Karina Kantas’s Stone Cold

We recently featured this book as a new release. Since then we have found out a little more about the writing of the story.

The main character is called Billy and she suffers from bullying during her school life. When she leaves education, a counsellor recommends she go on an archaeological dig, and this is when the story really beginnings. Billy digs up more than she bargained for and the bodies begin to pile up. Stone Cold is such riveting read, as the reader (and Billy) tries to work out what is going on.

Bullying is a very emotive subject, and the author used her own experience, to start off the story and it is something that has haunted her since she was young. So, in a way, the book is cathartic, and highlights the issue to show people they are not alone and it can happen to anyone.

Although Stone Cold in a YA book (Young Adult), this refers to the main character’s age, and can be enjoyed by anyone older. It also recently had a new cover, which we think is very striking. You can see it at the bottom, and it was designed by the author herself.

The book is 66 pages long, so ideal to read over a weekend. If you have Prime, the paperback comes free delivery.

“A suspenseful short supernatural story that kept me hooked right up to the last page – I loved the twist at the end,” says one Amazon reviewer.

Reading of Stone Cold

The Book Video

The Reveal

It is always exciting opening a parcel, but to get a copy of your book is extra special. But even more than that, Karina is based in Grease and Amazon won’t ship her copies of her book to check out before it goes on sale. However, recently she has found that Amazon Germany, will. So, when it arrived it was something to celebrate, and here you can see the opening of it on Facebook.

Description

‘Karina draws a thin line between FACT & FICTION.’

If being bullied through every school Billy went to wasn’t enough, being attacked in her own home just pushed her over the edge.

Now severely depressed and suicidal, Billy takes matters into her own hands and sees a counsellor. After just one session, she’s now on her way to Scotland as a volunteer to help the Professor of Edinburgh university, dig and clean up an archaeological site that has just been discovered.

Although she tries to shy away from the others, not wanting them to find a reason to dislike her, she’s soon accepted as one of them. Without realising it’s happening, she becomes closer to Shane, a motocross enthusiast who has taken her under his wing.

However, whilst working at the site, Billy comes across an unusual stone. She takes it to the Professor to be looked at, but he dismisses it as a pendant probably dropped by a hiker and so threads the stone with a black leather cord and gives it back to Billy.

Only the peace they once had, the friendships they had all formed, gets tested as bodies start to pile up.

Other Electric Eclectic Books by Karina Kantas

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Stone Cold, a new release by Karina Kantas

Electric Eclectic books are very pleased to announce their latest released, a young adult paranormal urban fantasy story by Karina Kantas.

History REALLY comes to Life.””

— An Amazon Reviewer

YA Supernatural Thriller.

‘Karina draws a thin line between FACT & FICTION.’

If being bullied through every school Billy went to wasn’t enough, being attacked in her own home just pushed her over the edge.

Now severely depressed and suicidal, Billy takes matters into her own hands and sees a counsellor. After just one session, she’s now on her way to Scotland as a volunteer to help the Professor of Edinburgh university, dig and clean up an archaeological site that has just been discovered.

Although she tries to shy away from the others, not wanting them to find a reason to dislike her, she’s soon accepted as one of them. Without realising it’s happening, she becomes closer to Shane, a motocross enthusiast who has taken her under his wing.

However, whilst working at the site, Billy comes across an unusual stone. She takes it to the Professor to be looked at, but he dismisses it as a pendant probably dropped by a hiker and so threads the stone with a black leather cord and gives it back to Billy.

Only the peace they once had, the friendships they had all formed, gets tested as bodies start to pile up.

“A suspenseful short supernatural story that kept me hooked right up to the last page – I loved the twist at the end.”


Story Behind the Story

by Karen J Mossman

What is it that makes a writer want to write a story? Where does the idea come from?

Sometimes it is a single image that will inspire them. Other times, it’s a song, or a place, or just something they overhear.

Today we are looking at Toxic as shown below. Two books, two authors and one story.

Why would you have two different books if they are one story?

I’m going to answer that question by telling you the story behind the story.


The idea came from Karina, and so I got in touch to ask her about it.

I am not a huge Science Fiction fan, but have always wanted to write about a world that lived underground. It was more dystopian story that I wanted to write.

I have never collaborated with an author and it had been a long time since I had written anything new. I’d worked with Karen J. Mossman before, as she was one of my clients at KKantas Author Assist, and I put the idea to her.


My initial thought was to write one book with both our names on the front. After the story came together we realised how much science fiction was involved as well as romance and thriller. Toxic has a lot of sub genres and will appear to most lovers of dystopian and romance.

We talked online about it as I am in Greece and she is in Wales. The first thing we needed was a brainstorming session to build a world for our characters. I set up a Zoom meeting and we spoke, wrote, and chatted for over an hour and one important thing from it. Both of us wanted something different, and we weren’t at first, sure how to reconcile it. I wanted the romance to be erotica and Karen didn’t. So this was a stumbling block and it was Karen that came up with the idea of having two books, same story, just differently written. I’ve never heard of anything like that before. So that is what we did.

I have never brainstormed with anyone before, never mind write with another author. When I spoke to Karina she mentioned that during our Zoom session, it was amazing how our story laid itself out in front of us as if was magic. We had our world, our characters, and the plot was there, and as we wrote it changed and took on a life of its own. It was a real pleasure to write and work with Karina.

We each wrote a chapter and sent it to the other to look at and add to it or change it. Not always easy when you write what you think is a good scene only to find the other has changed it. That’s why you need an author who you trust, and have respect for. Changes were never a problem because it only enhanced the story.

A hundred years ago acid rain fell to earth and the people took to living in the mountains. Over time the humans developed into Maloks, just a new name for those who lived and worked in this new environment. With a committee to govern them, life inside was never easy, as young Lexi finds out.

We knew that we couldn’t leave it there once we had finished, and Toxic 2 is currently in the process of being written. After that a third, and final novella will be penned by Karina and I, where the magic will once more take us on a journey that we are not expecting.

Toxic 2 will be out late summer or Autumn of 2021.

Meanwhile, why not choose a story to suit you.

Blurb

Lexi isn’t your normal Malok. She craves adventure and freedom from the mundane life forced upon her. 100 years ago, the first drop of acid rain fell. Maloks fled to the mountains, building a new way of life—a desolate life—a life Lexi knows all too well. 

Lexi has a plan, her ticket out of this miserable existence, becoming a ranger. Aron, her partner, believes she’s not strong enough to fight alongside him. Lexi will stop at nothing, no matter what the danger, to achieve her independence, even if that means defying him.

Amidst everything, Marcus, Lexi’s childhood best friend makes a sudden return. Before she can rejoice in a reunion, her happiness is crushed when she sees Mae, the bully that had terrorized her in her teens. Marcus was aware of the mental abuse Lexi had suffered and yet the person she loved and the person she hated the most, stand before her, together.

“A powerful dystopian thriller that captures the heart and imagination”.

Pictures Telling Stories, The Ghost on the Stairs

by Karen J Mossman

Untitled design (1)I don’t really know whether I believe in ghosts. I’ve never had an encounter, nor do I want one. I’m open-minded and believe that others have seen them and they believe.

The one thing I do know is that I love to write about them.

With this book, I had such great fun because I love my main character. Cassie, who is a clairvoyant. She is fun and sassy at times. Before I knew it I had mixed up two elements that generally don’t go together, or do they?

Scary ghosts and humour, because this isn’t a comedic book, it’s deadly serious. I believe in writing about life as it is and so many people find humour in the things that frighten them most, Cassie is no exception.

The first photograph shows the book cover, which I absolutely love. I designed one myself but was never happy with it. Then, Paul White, from The Electric Eclectic Booksmade this one for me and it says just what I needed it too, plus it is very clever having the book on the stairs, who’d have thought of that!

The second photo is the creature that haunts the house. It started out as a man but soon turned into something demonic. Here is a small excerpt.

I’d brought Damien into this and he was good enough to stand by me, the least I could do was to protect him. He was a non-believer; he shouldn’t be seeing this.

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The picture underneath the ghoul is Cassie as she stares in wonderment around her. She sees more than she ever tells and has learnt to leave the undead to make their appearances on their own.

Finally, the biker is Damien, one of two sporting brothers who are also models. Winning cups and the hearts of girls is what they do. Daniel is married to discover the house he bought with his wife his haunted and she refuse to go inside.

Damien comes to Cassie to ask for help. She soon falls in love with him but is aware of his disbelief in all she does and fears their relationship may not last because of it.

Damien’s love for Cassie is severely tested, and it may be too much for him to stay with her.

 

Do You Know What an Indie Author is?

by Karen J Mossman

I’m sure you do, and we all take it for granted everyone else does too. But this isn’t the case. Not long ago, I gave a talk to a group of ladies and asked them the same question, already knowing what their answer would be. Imagine my surprise when most said they didn’t. I spend my life in two different worlds, the online one, and the actual world.

In the latter, people are impressed you are a writer. They will happily buy a paperback and are interested in what you as an author have to say. In the online world, readers are very different, they download books and not interested in paperbacks. Neither are they impressed by you being a writer because almost everyone is. You are not unique; you are just one of many.

For those reasons, I believe we should treat the two worlds differently.

We need to address the question about Indie authors and once I explained to the group what an Indie author was, the next question became, “How do we find them?”

If you think about it, there is no central point; nothing on Amazon that says this book is published by an independent author, so what would you do?

Well, send them to Amazon and put Electric Eclectic Books in the search bar. It also works on Google and on Goodreads, too.

Launched in November 2017 by author Paul White, the brand has grown and grown. It originally started out as offering novelettes to find your new favourite author but now offers full novels too.

There are a lot of choices with Electric Eclectic and a lot of talented Indie authors just waiting to be discovered!

Paul White also wrote an interesting blog article about Indie and Readers. Head over and give it a read.

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The Mystery of Missing People

By Karen J Mossman

 

Like many people, I enjoy a good mystery. Stories where you need to know what happens next. Tales that pique your curiosity, and keep you turning the page to get to the end.

Over the years, I’ve found missing people intriguing. Why did they disappear in the first place? Was it an accident or something more sinister? Is there a happy ending or does it end in tragedy? Also, just as importantly, how does it effect those left behind?

Before I thought about becoming a published author, many of the stories I’d written over the years involved this mystery.

Did you know there are 300,000 people reported missing each year in the UK alone? That works out at almost 900 a day.

The first high profile case I recall was that of Lord Lucan in 1974. His wife claimed her husband had attacked her, and murdered their nanny. The police investigated but Lucan was never found and to this day it remains a mystery.  Journalist Amelia Hill wrote a fascinating article in The Guardian about a girl who became pregnant. Her boyfriend didn’t want to know, and her parents told her to get an abortion. She felt she had no option but to run away. She had her baby and said her life had been a lie ever since.

As part of my research I went onto the missing person’s website. There were many stories about people who had disappeared, and those left behind. One mum showed the bedroom of her son left just as it was in 2006 when he disappeared. The torment she must live with wondering whether he is still alive is hard to imagine.

Another high profile case was that of estate agent Suzy Lamplugh who disappeared in 1985. An attractive young woman who had pencilled in her diary she was meeting a Mr Kipper. She was never seen again, her remains never found, and they didn’t trace Mr Kipper. As a result estate agents changed the way they worked and Suzy’s mother founded a Trust in the name of her daughter to deal with personal safety.

Not all cases are as high profile, and in 2012 an appeal was launched for a missing woman who had not long given birth. She was already suffering from anxiety and depression. It could have gone either way and for a few days, everyone lived in hope until they found her body.

Ben Needham was aged just 21 months when he disappeared in 1991. He was on holiday on the Greek Island of Kos with his family. He was being looking after by his grandparents at their farmhouse when he vanished. It made the news all over the world and it finally looks like the boy wandered onto a nearby building site and died as the result of an accident.

Madeline McCann is one of the most famous stories. In 2007, the four-year-old girl was abducted while on holiday with her family. She was a beautiful little thing with blonde hair and big blue eyes. She captured everyone’s hearts. Despite a massive investigation and search. The police had no viable leads and no trace of her was ever found. Twelve years on, the story still hits the headlines occasionally.

There are many more stories with no conclusions offered and it’s frustrating not to have an ending. I’ve always wondered what makes people want to disappear in the first place. What are their stories?

One day watching a television programme that searches for missing people, I had an idea for a story. What if you were the missing person, and your face suddenly appears on the screen? The secret you had been trying to keep was now out.

perf4.000x6.000.inddFinding Amanda tells the story of a girl who had problems with her brothers. She takes off to Scotland and creates a new life for herself. When she and her boyfriend are watching television, it is her face that comes up on screen and Jamie, her boyfriend is shocked by what he hears.

The people left behind don’t always know the reasons their loved ones leave. It affects them in difference ways and many suffer for years as a result. So in this story, I’ve included the bewildered family and how they dealt with her disappearance.

Some stories do not have endings and we are not always given that neatly wrapped up conclusion. With Finding Amanda I wanted to round it up and conclude it, so get your tissues ready for a sweet ending!

Why not add it to your Goodreads shelf?
Or find out more.

 

 

 

 

The Adventures of Cassidy Newbold

The Adventures of Cassidy Newbold is a collection of short stories. This is the first story in the book. We hope your enjoy it.

Steps of a Killer

Hampstead Heath is beautiful in the early morning sunlight. The dew sparkled on the grass giving it a magical appeal. Where I stood, the ground was elevated and I could see the city. People were waking or heading off to work. It was just a normal day for them.
For a moment, I looked over at the trees and breathed deeply. I could feel her. Exhaling, I took another breath and my feet moved in her footsteps. Briefly, my eyes closed as I advanced. This was where she was, where she walked, stumbled, and broke into a run. Her feet became mine as I moved with her towards the trees.
I entered a pathway surrounded by trees and knew beyond a doubt this is where she was killed.
My heart thumped. My breath was jagged and the adrenaline surged through my veins as I entered a pathway surrounded by trees. Beyond a doubt I knew this was where she was killed.
A sob escaped me as I became her. I could him following behind. Moving quickly, I stumbled. My head whipped around and his shadow attacked me. Crying out, I threw my arms forward hoping to knock him away. Instead we rolled together on the ground. Me and a shadow from the past.
We came to a stop having hit an obstacle. A shaft of sunlight hit the trees and a beam of light illuminated his face.
Later, I sat alone in the Dandelion café sipping my drink and staring out of the window. The high street is full of shoppers. They carried their bulging bags and have no idea a killer could be amongst them. He probably looked like an average man on his way to do his business, to the pub for a drink, or to meet friends. They don’t know what he did. Or the life he took for his personal gratification.
My fingers worked the fabric in my hand, a bit of cloth that came from an evidence bag.
I felt the girl in my core. Her hopes and dreams for a future she will never have. Poor girl. Poor, poor, girl.
Coldness enveloped me and for a second everything went silent. I took a sharp intake of breath – he was already here.
My mind returned to the café and the surrounding people come back into focus. “Excuse me? Is anyone using this chair?” My blood ran cold. It was the face of the man I grappled with in the forest.
I shook my head, too stunned to speak. He moved the chair to a different table and joined an older man. They chatted as I stared at his profile.
His forehead jutted out a little and his hair was side parted, his nose sharp and long, and he had a slight double chin.
How can he sit there looking like any normal guy?
Pulling out my phone, I selected Seb’s name and listened to it ring. Seb was my brother and a police detective.
“Cassie,” he answered.
“I’ve got him,” I stated.
“What? Where?”
“Right here. I’m looking at him.” I was staring at the side of his head, unable to take my eyes from him, unable to fathom how normal he looked when he carried such a terrible secret. I suppose I expected him to look the monster he is.
“Where Cassie? Where are you?” Seb asked.
“The Dandelion café,” I told him. A place I could often be found.
“Okay, I’m on my way.” The phone went dead. He had a habit of doing that.
The man’s companion got up, “Thanks for the coffee.” My eyes burned into the side of the killer’s head. He glanced around as he raised the cup to his mouth.
My blood boiled. How dare he just sit there and act normally. He probably thinks s no one knows what he’d done but he was wrong. I knew. I couldn’t help myself as I stood and moved over to his table to sat in the empty seat. He looked surprised amd I didn’t speak. The words were bubbling inside but I couldn’t bring myself to ytter them.
“Can I help you?” he asked sounding like a regular guy. Normal voice open expression, friendly even.
Seb would to be annoyed. He says I’m a loose cannon and unable to contain my feelings. He’s probably right. I shouldn’t be taking risks and often unable to help myself.
“I know,” I said quietly.
He stared at me, then said, “I’ve no idea what you’re talking about.”
I wanted to throw the fabric I still clutched at him, asking if he remembered it. Because of where it came from, I couldn’t.
“Yes, you do.” I spoke calmly. I can see it in your eyes.”
He continued to stare, and I could hear the sound of his breath. “I think you’ve mistaken me for someone else.”
“No, I haven’t. I know who you are, or rather what you are.”
His Adam’s apple bobbed. “And what’s that?”
I looked around. “Do you want me to say it out loud?”
He leaned forward and I flinched as my back pressed into the chair. In a whisper, he said, “You’re crazy, I don’t know you.”
As his breath washed over me, I suddenly realised she wasn’t the first one he’d killed.
The shock of his evil breath made me rise to my feet. I knewe then I shouldn’t confronted him. He stood up too, scraping his chair on the floor.
Glancing out of the window I urged Seb to hurry. The man gave me a hard stare and strode out the door.
Damn! I rushed after him while putting the phone to my ear pressing redial.
Seb’s voice came through and I heard he was on hands-free. His blues and twos echoed down the phone and in the distance, as he approached.
“Can you still see him?” he asked after I explained.
“No, he’s gone. Where are you?”
“Two minutes. I’ll be two minutes. Stay there,” he said urgently before hanging up.
Moving away from the doorway, I looked up and down the high street, stopping sideways to look at the reflections in the shop window hoping to spot him.
I could feel his presence.
Spinning around, he was suddenly right behind me. Something sharp pressed against my skin.
“Keep walking,” he commanded. His touch consumed me. My psyche flooded and I saw everything he had done. How those poor girls suffered! I couldn’t do anything except walk with him. I knew beyond a doubt he would plunge the knife without conscience and disappear into the crowd before I even hit the floor.
Where the hell was Seb?
He walked me into an alleyway, and out of sight behind a large dustbin.
Seb! The sirens approached.
The blade was against my throat and his other hand was pulling at my skirt and underwear.
“How did you know?” His fetid breath covered my face.
“I know everything,” I told him as the blade broke my skin. I panicked.
“You know nothing!” he hissed.
“I know if you don’t let go, that man over there will kill you,” playing my trump card at last.
He laughed, but he still checked. Seb came skidding over, grabbing him by the neck of his jacket. He threw him to the floor. With a knee in his back, Seb cuffed him.
“Are you all right?” he asked staring hard at me.
I pushed my clothes back into position and wiped the trickle of blood from my neck, Seb yelled at me again.
“Yes!” I retorted. He turned away and spoke into his radio.
People gathered, wondering what was going on. They shouted in our direction, aiming their phones. I tried to keep my face hidden. Seb yelled at them to stay back.
The man, the killer, struggled on the ground trying to break loose. Seb had trouble holding on to him. I couldn’t do anything to help as the guy swung round and pulling Seb with him. More sirens got louder as Seb fought to keep a hold on him.
Relief flooded through me as cops spilled into the alleyway. As soon as they relieved Seb of his prisoner, he strode towards me.
“You bloody fool!” he said moving my hand towards my neck and shook his head. “Get that looked at. God, Cass, what the hell were you thinking?”
“I’m sorry,” I said, feeling shaken.
The killer threw us a strange look as they carted him off. My brother, Seb, and I are used to those looks. People often look at us strangely because we look so alike.
“At least you’ve got him,” I said. as we walked back up to the road.
“Have to link him with the crime yet.”
“Him attacking me will give you time to do that.”
“Don’t tell me my job,” he snapped, and I knew I wasn’t off the hook yet. He rarely stayed mad for long.
An ambulance pulled up and I was glad to get inside, away from the curious eyes and stares. It is just a scratch and a plaster was all that was needed.
Seb drove me home and I took the tongue-lashing, as was par for the course. You see, Seb and I are twins, almost identical. Opposite genders can’t be identical and we aren’t, but we’re as much alike that as a brother and sister can be. People always look at us twice.
Seb was a seeker, which means he always finds what he’s looking for, especially when it’s me. He can zone in on where I am, so I never get lost. Seb has no psychic power, but together we work well as a team.
Want to read more?
The Adventures of Cassidy Newbold is free to download from most booksellers.
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Creepy Things

by Karen J Mossman

I‘m not a fan of horror or paranormal. I get spooked easily and have a very active imagination. As I teenager I would be plagued by nightmares for weeks. As I grew up I knew to stay away from anything like that. Recently, I was watching Gogglebox, a TV programme that features people watching television, their reactions and discussions. It showed them watching The Haunting of Hill House. It was terrifying and I only saw bits of it!

There are lots of scary and horror books on the market, and plenty of people who love a good horror film. Why would a perfectly sensible and normal human being enjoy being scared? If that’s you, perhaps you could comment below and tell me what it does for you. I would really like to know!

I once wrote a story called Embers of Webster Street and it was about a girl dealing with her mum who suffers from dementia. It’s heart-breaking seeing someone you love forgetting things, and not recognising you.

My Nana showed signs of it for years before we recognised what was happening. We thought she was just a bit batty. Because Nana was always a little eccentric, forever the joker, and kept us entertained with her antics. I remember the turning point when we finally knew something had changed. She was getting out of the car one day, and struggled, stumbling a little. We laughed, as we normally did, and instead of making a joke about it, she asked if we were laughing at her.

My Auntie Mavis took her in when she could no longer care for herself. She looked after her for years and it became more and more difficult. Being a carer is very much in the media spotlight now but back in the eighties, we didn’t understand what it really meant and all that Mavis did. Occasionally stories came back through mum after her phone calls to her sister. Nana had blurted out swear words or refused to get dressed.  It was a very difficult time. Eventually Mavis had no choice but to let her go into hospital and by this time Nana had stopped talking altogether.

My sister and I went to visit. She was no longer the Nana we knew. She was just a shell of a person. She had no idea who we were, and I don’t think she knew where she was either. It was the strangest thing because although she looked like Nana, she had the same face and body, the Nana who was funny, who never stopped talking, and yet the woman in front of us stared at us with blank eyes. It was heart-breaking, it really was.

I wrote a story called Embers of Webster Street, dementia was the main topic.  Only, something happened as I was writing, my pen took on a life of its own. It was supposed to tell the story of Jen, who felt tremendous guilt having to put her mum in a home. Instead it introduced the ghosts of all the people who had lived in the family home before them. It brought in a twin twin sister with problems of her own.  Their mum could never accept that her daughter saw things and was was the undoing of her.

This turned out to be the first of paranormal stories that I suddenly found I loved writing.

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It features in The Magic of Stories is a collection of short stories, articles, poetry, flash fiction, and shorts.

I found my pen wandered in all sorts of directions as I wrote, and this book turned into an eclectic collection of different genres. Like Embers of Webster Street, many of the stories were taken from real life situations.

You know the saying you shouldn’t tell a writer your secrets? Well, I used something my sister told me. When I showed it her she loved it saying she hadn’t expected me to turn a serious situation into something very humorous story!

One more thing, before I sign off. There is a another short story book offered for free by author Karina Kantas, should you choose to buy this book. You will find the details in the introduction. Two for the price of one!

Happy reading!

Link to book

MoS Ian
One of the fun poems featured in The Magic of Stories