The Russian Doll

Its time to get back to work. Soooo…

I am working on a short story to get myself back in the game. I wonder if my writing has changed after all this time. I know I have.


The Russian Doll

This story, The Russian Doll, was conceived as part of a larger work called Vampires on the Orient Express. But I decided to focus on it as a short story or novella. I find these Russian nesting dolls intriguing. We all think we now what is inside—and that’s just the point. What if the doll was used to to hide, or mask something else? Something illicit or fearful, or otherworldly?

I found in my research that there were all sorts of nesting dolls. The Babushka, or mother type, the Fairy Tales type, but there are also religious icons and perhaps other things…

Put together: bram Stoker’s friend, a, English newsman on the Orient Express going into part mysterious and unknown, a strange bookshop and a group of Russian dolls, Not far away, in the middle of a lake, is an island monastery called Snagov, that holds the grave of Vlad Tepes.


My protagonist, Alex, is a reporter for the London Illustrated News  and good friend of Bran Stoker whose novel Dracula., has just take the world by a storm. Stoker has confided in Alex that his evil hero, Count Dracula, was not based on the actor Henry Irving, Stoker’s employer at the Lyceum Theatre in London and spitting image of Vlad, but in a actual prince of Wallachia. He sets out on the Orient Express into the wilds of central Europe, to find out the true story of Dracula and bring it back to London and the news.

He gets no leads until he arrives in Bucharest and finds an antiquarian bookshop that sells much more than books.


I’d spoil the story if I said any more about it. research hasn’t been too heavy or difficult. But i always learn interesting things along the way. Enjoy these postcard images on Bucharest in the 1890’s..




Remote and mysterious…

Peles-Castle-Sinaia Pelles Castle






I hope you will like this spooky story. I’m hoping it will finished quickly and well.

Fangs to all of you!



Music for Carmilla by Charles Coleman



Composer Charles Coleman contacted me via my Gothic Faery Tales blog asking about some of the images I used to illustrate Carmilla,a Vampire novella by Sheridan La Fanu. He gave me permission to share it which makes me happy because it is a gorgeously mysterious piece that with its cello and shrieking violins, evokes the dark emotions of the Undead.

It’s only 9:40 minutes long, a live performance. I hope you enjoy it as much as I do and agree it is a wonderful addition to the Gothic Library!


Looking Back at 2014



Looking back over the year is always fun. It was productive. Indie Publishing encourages finishing books at a rapid pace and some of my readers keep pushing me along. I hope you like the results!

For fiction authors, finding your true fans, people who really love what you do and the way you do it, is difficult and takes time. This year, many of you found my books and let me know how much you enjoyed them. That means a great deal and I thank everyone who took a chance on my books and liked them and let me know by email or in reviews left on the page where they bought the book. Reviews can help more readers find the books because Amazon will elevate heavily reviewed books over the rest. If you are able to leave a few honest words on the page, I can’t thank you enough.


2014 Book Releases:



January: The novel length version of The Lady in Yellow came out and has sold very well! This was one of those stories that almost wrote itself, a wonderful thing when it happens.


March: The Haunted Garden: Secret of the Memento Mori. This has been a novella called Memento Mori and is a bit more literary in style. Some people like this sort of thing with all the art history and plague history and ghosts, others don’t get it. I’ve always called this book my problem child, but I love it.



October: The Shadows: A YA Paranormal Thriller was released in time for Halloween.  This one has series potential. I am already planning a sequel tentatively called Taller Than Our Souls at the end of  2015 if all goes well.

Works in Progress

Custom Book Cover FONT Alyne Official


Over the Summer, I wrote the first draft of Dark Reliquary: Prelude to Roses of the Moon. This will be a big book, a dark epic fantasy of Vampire Queens, the bloodline of Lady Mara in Roses of the Moon.


I also wrote the first draft of Song of the Sea and Starlight: A Celtic Tale of the Selkie. This was meant to be a short story but the beta readers pushed it into novella territory and now I know it will be a novel. It has lots of layers.  Its the Dark Fantasy of a Scottish lady and her small daughters as they try to survive on a remote island where they are stranded during the 13th century Wars for Scottish Independence. In her misery,, the rather spoiled and materialistic Lady Rowan is visited by a mysterious ship and its alluring captain, who turns out to be a Selkie….

Both of these are planned to be  finished in 2015.



Above is the untitled cover for the next Poppy Farrell Mystery— Taller Than Our Souls from Led Zeppelin’s great song. Stairway to Heaven.


I am finishing a first draft of Sovay.  The rather lame plot description on the previous post has been replaced by far more interesting twists and turns. Its highly atmospheric and strange. I will offer it FREE to fans of The Lady in Yellow-–it has spoilers—and hope you will enjoy it as a New Year gift.

I was shooting for Christmas -but I always underestimate how long these things take to write…

And I am also working on The Vampire’s Bride, sequel to The Vampire’s Mirror. The plan is to follow the mirror through time and vampires. If I tell the plot here, it will be a spoiler for The Vampire’s Mirror,  but it will be the same lead characters 60 years later, one old and one still very young…. This will be a novella.

Short stories and novellas can really save an authors sanity, so I hope you like them. I want to keep the Vampire’s Mirror books relatively short.

For my full list, click the BOOKS tab or this link. My first novel, Dark Fantasy, Roses of the Moon, was published right before New Year 2012—so I consider it a 2013 book. The short stories went out as e-books in 2012 to test the waters of this Indie Publishing thing. It has been quite a trip!


La Morte

The end is nigh….