Book Spotlight – Food of the Gods – Em Dehaney – Dark Fiction


FOOD OF THE GODS by Em Dehaney

Food of the Gods on Amazon UK

Food of the Gods on

Food Of The Gods_Cover

A perfect corpse floats forever in a watery grave.

A gang member takes a terrifying trip to the seaside.

A deserted cross-channel ferry that serves only the finest Slovakian wines.

Gods and monsters.

Mermaids and witches.

Blood and magic.

Love and death.

From the dark and decadent mind of Em Dehaney come eight tales of seafoam secrets and sweet treats.

Nothing is quite what it seems, but everything is delicious.

This is Food Of The Gods.



Reviews of Food Of The Gods

“…diverse and brilliantly crafted slices of dark fiction…”

“…dark and haunting tales of the horrors of the human condition…’

“Brilliantly written and something to be revisited again and again.”

“I found myself submersed in strange places with fantastic other worldly creatures.”

“Each story is a gem in its own right, when collected together the result is an anthology that any writer would be proud to put their name to.”


Em Dehaney is a mother of two, a writer of fantasy and a drinker of tea. Born in Gravesend, England, her writing is inspired by the history of her home town. She is made of tea, cake, blood and magic. By night she is The Black Nun, editor and whip-cracker at Burdizzo Books. By day you can always find her at or lurking about on Facebook posting pictures of witches You can also follow Em on Twitter @emdehaney

Doctors in Hell – Review

5 Stars

Everyone knows Hell is a pretty awful place to spend eternity. It just got worse. Not only are the auditors in, which is bad enough, but now a terrifying new plague stalks Old and New Dead alike. Rumours abound on its source, be that Erra and his mighty weapons personified, Old Nick himself or something else. Whatever the answer might be cures are sought, bought, sold and bold. Hell being Hell, of course it does not go entirely smoothly….

Dr Frankenstein, Polydory, Dr Neill Cream, Shakespeare, Kit Marlow, Calamity Jane, Napoleon, Wellington, nurses and physicians from civilisation’s birth, gangsters, poets and even artificial life in the form of Galatea, and Adam Frankenstein, battle against a foe they don’t understand, have no clue how to beat and yet, as Heroes in Hell, fight they must and endure the twisted half-life in Satan’s domain. Truly mythic, where myths get turned on their heads and characters you thought you knew live (or unlive) again.

Filled with diabolical machinations, intrigue, courage, dark humour, and even searching questions about the nature of the soul – particularly from Joe Bonadonna in Hell on a Technicality this collection of Hell themed tales from a mix of talented writers from science fiction, fantasy and historical fiction. Janet Morris, has yet again, produced an anthology which flows from one scenario to another, despite the varying styles and stories. There were stories I didn’t want to end, and some which made me chuckle (Napoleon and Wellington always crack me up), some which were tragic, some vengeful (Grim) and some which were extremely clever.

This is a world of darkness, but it is a shared world across time, across history, across the good and great and the weak and pitiful and the characters reflect that. There is something for die-hard fans of the series and new authors to discover, and an exquisitely crafted greater whole for those new to the series.

The eighteenth Heroes in Hell is, perhaps, darker and bloodier than its predecessors. It’s not for the faint-hearted, but then again – this is Hell, what do you expect?

#Fantasy #mythic #historical #Heroes in Hell.

Author Interview Number Ninety – Francis H. Powell – Dark Fiction

Welcome to Francis H Powell

Where are you from and where do you live now? I was born in a “dormitory town” called Reading, not famous for much, apart from a huge Rock festival, and for the fact that Oscar Wilde was sent to prison there and wrote “The Ballad of Reading Gaol”. My family then moved to a farm in the country, in Sussex, not too far from London. I have lived in Austria, but presently I live in St Maurice, in the Parisian suburbs.

Please tell us a little about your writing – for example genre, title, etc. I would not like to be considered a horror writer…so maybe dark fiction with elements of wit.

Where do you find inspiration? To some extent my stories are indirectly autobiographical; my life has not been a smooth journey, with many setbacks along the way. I don’t think I consciously draw a line between real events and the fiction I write. I doubtlessly draw from my experiences, good or bad.

Some ideas come from nowhere. Once trav­el­ing on the Paris metro, a name sud­denly came to me…Little Mite…I then thought about, who would pos­sess such a name…concluding it seemed like a young ado­les­cent, rather wicked. The story is about two fam­i­lies: one old aris­toc­racy on the wane, the other nou­veau riche. Lit­tle Mite’s sis­ter is about to be mar­ried, a match made in heaven and ben­e­fi­cial to both fam­i­lies. There is a party on a lawn, all the final details are being made for the wed­ding. Lit­tle Mite entices the groom’s younger brother to her father’s work­shop and glues the inno­cent boy to a cof­fee table, a work in progress. Not con­tent with this, she goes and picks some sting­ing net­tles and thrashes the boys legs. This idea came from a news­pa­per about the author and writer Vita Sackville West, who had a sim­i­lar fate await­ing chil­dren who vis­ited the Sackville estate when she was a child. The story gets very dark, at the end when Lit­tle Mite decides to play a trick on her fam­ily, to try tow­ing back her parent’s good favor. Unfor­tu­nately her father mis­takes her for a bur­glar and shoots her with a hunt­ing rifle. This idea came to me after read­ing a news­pa­per arti­cle about a sim­i­lar mishap. Ideas seem to plant themselves in my head and I feel a need to expand on them and develop them.  Sometimes newspapers provide excellent sources.  I read obscure stories about people stealing other people’s identities, a person who pretends he is a Duke, but in reality he is a fraud.

Do you have a favourite character? If so why? I guess “Bugeyes” for me stands out.  He is born into an aristocratic family, with a genetic fault (over-large enormous eyes) and immediately rejected by his mother and sent to live with a servant on the estate.  He is mocked cruelly due to his physical defect, as well as being denied his natural inheritance. He gets revenge in the end.

Do you have a character you dislike? If so why? I write about cruel despicable characters, there is not one I particularly dislike.

Are your characters based on real people? Not directly, but as I have said, I think there is a lot of my past experiences intermingled, with my stories.

Research can be important in world-building, how much do you need to do for your books? Do you enjoy this aspect of creating a novel and what are your favourite resources? If I am writing about a subject I don’t know much about, then I trawl the internet for information. For example I have recently written a story called “The Orchid Wars” and I know nothing about orchids or growing flowers. It can be interesting and a good learning experience doing research.

Is there a message conveyed within your writing?  Do you feel this is important in a book? I write about outsiders, freaks, oddballs, the oppressed of this world, the cruelty and injustices of this world, as well as those responsible for such situations, the oppressors.

The message, is rise up, you can win through in the end.

Sort these into order of importance: Great characters; great world-building; solid plot; technically perfect. Can you explain why you chose this order? (Yes I know they all are important…) From my point of view, write short stories so  great characters is very important. Secondly each sentence has to be powerful, the language rich. I would like to be technically perfect, maybe I have a long way to go.

In what formats are your books available? (E-books, print, large print audio) Are you intending to expand these and if not, what is the reason? Softback, at the moment.

Do you self-edit? If so why is that the case? Do you believe a book suffers without being professionally edited? I worked with two editors. It was hard. I live in France, they live in the US, so all the work was done by e mail. Also my stories are British in character. I must say the stories evolved and my writing at the same time.

What are your opinions about authors commenting on reviews? How important are reviews? You have to rely a lot on other authors concerning publicity…to do a lot of exchanges…author helping author. Whether reviews under these circumstances are objective, I am not sure. A  good review can help a lot…people can do a lot of research before they decide to buy a book on Amazon, a good review might swing a sale for an author.

When buying a book do you read the reviews? Not really.

What are your reviews on authors reviewing other authors? As above I wonder how objective they can be…

What experiences can a book provide that a movie or video game cannot? With a book, a writer can leave things incomplete and ambiguous.  Films (made in Hollywood at least) tend to formularized, meaning the cinema goer has to leave with a happy conclusion, even if whatever has happened before is tragic. A book does not have to end in a happy way. Films revolve around how actors interpret a character or how a director envisages a story.  Some films stay in your head a long time after you have seen them…others you can’t even recall the title of the film. Books leave a deeper impression.  However films can give so much visual stimulus which can influence your writing. I was once advised by an art tutor, try to go to see a film once a week, even if it’s not a great film, it will offer so much stimulus. I have never really been into video games.

What three pieces of advice would you give to new writers? 

Stick at it, don’t fall by the wayside.

Find a format of writing that really suits you.

Let inspiration come from many sources, newspapers, film, TV, or even just eavesdropping some people’s conversations on public transport. Keep your eyes and ears open all the time.

What are your best marketing/networking tips? What are your worst? It is hard to say,  how much the social media helps to sell books. I have a book trailer for Flight of Destiny. I tweet on a regular daily basis. I am on Linkedin and I pin stuff on Pinterest. I am a disciple of Goodreads. I do author to author interview exchanges. I have a youtube channel dedicated to my book. I collaborate with musicians. There are lots of new social media sites that are emerging, some of which are not good to be involved with, because maybe they are there for the youth market…one I joined to my regret seemed to be filled with middle aged lonely hearts…who looked not really the types to engage with.

Most authors like to read, what have you recently finished reading? Did you enjoy it? I read “This party’s got to stop” by Rupert Thompson, a person I met while I was at my first Art College. It is a memoir of when his father died, it is moving but funny at the same time.

Can you name your favourite traditionally published author? And your favourite indie/self-published author? As above Rupert Thompson, who is of the traditional published variety. I am not sure about the indie variety.

Do you have a favourite movie? I love films…and I am sure a lot have indirectly influenced my writing…A couple of my favourite films would be “One flew over the cuckoo’s nest” and “Amadeus”.  I like films that are historical, psychological, unusual, films that make me think, films that educate me. Films that are witty

Can you give us a silly fact about yourself? I was once on AustrianTV, wearing a kilt, pretending to toss a caber. They were looking for Scots, I am a part Scottish.  I was and still am a bit scrawny and I don’t look anything like somebody who would participate in a Highland Games. I could barely hold up this “caber” and it was lucky I did,’t drop it on somebody’s head. I was also once in Pigbag video, wearing a Guerrilla suit, pretending to play a trumpet. ..

Book links, website/blog and author links:

Darker Places – Horror and Dark Fantasy Anthology – Author Interview Dani J Caile

Today I welcome one of my fellow authors involved with the Indie Collaboration Halloween anthology – Darker Places. 

Name: Dani J Caile

Please tell us about your work with the Indie Collaboration. I became a member of the Indie Collaboration some time ago, but it kind of passed me by. I wanted to write stories for these anthologies but I was so busy elsewhere that it never seemed to happen. Until now. I caught a Facebook post by Donny and I thought instantly that “Hey, it’s time to tell that story.” I will surely be more involved as the months go on. The IC can only be a good thing for all of us, including writers and readers.

Where did the idea for these stories come from? This is the first one I’ve written for the IC and as with all my stories, it came from my experience. Without some reality, a story isn’t real. Everything I write, from novels all the way down to a zhong, has a reality. This particular story in Darker Places is very close to the truth.

Do you have short stories in other anthologies? Only outside IC at the moment but I hope to be in more. There’s a Steampunk anthology “Circuits & Steam” by Three Fates Press which sells well at US fairs and conferences but has yet to be set up on Amazon, and 2 future anthologies with the same publisher to come, one anthology about strange passengers on a desert bus and another in honour of 50s/60s horror movies.

I’m also a longtime member of the Iron Writer Challenge (, a Flash fiction writing ‘competition’ which is excellent for tuning your writing skills. I have stories in their first anthology, “Ironology”, the first year of Iron Writer Winners. That will come out in a few weeks, hopefully, and almost 10% of the book are my stories. I also write up everything and anything in the Iron Writer, both the weekly challenges and any other extras and have created 3 six-month anthologies so far on Smashwords for free, ‘Dani’s Shorts3’ being the latest.

Please tell us about your other works. I’m waiting for some cover art for my latest novel, “How to build a castle in 7 easy steps”, also from Three Fates Press, though they say 2015 is the foreseeable release date. I do, however, have a self-published back catalogue which is on Amazon. There are almost 1000 copies of “Manna-X” out there…somewhere…

Sort these into order of importance: Great characters; great world-building; solid plot; technically perfect. Can you explain why you chose this order? (Yes I know they all are important…)

Solid plot – you need a framework to hang your ideas.

Great characters – these speak to your reader, communicate what you want to say.

Great world-building – your characters and plot need a believeable place to live.

Technically perfect – when everything else is done, get it right.

What three pieces of advice would you give to new writers?

1. Write what you want to write. If you’re writing to a set genre/agenda given to you, try and keep it ‘you’. No one wants yet another clone.

2. Improve. Never sit there and think you can write. Write better.

3. Have fun. Make friends, make contacts, have a laugh, but above all, write.

Most authors like to read, what have you recently finished reading? Did you enjoy it? I’m an ex-pat in Hungary and I’m a little out of the mainstream. I read “God is not Great” by Christopher Hitchens the other week and I’ll be reading it again and again for the rest of my life. It’s such a good book. I also read a few ebooks from some Indie authors I know and I’m reading Laurie Lee’s “As I walked out one Midsummer Morning” at the moment. I’m a sucker for a smooth classic. Enjoying every page.

What are your opinions about authors commenting on reviews? How important are reviews, in your opinion? Reviews are bread and butter to an author, especially an Indie author. Without them, there’s no opinion as to the quality of your work. Some have to be taken with a pinch of salt, those written by friends and good-wishers, and that’s why I always read the bad reviews. Among those you’ll find the truth.

Do you think Indie authors get a bad press? Why do you think this might be?I’ve been reading ebooks from Indie authors since 2011, I’m probably getting close to 500 or so now. Unfortunately, with most of them I didn’t even reach the second chapter, I couldn’t. The quality was atrocious. Once in a while I’ll find an Indie author who can write and sometimes I come across one who can also write something ‘different’. My readers say I’m in that last group, but those who aren’t in either of those two I’ve just mentioned destroy the image of the Indie market and bring down any chance a quality Indie author has of breaking into the limelight. Usually they’re the ones with the loudest voices, too.

Who are your influences? Too many to name. Readers say I’m a cross between Terry Pratchett and Douglas Adams, which can’t be a bad thing, though I have a more classic background, for example I love Aldous Huxley’s work. Hemingway is also a hero of mine, as is Shakespeare, Donne, Beckett, Chekhov, Milligan…the list is endless, as I said. I am influenced by everything I sense and experience.

What can we expect from you in the near future? Well, “How to build a castle in 7 easy steps” is coming soon, that’s going to be big. I’m also keeping up with the Iron Writer Challenge, perhaps even get to the Annual Final again this year, and I hope to write some stories for other IC anthologies. The thing for a writer is to write, but your stuff needs to get out there and be read…thanks for the interview!

DAniSShorts3full2Manna-X FRONT


Book links, website/blog and author links:





Smashwords (free books):

Other posts about the Indie Collaboration:

Character Interview Number Thirty One – Paul – Thriller/Dark Fiction

Lights Out cover

Tell Us About Yourself

Name: *clears throat and glares*

Paul and I’m not telling you my last name so don’t ask.


Do you have a moral code? If so what is it?

Morality? With the things I’ve done, sweetheart, there aren’t enough hours in the day to answer that question.
Do you like animals? Do you have any pets/animal companions?

No. Humans are hard enough to be around.

Do you have a family? Tell us about them.

*frowns and looks at the floor*

….I used to. They…They’re not…look, forget it, all right? Next question.
Do you have any phobias?

Yeah. Being killed. That’s a huge phobia of mine.
Tell Us About Your World


Please give us a little information about the world in which you live.

It’s dark, it’s mean and if you’re lucky, you won’t get shot.
Do you travel in the course of your adventures? If so where?

Wherever my list takes me, which is pretty much anywhere in the US. Nothing outside the country—makes it harder to get around.
Does your world have magic? If so how is it viewed in your world?

Magic? Does coming back from the dead count?
What form of politics is dominant in your world? (Democracy, Theocracy, Meritocracy, Monarchy, Kakistocracy etc.)

Dictatorship, through and through. There’s no such thing as thinking for yourself—that’s one of the most dangerous things you can do.
Does your world have any supernatural/mystical beings? Please tell us about some.

*fidgets and looks over his shoulder*

*sweat pops up over his forehead*

I used to think there was no such thing…but I was wrong.



Author notes:

Book in which this character appears plus links:


Lights Out

Even when the lights are out, he can still see you…

Paul Holten’s profession doesn’t leave much room for doubt or conscience but he’s reaching his breaking point. The nightmares are getting worse, the jobs are getting harder to finish and the volatile relationship with his boss, Aaron, is falling apart. Now faced with the possibility of an impending death sentence, Paul makes the fatal decision to run. Drawn into one hellish situation after another, he’s forced to confront his dark past—and wonder if perhaps dying isn’t the better option.








Author name

Melissa Groeling
Melissa Groeling graduated from Bloomsburg University with a degree in English. She lives, reads and writes in the Philadelphia region and wherever else life happens to send her. She is a hardcore New York Giants fan and loves chocolate. Lights Out is her second novel to date.


Website/Blog/Author pages etc.!/stringbean10


A Week in Hell – Day 1 – an interview with the Devil

Now this is something that doesn’t happen every day… the special guest on my blog is Satan. Yes Lucifer himself. 

Welcome (I think) to the Hell Interview Channel, brought to you infernally hour after hour.

Name (s) Satan, the Deceiver, Son of the Morning, Old Scratch, Old Nick, Shaitan, Prince of Lies, Lucifer (not to be mistaken for Lucifer the Lesser).

Age (before death and after you ended up in HSM’s domain). I was the second most powerful in Heaven; I don’t age.

Please tell us a little about yourself. I bet God that I could prove to him that mankind was flawed, an unworthy impulse, and lost. I vied with the Almighty for control of the great Above, and lost again, was cast down along with my faithful, a third of the angels then in among the heavenly host.

Who were you in life? I never sunk so low as to live a life.

How do you think you ended up in Hell?I was bested by the Almighty in a war that tore the firmament apart.  He cast me and mine down, and down, into the Deep, where for an eternity we flew with no place to alight.

Describe your appearance in 10 words or less. As I like it:  white, beauteous or black, awful.

Where do you live in Hell? Tell us about your residence and area. New Hell is my domain, all the hells that came after the invention of Christianity are mine to hold and rule, including all the underworlds of infernity.

Do you have a moral code? If so what is it? Is your moral code the same as it was in life? Not having had a life, I have only a code by which we judge those who once lived. The 613 Commandments were not suggestions; any who broke any one or more of them — and ignorance is no excuse, nor is agnosticism, nor atheism — are mine to teach what torment truly means.

Before I was cast down, I enjoyed the company of the Highest, bathed in glorious light. Mankind is the reason for the war in heaven, and unto them we render just punishment, for they brought us here, all the fallen angels who followed me.  And here we stay, by deific decree, making our little patch of all the hells most hellish.

Would you kill for those you love? After all sending someone to the Undertaker is not very nice! I love the Almighty. I sentence souls to their just deserts; we kill them regularly, and resurrect them, and kill them more. But they never learn.  Some day, He will see that we were right, that humanity is fatally flawed with hubris and despite.  Until then, dying only improves them a little bit:  it makes them wary.

Would you die for those you love? Die, being a relative term….Death is denied all of us. We have lost our heavenly lives, because of humanity, and banishment is our lot. No angel wants death, nor oblivion. Being denied the face of God is punishment enough. These questions seemed designed for damned souls, not their overlords.

Do you have any phobias? Are you plagued by anything particular in Hell? I am plagued by the stupidity of mankind, the unwillingness of humanity to accept its flawed nature; its inability to admit defeat.  So we must torture them more and more:  from Above, seven personified weapons and one god of plague and mayhem were sent here to make sure we torture damned souls hard enough, and well enough, and long enough.  And so we will.  We’ll go not back unto the Deep:  too cold down there, with no place to land, flying in darkness forever…

What do you think Satan’s most creative punishment is here? Cleverest?  Most just, you mean:  rebirth – the damned can find no way out of here but oblivion, and that is unavailable to most.  They die and die and die again, and so few ever can repent.  Only a handful of souls have ever held their anger long enough and well enough to deserve manumission:  it’s the nature of the arrogant thieves in hell to change everything but themselves.

Who are your friends here? My fallen angels, the top twelve of those.  Samalel, Angel of Death, is closest to me of the fallen host.  Michael, my familiar, is my only ‘friend’ in the way you mean, and he is not human, and never was.

Who are your enemies? All the teeming damned, begging and crying and whining and scheming and lying and dying again and again for crimes they continually repeat.

If I recall relationships are… difficult, is this the side of humanity you miss the most? Sex, you mean? I can have sex with any soul, with the most famed temptresses, with president and kings. I can make any of the damned love me…  well, nearly any. I am embarked upon a fling with William Shakespeare at the moment, and sex is the most minute part of the love I crave from any soul who takes my fancy….

Please give us an interesting and unusual fact about yourself. Marilyn Monroe was my private secretary for many years.


Book(s) in which this character appears plus links

Lawyers in Hell

Rogues in Hell

Dreamers in Hell

Poets in Hell

Author name Janet Morris

Website/Blog/Author pages etc.

Front Page

Welcome to a Week in Hell…

A Week in Hell? What does that mean I hear you ask? Another crappy week at the office? Well yes actually but that isn’t what the post is about.  I am honoured and delighted to be involved with the promotion of this landmark and award winning shared world series created by Fantasy author Janet Morris.

The latest, and seventeenth instalment has just been released – Poets in Hell.  Hell is, well Hellish, and things are getting worse. The auditors are in, which is never good, a coup has failed (again) and the likes of Marlowe, Beowulf, Odysseus and Mary Shelley are causing mayhem.

There are lots of authors involved, including Janet and Chris Morris, Joe Bonadonna, Yelle Hughes, Jack William Finley, Doug McKittrick and a whole hellish host.  Varied styles flow through the Heroes in Hell series but every story has a delicious helping of dark humour and witty plotting, within a flawlessly crafted world. The denizens of Hell try to buck the system, and you can guess how that goes. So far we’ve been entertained by Rogues, Lawyers, Kings, Dreamer and very many more denizens of the Realm of Darkness.

In celebration of this infernal new release, His Satanic Majesty has given permission for a little party with payment later…Damn, maybe I should have read the small print. Anyway what will follow over the next few days is selection of author and character spotlights from the bowels of HSM’s domain. Including one from the Lord of Sin himself. Enjoy!

Please note all the excerpts are copyrighted thus: Poets in Hell, copyright (c) 2014, Janet Morris. It is with the kind permission of Ms Morris I am able to run these interviews and excerpts.

Keep reading for the most infernal collection of interviews ever posted….

For more info on the series please visit the links below.