72 Hours of Insanity – Summer Writing Madness

Last summer, I took part in the Writer’s Games: a set of writing challenges run by The Writer’s Workout.

Each week, members had 72 hours to write a short story fitting the theme for that event.

Insanity was an understatement!

Topics ranged from mythology to folklore, historical events to ‘it was kind of a funny story’, creative kills and the unvillain! Definitely not your average short story competition.

Still, the gauntlet had been thrown down and it was time to write … frantically.

You can read the winning entries in the group’s anthology: 72 Hours of Insanity – Vol 2. 

Here’s an excerpt of my winning story for Event 3, the objective being to tell a story where a mythical creatures is MISPLACED to its assigned mythical place where it does not belong. I chose the Oni (Japan) to be misplaced in Hyperborea (Greek), and knowing nothing about either topic, the research element ate into that same 72 hours. Told you it was crazy 🙂

friendly-ogreThe Friendly Ogre

     Panos shivered. The hem of his linen tunic fluttered as an extraordinary chill blew through the golden temple. He flattened down the fabric and glanced around for an explanation. Nothing. Nobody. He was alone in the temple, as was usual on such days when the government was in session. His job, to place cushioned pads along the stone pews for the representatives to sit on, demanded an early start. Consequently, he rarely encountered another soul at this hour.

     Darkness took that moment to invade the temple, and together with the cold air still weaving its way through the open structure, Panos noticed the diminishing shine of the golden colonnades and statues. He blinked successively. Never had he seen the capital’s temple lose its sparkle. Before the shadows stole his vision completely he stared at his arm. His olive skin now resembled a plucked goose, and he ran his fingers over the raised lumps, sending another shiver down his spine. “What is happening?” he shouted, his words muffled in icy breath. He raced towards the stone steps on the periphery of the temple and skidded to a halt. The reason for the darkness was a gigantic body, part of which had collapsed over the temple. Moving aside into the sunlight, Panos saw the mass more clearly and the sight stole his breath.

Being of sound mind (honestly), I shall be signing up for more mayhem this year. If you are at all curious, and quite possibly tempted, you can learn more by checking out their website and / or Facebook page.


Featured Author – Amy Reade

As part of the Mystery Authors International group, (#MysteryAI), each month I’m going to feature one of our members and share some of their books, links and maybe even an insight into their writing life.

Amy Reade is the first to take the spotlight, with her latest novel, to be released on February 7th,  The House on Candlewick Lane. amy-reade

USA Today bestselling author Amy M. Reade is a recovering lawyer living in southern New Jersey. The House on Candlewick Lane is the first of The Malice Novels, Amy’s gothic suspense series set in the United Kingdom. The second book in the series, Highland Peril, will be released in the fall of 2017. She is currently at work on the third book. Amy is also the author of Secrets of Hallstead House, The Ghosts of Peppernell Manor, and House of Hanging Jade, all standalones. She loves reading, cooking, and traveling.

And, talking of The House on Candlewick Lane, here’s a short excerpt:

I must have fallen asleep, because I sat up with a start, not remembering where I was. But after a second it all came back to me in a rush of fear and indignation. I was sitting on the twin bed. It was hot. My hair stuck to the back of my neck and my forehead. Gray light forced its way into the room through the small window that overlooked the fields behind the house on Candlewick Lane. The rain was still falling, smearing the glass. I wondered where Neill was. I knew pounding on the door would be no use, but I had to do something. I had to try. My fists bore the bruises from my earlier futile attempts to be heard. There was nothing to do but wait to be released from this tower prison. Someone had to let me go.

They couldn’t keep me here forever.

To follow Amy, you can take your pick of every Social Media option going. Pick one, pick them all  – you don’t want to miss out, do you?

Website: www.amymreade.com

Blog: www.amreade.wordpress.com

Goodreads: www.goodreads.com/author/show/8189243.Amy_M_Reade

Amazon: www.amazon.com/Amy-M.-Reade/e/B00LX6ASF2/ref=ntt_dp_epwbk_0

Facebook: www.facebook.com/groups/AmyMReadesGothicFictionFans/

Twitter: www.twitter.com/readeandwrite

Pinterest: www.pinterest.com/amreade

Instagram: www.instagram.com/amymreade

In the meantime, here’s a few words from Amy:

I came up with the idea for this book while on vacation in Scotland. The country is so different from my little corner of the world. The lochs, the mountains, the villages and the sea are never far from one’s imagination in such a rugged and beautiful place, and the capital, Edinburgh, is a wondrous city where the cosmopolitan culture of today is closely connected to the regal, artistic, and intellectual heritage of yesterday.

One thing that always fascinates me is that we can never really know what goes on behind someone else’s closed doors. Every family has something, whether it be a secret, an embarrassing circumstance, or an entire façade, that they don’t share with the rest of the world. It could be a financial problem, a marital issue, a drug habit—anything. In The House on Candlewick Lane I wanted to explore one family’s secret (or secrets), hidden behind the walls of an old house that fits in with its stony, cold landscape at the outskirts of a small Scottish village.

Having done an internship at the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children many years ago, I have always been under the strong sway of the topic of familial abduction. In addition to the excitement of uncovering family secrets, The House on Candlewick Lane touches on the issue of non-custodial parental abduction in a way that sees justice served while addressing the custodial parent’s frustration and anguish.

 Good luck, Amy.

It looks like a best-seller to me.

January’s results are in …


As you can tell, my efforts at blogging fell by the wayside … again! Although, for a very good reason.

My goal to write 500 words a day was a huge success, resulting in over 30,000 words being added to Courting Danger during January.

Now, I’m on the final chapter and will finish the first draft this week.

And, other news …

Whilst I’m not a better blogger, I have made massive progress elsewhere. My book, The First Wheel, prequel to Courting Danger managed to hit the Top 100 in Amazon’s Mystery, Thriller & Crime category (PAID) for Short Reads last weekend.

Not a bad start to the year, methinks.