Knock on Ginger (short fiction)

•October 26, 2019 • 1 Comment

Photo by Anton Darius | @theSollers on Unsplash

The doorbell chimes, its ring bouncing merrily off the walls.

The old woman pushes herself from her chair with difficulty, dragging her walker to her to use for support.  In the slow shuffle-walk of the infirm, she carefully places the walker ahead then shuffles three little steps.  Thump shuffle shuffle shuffle, pause.  Thump shuffle shuffle shuffle, pause.

When the old woman at last pulls the door open with shaky arthritis knobbed fingers and looks outside, no one is there.  She looks up and down the street in confusion, rheumy eyes squinting to see.

From behind a bush around the corner of the old woman’s little house comes the sound of giggles and snickers of children.

Her eyes blaze with anger and her face turns red.  Feebly, the old woman raises one gnarled hand, trying unsuccessfully to make it into a fist to shake.  She shakes it anyway, the loose skin of her arm flapping below the bicep.

“You kids leave me alone,” the old woman yells in her croaky old crone’s voice, spittle flying with the anger of her words.  “Leave off my bell!”

She shambles backwards with some difficulty and slams the door closed, muttering and shaking her head angrily as she does so.

Great guffaws of laughter burst from the bush and kids roll out from behind it, holding their stomachs as they roll, so hard are they laughing.  One, two, three, four kids; three boys and one girl.

One boy gets to his feet, wiping tears of laughter from his eyes.

“That was great,” he exclaims.

“Did you see her face Billy?” another boy grins eagerly as he joins the first boy.  Billy just nods enthusiastically.

The girl, Samantha, Sam for short, joins the boys with a sheepish grin on her face.  She doesn’t feel right about doing this to the old woman, but that old woman always yells at the kids when they play in front of her house.  Besides, it was fun!

The third boy, Justin, finally stops rolling on the ground and joins the other kids.

“Billy, Evan, Sam… that was great!” he exclaims.  “Did you see?  I swear she was gonna have a stroke, the old lady looked so mad!”  He looks at the other kids, eyes blazing with excitement.

They all stand around grinning at each other.

“So, who’re we going to knock-on-ginger next?”  Justin asks.

Just then, Sam’s mom comes walking down the sidewalk towards them.  The kids all freeze, staring at each other nervously.  Did she hear?  Did she see what game they were playing?  They are all in trouble now, they think.

“Hi, kids,” Sam’s mom says as she pauses on her way past.  She looks at them, then at the old lady’s house, then back to the kids with a strange knowing smile hovering on her lips.

“Kind of weird, isn’t it,” she says, looking at each child in turn.

The four kids just blink at her, fidgeting with nervousness.

“Yes,” Sam’s mom says, answering their unasked question, “old Mrs. Wierdar has been part of this neighborhood forever.”

She looks at the house with a strange look, almost as though a vague sense of unease fills her.  “The house seems so… empty… since they took her away.”

“Um, took her away,” the kids ask in unison, staring at Sam’s mom with very strange looks on their faces.

“Yes,” Sam’s mom says, “didn’t you know?  She was taken away yesterday.  Her home care worker found her…”  She swallows, a little uncertain now if she should be telling the kids this story.

“They think she might have been dead for two days before her worker found her … possibly a stroke.”  She reddens, embarrassed by the looks on the kids’ faces.  “Um, I have to go now,” and she hurries off down the street.

The four kids stare at each other, their faces white and eyes filled with fear.

The McCallister Series – Review

•October 17, 2019 • Leave a Comment

Casia Schreyer - Author

Full disclosure time! I signed up to review the four books in the McCallister Series through Silver Dagger Book Tours. They provided me with Kindle copies of each of the books in exchange for my honest review on my blog, on Goodreads, and on Amazon.

Author photo_270x400

The McCallister Series is a 4-book mystery series by Canadian author, L.V. Gaudet.  She also writes under the pen name Vivian Munnoch. She has 7 books published as L.V. Gaudet and 2 as Vivian Munnoch.

The McCallister Series focuses on a serial killer in a small, semi-rural city. She writes in a way that allows you to see inside the killer’s head without revealing his identity until the end of book 1.

McAllister 1 - Where the Bodies Are_372x600Where the Bodies Are – The McAllister Series Book 1

This book begins with a body in an alley but the girl isn’t dead. Jane Doe is kept in a medical coma in…

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McAllister Series 2019 Silver Dagger World Book Blog Tour: Sep 17-Oct 17

•September 17, 2019 • Leave a Comment

Here we are, at the kick off for the McAllister Series 2019 Silver Dagger World Book Blog Tour. This is actually the first blog tour I’ve done and it’s kind of terrifying.

the mcallister series banner


What happens on a book blog tour? The blog tour was put out there, managed by Silver Dagger Book Tours, open to anyone and everyone interested in participating. Bloggers sign up and get a free copy of the book(s), in this case four-book McAllister series, in exchange for blogging and/or reviewing the book(s). The idea is to get unbiased reviews and commentary on your books in the hopes readers will discover and love them.

Over the next 31 days 62 bloggers will have unfettered access to read, review, and blog about the four-book McAllister Series. 61 of these people are total strangers! (I recognize one name on the list, but I won’t tell you which one).


Where the Bodies Are vers 2-2 Ebook Crop-reduced file sizeWhy is it so terrifying? Well, to start these are strangers. Ever heard of “stranger danger”? Of course you have. But this is the author’s version of “stranger danger”. With the single exception, these are people I don’t know. They don’t know me. They have no reason to be nice to me, although this is kind of the point of unbiased reviews. They are not supposed to write rosy blog posts and reviews just to be nice. They are supposed to give the good, the bad, and the ugly of what they really think of your book.

THe McAllister Farm vers 2-2-new-Ebook Crop-smaller fileWhat they say about the McAllister Series is going to tell people whether it’s rubbish or not. (A lot of us writers secretly think everyone else will think our writing is rubbish.) Their views will either possibly potentially maybe hopefully drive readers to actually buy and read your books, or tell them why they should absolutely run the other way and spend their book fund on someone else’s books. And this, getting readers to find your books (and even more so to actually buy them), is no mean feat with the overwhelming exploded at the seams Cthulhu on steroids sized market of available books out there.

Hunting Michael Underwood vers 2-2-Ebook Cover-smaller fileIt is kind of terrifying. Okay, a lot terrifying. 61 book bloggers over 31 days reading and commenting on my 4-book series. To add to the, ‘will they hate it,’ fear, I’m not entirely a conventional writer. I’m not a follow the rules writer. I don’t conform to the status quo, the norms; the overall expectations of, ‘This is how it has always been done, so this is how you have to do it,’ mindset. I write entirely by the seat of my pants, outlining only after to keep details straight, and use a style, tense, first, second, or third person as it feels it fits the story.

Killing David McAllister 8 point 5 by 5 point 5-flattened-Kindle cropSo yes, I am going into this with that little bit queasy feeling of dread. The dark pall of knowing you are about to find out what people (who you don’t know) are going to actually think of your books that you labored so many hours over, putting pieces of your soul that you will never get back into (literally, I AM an author of dark fiction, after all). Half of me thinks they will hate them. The bigger half. A little piece is in wonder and awe. People, strangers, are going to read them. That makes the fearful half grow. Somewhere in there the writer in you tries to find the silver dollar, the silver lining, the little golden nugget of hope, whatever you want to call it. Maybe they won’t hate it.

Okay, time to push the doubts back into the darkness where they belong and talk about the more interesting than a writer’s self-doubts part of a book blog tour.



Photo by BSD on Unsplash

You, my wonderfully dark-loving readers, if you follow the tour will get to learn little tidbits about the author. That’s right. You get to learn some of my not so dark secrets and inner thoughts.

Part of the tour is a Q & A, which is doled out in bits to the book bloggers to share with their readers. Things like what is my favorite color. Okay, that one wasn’t actually on there, but to share the secret I actually have more than one. I love colors for different reasons. Green; for being the color of summer, green grass, trees, leaves, life living at its fullest. Purple, I just like purple. It’s kind of like a best of worlds in between pinks and reds and blues all melded together. But I do answer some questions about me, me as an author, writing, and writing the McAllister Series.

I tried to make my answers honest and entertaining at the same time. Unfortunately, I’m usually the only one who actually thinks my humor attempts are funny, so please humor me (and forgive the pun).

You also get the inside scoop, and hopefully not too many spoilers, on the stories that make up the four McAllister books.


Silver Dagger LogoSo let’s kick this thing off, and please try to be gentle with my writer’s self-bruised ego (we authors tend to be our worst cynics, critics, and ego beaters). Visit Silver Dagger Book Tours to see more about the tour and follow the book bloggers’ good, bad, ugly, and hopefully not too dark views on why or why you should not want to read The McAllister Series.

Along with the Silver Dagger kickoff, the first stop today is a blogger called Insane Books. Let’s see what they have to think about the McAllister Series . . . just as soon as I pour this big glass of wine. I think I’m going to need it.


OMR New Cover From Template 5.5x8.5_Cream_330-flattened-resize 950 pixels-kindle cropAnd in the meantime, Old Mill Road is just now brand new sparkling and shiny in a dark horror fiction monster kind of way NEWLY RELEASED! This book is the free giveaway (ebook) part of this book blog tour! (Other available to buy books include Garden Grove, The Gypsy Queen, and, yeah that’s it except for the McAllister Series. I’m working on finishing The Woods for the new year.)


For younger (middle grade/teens) readers of dark drama fiction, you can check out these books by Vivian Munnoch:

The Latchkey Kids

The Latchkey Kids: The Disappearance of Willie Gordon

Madelaine & Mocha


Do you know #WhereTheBodiesAre?


McAllister Series 2019 Silver Dagger World Book Blog Tour:

Sep 17

Kickoff at Silver Dagger Book Tours

Insane Books


Sep 18

The Sexy Nerd ‘Revue’

The Book Dragon


Sep 19

Readeropolis  – GUEST POST

Java John Z’s


Sep 20

Casey’s Corner

Bedazzled By Books


Sep 21

A Pinch of Bookdust

Book Corner News and Reviews


Sep 22

Always Love Me Some Books Blog – GUEST POST

Reviews and Promos by Nyx– GUEST POST


Sep 23

Lost in a Book – GUEST POST

Book Review Virginia Lee (BRVL)


Sep 24

Literary Gold



Sep 25

Authors From Everywhere

2 chicks and a book


Sep 26

3 Partners in Shopping, Nana, Mommy, &, Sissy, Too!

Books a Plenty Book Reviews


Sep 27

Books all things paranormal and romance

books are love


Sep 28

Books, Authors, Blogs

Craving Lovely Books


Sep 29

Drako’s Den

Keep on Booking


Sep 30

Dragon’s Den

eBook Addicts


Oct 1

TNT Book Promotions

A Blend of Sass and Class Blog

T.L. Gray Blog


Oct 2

Tome Tender

Breanna Hayse Romance


Oct 3

Girl with Pen

Inside the Insanity – GUEST POST


Oct 4

b for bookreview



Oct 5

A Wonderful World of Words

Maiden of the Pages– GUEST POST


Oct 6

Chapters through life

Luv Saving Money


Oct 7

4covert2overt ☼ A Place In The Spotlight ☼

Midnight Book Reader


Oct 8

Momma Says: To Read or Not to Read

Paranormal Palace of Pleasures


Oct 9

❧Defining Ways❧

Paranormal Romance Trance


Oct 10

Sapphyria’s Book Reviews

Scrupulous Dreams


Oct 11

Valerie Ullmer | Romance Author



Oct 12

Stormy Nights Reviewing & Bloggin’


Oct 13

T’s Stuff

Taryn Jameson


Oct 14

Anna del C. Dye official page

Teatime and Books


Oct 15

The Bookshelf Fairy

Yearwood La Novela


Oct 16

Better Read Than Undead

Twisted Book Ramblings


Oct 17

Casia Schreyer – Author – REVIEW ALL

Word Processor, Romance, Cats, Kids and Creed



Interview with Crime Writer Gregory James

•April 27, 2019 • Leave a Comment

I first met Greg three years ago when we enrolled in the same Creative Writing course. Though our writing paths have since taken different directions, our mutual obsession for reading and writing crime fiction has remained the same. I had the good fortunate of reading an early draft of Bordertown when Greg enlisted me as one of his beta-readers. A good plot is an essential element to every crime novel, but it was Detective Robert “Bo” Campbell that kept me turning the pages.

Bordertown follows Detective Bo after he accidentally shoots and kills his best friend and partner during a bungled inner-city drug raid. Exiled to a remote post on the border until his troubles blow over, Bo finds himself in the middle of a cover-up as the corrupt police force conceal the fact that half a dozen indigenous women have gone missing. Bo has to ask himself whether he…

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Women in Horror: L.V. Gaudet

•February 9, 2019 • Leave a Comment

Check out Colleen Anderson’s blog where I am honoured to be a guest blogger for Women in Horror Month. That’s now.


WiHMX-horizontal-WhiteToday, we have L.V. Gaudet, crime, horror and children’s writer for Women in Horror Month. She talks about research, gory stuff and being a woman.

Research is Key, So Don’t Hold Out On Me

I am honored to be invited as a guest for Women in Horror Month.

Gaudet Garden Grove Cover - Amazon ebook - front coverResearch is key to making or breaking any story. As I write and edit I am constantly asking questions. I will research any little thing. I constantly flag lines with a note to come back and double check it. Should that little door open from the left or the right? Find a picture. What does it look like? What does it sound like? Is there a smell? Sound? What cereals were available then? The purpose is to make sure my descriptions fit and feel real.

I flag things I think I know because the odds are pretty good that someone out there…

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Where the Winter Wind Howls by L.V. Gaudet

•January 1, 2019 • 1 Comment

Where the Winter Wind Howls

Those Eyes (Part 2) by LV Gaudet

•October 28, 2018 • Leave a Comment

Those eyes…

Creepy urban legend of the black eyed kids by The Ghost Diaries


Those Eyes – Part 2


The shed door creaks open, the blazing sunlight outside burning my eyes and blinding them as they flutter open.  My head feels like it had been stepped on.  A lot.

“What the hell are you doing in the shed?” a man’s voice growls at me.

My whole body is stiff and I wonder why I am huddled on the dirty floor of a wooden shed.

Trying to move with the least amount of pain in my joints, I flex gingerly, sitting up and rubbing the blurriness out of my eyes.

It takes them time to adjust and focus on the angry face of Mr. Alfred Gordon, my neighbor from up the street.

“I asked you a question.  What the hell are you doing in the shed?”

I half expected the belligerent “buddy” to be added to that.  But that would have been suggestive of an angry stranger, not neighbors who have shared a neighborly sometimes casual indifference, sometimes aloof friendly relationship for years.

“Sorry,” I manage, wondering why my voice sounds so strange to my own ears.

Filled with embarrassed shame and still with no memory of how or why I ended up in the neighbor’s shed, I manage to stagger stiffly to my feet.  Hanging my head in shame, I apologetically walk past him, wishing I were anywhere else in the world at this very moment.  Ducking my head in further shame as I squeeze by, I avoid looking at him.

I don’t want to see the curiosity.  The weird questioning look.  The irritation at the irrational crazy neighbor he found hiding in his shed.

A vague recollection comes to me of having locked the shed door from the inside.

How did he open it?  I must have dreamt that.  Or only thought I locked it.  It doesn’t seem like the kind of shed that would lock from the inside.

I can feel his eyes on me as I do the walk of shame out of his yard.

He calls after me in a less angry tone.

“Why are you barefoot and in your pajamas?”

I shrug.

“I must have been sleepwalking I guess.”

I feel like this must satisfy him at least a little.  Maybe even salvage our neighborly relationship.

Turning up the street, I walk up the sidewalk.  Ahead is the wonderfully bland world of normalcy.  A tidy residential street with well-trimmed yards, mature shade trees, and nice middle class homes with nice middle class cars parked in their driveways and on the street.

The house ahead has one of these nice mature shade trees spreading its branches to shade the ground beneath it.  With the bright morning sun, its shade stretches across the sidewalk.

I slow, stepping out into the street, keeping my feet to the sun-warmed concrete beyond the reach of the tree’s shadow.  I walk around it on the street.

The rude honking of a car horn startles me, intruding and insistent.  I turn and look, the driver looking at me oddly as he has to swerve to go around me.

I know what he is thinking.  Why aren’t you walking on the sidewalk?

I don’t know.  I just could not bring myself to step into the shadow of that tree.

Or he may be wondering why I am walking down the middle of the street in my pajamas and bare feet.

I don’t know that either.

I am past the shadow of the tree and meander back to the sidewalk, leaving the road to the occasional car.

I can feel their eyes on me.  The drivers as they pass, neighbors in their houses and yards looking at me, adults, kids.  I am sure even the Harrel’s dog, who seems to always be outside rain, shine, or snow, is looking at me like I am some strange creature.

It is a strange feeling.

I walk on, stiffly, pretending to ignore the eyes watching me until I reach my house.

Entering the house, I can’t help but note its sullen silence after the bright sun, gentle breeze, full of life morning outdoors.  The lights are all off; the sun through the windows more than adequate to light the house.

For some reason I cannot fathom the soft shadows behind and under furniture have a subtle threatening quality to them they have never had before.

Entering the kitchen, I flip the light switch and nothing happens.  Frowning at the switch I flip it a few more times, although this never helps in a case like this.  Again to no effect.

“Circuit must have popped.”

I try another light.  Poke at the switch for the coffee maker.  And settle on looking at the dark and silent microwave, who’s green glowing time is not lit.  Pressing buttons there does nothing either.

“Circuit must have popped.”  I say it again as though I only just realized it and did not just say those same words.

Going to the basement door and opening it, I look down at the darkness below me with a feeling of dread that is alien to me.

“What is wrong with me?  I have never in my life been afraid of the dark.”

I have to force my hand to reach for the light switch on the wall just inside the stairwell, flipping the switch.

Relief floods through me sickening and heavy in the stomach with the snapping on of electricity and the sudden glaring of the light below filling the darkness and pushing it to nonexistence.

I start down the stairs and the vague sense of dread hangs around me like a moth fluttering vulgarly against a flame, drawn inexplicably to that which will kill it in a most violent death.

Reaching the bottom, I move across the basement, avoiding even the faintest of shadows, to find the fuse panel.

Opening the panel, I study it carefully, working to read the faded printing next to each of the fuse switches.  The one for the kitchen is slightly out of sequence.  The fuse is blown.

Flipping the switch off and on, it stays put.

Heading back to the stairs, I freeze in the middle of the basement at the very moment the world goes black.

Blinking in the blackness; there is not even the light of the sun filtering in the basement windows; I swallow hard.

Somewhere from far away is a sound I can hear only in my head.  Softly.  Gentle.

“Please, let us in.”  The words are so quiet I am not sure I hear them.  I have a sense that they come from another time, another place, outside the door.

“There is no door.  I’m in the middle of the basement.”

I feel eyes on me.  Darkness.

I think I can almost see them, those eyes.  But they are wrong.  They are only liquid darkness which cannot shine with the light as eyes do.

“There is no one here.  I am alone, in the dark.”  I whisper it quietly, as if afraid the shadows themselves might hear.

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