Celebrate Valentine's Day by showing some love for an Indie author and by participating in the blog hop hosted by Book R3vi3ws.
Hi everyone, thank you for stopping by!
My name is Cora Pop and this is my first collection of strange tales and poems. I love reading and writing and I've been spinning tales of the Fantastic ever since I can remember. The stories collected in this book are the loving work of many years... Find out a bit more about me on The Author page.
If you like short incursions into a world of uncanny, eerie, maybe supernatural happenings, then Wanderings on Darker Shores is for you.
Get a taste of them:
Get a taste of them:
Gemma clutched Mum’s hand all the way up the dark, narrow, winding flight of stairs at the end of the corridor.
The air was stale yet the flame from the lamp in Mum’s hand was flickering wildly. Gemma tried not to look at the shadows on the walls. She tried to think only of the sunny bright afternoon outside, and of all the new blooms in the garden. Her heart jumped when she heard Mum exclaim,
“What is this? I don’t understand…”
The door to the attic was boarded with thick wood planks. And for good measure, a few more had been nailed on top of the first layer. Mum touched the planks as if still expecting to have a door there that she could open.
Gemma sat on the floor and put her right cheek and ear to the wood, her palms spread on the dusty smooth surface. The wood smelled of an herb, a sweet, nauseating smell, or maybe that was just how old wood smelled.
Then she heard it.
The raspy breathing. Right behind the boarded door. Waiting. Gemma knew Mum had heard it too from Mum’s sharp gasp just before she dropped the lamp. Oil spilled from it before Mum could pick it up and it caught fire, but Mum stepped on it quickly, almost setting fire to her skirts.
“Oh, God,” Mum said, taking a step back. “We could burn up here.”
There is romance, there are ghosts, there are aliens —not all of them in the same story, of course.
Rachel had been right about the melting. At places, the terrain was a bog and driving was tricky. I was glad when Ronny’s “place” showed up in the distance and I sped past the old sod houses of the abandoned Ahiarmiurjuit hamlet.
The building stood desolate on the flowering tundra, the sign reading Cryo-Life ironically dead.
I walked fast up the gentle slope, pulling my jacket tighter around me.
The whole drive there I thought I’d glimpsed things moving and every time I looked they were gone. And once, I could swear there was a polar bear on the horizon, galloping like a gigantic white horse. I put it all on fatigue, on drinking too much beer with Rachel’s cousin Abe, on being eaten by a mountain for many nights in a row.
I climbed the steps by twos, wondering about the dark patches staining the wood, about the tufts of fur caught in the splinters. Some animal, a fox maybe, had been molting, scratching, leaving bits of fur behind.
The wind had picked up and was rattling a loose sheet at the corner of the building. Just below it, something else was moving, maybe an animal.
I pressed the handle. The door was locked. I knocked.
A sliver of light was passing through a crack in the curtains.
The fox or whatever it was seemed closer now. I didn’t want to look at it. To see what it really was. A dirty rag or the molting fox. I knocked harder.
At last, the door cracked open and Ronny’s face appeared in the opening. For a long moment, he just stood there, watching me, as if he didn’t recognize me.
“What took you so long?” he said at last.
“Aren’t you going to invite me in?”
from “Welcome to Cryo-Life”
There is above all a certain mood reminiscent of 19th century or early 20th century literature.
He must’ve noticed the hunger in my eyes for he smiled, a gap opening on his face in guise of a toothless smile, a black crevice rebounding of a dubious goodwill, of a perverse acknowledgement of our newly acquired familiarity.
“Konrad Gessner,” he croaked. “He knew about them, about all of them.”
“Is it the Historiae Animalium?” I stammered. “Is it? The true one?”
He silenced me with a sharp gesture, a spark of anger in his eyes.
What did he fear in here? No one could know.
This was a sailors’ tavern, the only place that was open on a fog night, crammed by those who had no place of their own, the outcast, the transient, and the careless. All the good people, all the God-fearing men and women, huddled behind their doors and shutters, praying for the fog to go away. To take with it whatever it was bringing from the sea.
From “A Harvest of the Deep”
And since it’s Valentine’s day, the full story I give you on the Excerpt page is a —sort of— romance story…
Come and be friendly with me on Facebook and Goodreads, or follow me on Twitter. Also, visit my blog Chick with a Quill, where I share fiction, poetry and other thoughts. Right now, I presenting author Roland Yeomans there, as part of this wonderful blog hop.
Enter the giveaways below for a chance to win one of the two paperbacks offered —if you live in Canada or the United States— or one of the five pdf copies offered —if you live anywhere in the world.
Entries close at 11:59pm EST Feb 20/15. Winners will be announced Feb 23/15.
If you live in the USA or in Canada, enter to win:
or, available internationally, enter to win:
Don't forget to visit the other participants in this amazing blog hop: