Monday, 12 October 2015

Guest Author - Justin McCormack

This is my first blog post on sharing a fellow author's work so please bear with me (and let me know what you think of it, please).

So, the wonderful Justin McCormack has written lots of dark fantasy and horror books. In this post he wanted to share with you Return to 'Return to Oz'

Winner of the Blackfeather Award for Best New Horror 2014! 
"A powerful myriad of horror styles... deeply chilling!" 
"Terrifying and personal!" 

"I want to tell you a story, but it's not a pleasant one. It isn't a story that takes place in candy-coloured fields somewhere over the rainbow. It's the story of a curse that has lasted my entire life. It's the story that starts with me as a child, sitting shivering in fear as I watch the movie "Return to Oz", and continues to haunt me to this very day. It's a story that scares me more than any wicked witch. It's a fear that lives with me even today, and no wizard can send me safely home again." 

In his breakthrough short story "Return to 'Return to Oz'", Justin MacCormack creates a shocking and disturbing tale of raw psychological horror, which has been hailed as 'shocking and personal'! 

This anthology collects tales of Genre-Bending Dark Fantasy and Horror, including the popular "Return to 'Return to Oz'" and many more! 

Included here is the nightmarishly chilling survival horror "Undercurrent" - Three urban explorers stumble into a chaotic network of tunnels beneath the city which will test not only their urge for survival, but their very sanity... 

Also included is the disturbing nightmare tale "Old Hag" which was too terrifying for conventional magazine publication - a young woman documents her life as it is torn apart by sleep paralysis and the terrifying image of an old hag who preys on not just her life, but her very soul... 

And more tales of dark fantasy and horror! 

Like him on Facebook at
About the author: Justin was born in Glasgow but now lives in Portsmouth, on the south coast of England with his pet rats.

Saturday, 3 October 2015

CSA - why we should talk

It is still seen as a taboo subject, but I’m pleased to say more and more people are starting to openly discuss it: child abuse.

It is a horrific ordeal, and nobody should ever have to go through it. The recovery is a long, slow process. The psychological scars run deeply and painfully. I can tell you there is a lot more support out there than there used to be though.
It’s ironic that the internet, which has helped paedophiles distribute their vile images is now helping survivors get help. Note that I say survivors not victims. I hate the word victim; it sounds and feels helpless. And these children are far from that, even if they don’t know it yet. The very fact they have survived such atrocities is testament to their inner strength. 
The media demonises the perpetrators of these crimes to the extent we start to believe they must look like monsters. But the cold hard truth is they look ‘normal’ (another word I hate, but I’m allowing it here). They can even appear to be charming to the outside world. But what happens behind closed doors can be oh so different.
Survivors of abuse usually feel alone and frightened. The threats made to them by their tormentors are all too real. That is why they are often that kid in the playground who is away from everyone else and withdrawn. This is such an important indication for teachers to be aware of. It’s obviously not always the case; some children are naturally quiet and not all survivors display this characteristic. But it is an important indicator to be aware of nonetheless.
I truly believe we should discuss this topic more openly. It is still with hushed voices we offer opinions. But through awareness we can all do our bit to help bring an end to this torment.
It is why I have written Broken & Damaged Love. I honestly wanted to show survivors they are sadly not alone; that this happens a lot, and there are people who understand, are trained and will help if sought out. The survivor just need to reach out.
I also wanted to raise general awareness. It’s important that we all are alert and are willing to help survivors get the help they need.
Broken & Damaged Love is Tina’s story of survival. It shows how everyone can find love and peace in their lives; that the past does not have to hinder our future.
There is a really sweet love story here; you just have to get through the dark to reach the light.
A small selection of the help out there:
HAVOCA -   Help for Adult Victims Of Child Abuse
                          HAVOCA is an international resource run by survivors for adult survivors of child abuse. They provide support, friendship and advice for any adult who’s life has been affected by childhood abuse.  
The ethos at HAVOCA is ‘Every Survivor has the right to become a Thriver.’ 
                      There can be a side effect/impact on our mental health when we go through trauma.
Mind are there to help you with this aspect. They help people with many kinds of mental health issues, such as depression, self harm, eating problems, anxiety and panic attacks.
Tel. 020 8519 2122
 RAINN   Rape, Abuse & Incest National Network
                   Based in the USA, and has been voted one of “America’s 100 Best Charities”
They created and operate the National Sexual Assault Hotline (800.656.HOPE and in partnership with more than 1,100 local sexual assault service providers across the country and operates the DoD Safe Helpline for the Department of Defense.
In 2015, the Online Hotline expanded to offer services in Spanish at RAINN also carries out programs to prevent sexual violence, help victims and ensure that rapists are brought to justice.
SOSAA -  Survivors of Sexual Abuse Anon
They run 12 step meetings, using a modified version of Alcholics Anonymous. It is free, ongoing, non-faith, but spiritual group for both males and females age 18+.