compared to what I used to go through, but at least it’s something. 😂

Then afterwards maybe I can justify splashing out on a few more recent releases… The Once and Future Witches and The City We Became keep catching my eye.

If you’re looking for something new to read yourself, check out these fantasy book sales for ideas. 👇

Books with magic in this promotion
Funny fantasy books on sale
Fantasy books promotion

Time to dive in!

You can find out more about Wyrd and Wonder here, follow the hosts on Twitter here, and find posts on Instagram and elsewhere with the #WyrdandWonder hashtag. (Also check out this fab book bingo game they’ve created!)

If you’ve got plans for Wyrd and Wonder, or even just some cool fantasy titles on your TBR list, let us know below! 😊

Wyrd and Wonder Pegasus Banner
Pegasus images by Svetlana Alyuk on 123RF.com