Book Review: Ravens Retreat @northwood_e #bookreview #halloweenreads #newrelease


Greed led them in. Destitution kept them there. Adam and Becky Hargreaves stumble upon a foreboding gothic-style property in the secluded Spanish
countryside, and believe they’ve found the ideal business opportunity. But shortly after moving in with Nerea, their truculent teenager, Melissa, their baby daughter, and Rose, Becky’s infirm mother, a series
of disturbing events shatter their dreams of success.

When ghostly orbs and manifestations of the dead roam the corridors threatening their business and their lives, steadfast Adam refuses to believe their home is possessed. As he withdraws from his family, Becky and her sparring stepdaughter Nerea must learn to work together to solve the ulcerating secret
lying in the dark heart of the house before history repeats itself.

What happened all those years ago during Franco’s regime? Why are so many spirits of young children still wandering the halls of the retreat? And who or what evil being is keeping them there?

As rivers of blood run deep within the bowels of the property, the family finds themselves entangled in an age-old promise with the devil. Who can they trust? How can they discover what happened in the blood-chilling past before time runs out?

Only one family member will make it out alive. Who can outwit the black soul and his disciples lying in wait inside the walls of Raven’s Retreat?

Dare you venture inside?

Trigger Warnings: death, child sacrifice, rape, abduction, torture blood, sex.

My Review

This was a engrossing read from start to finish. Creepy, well plotted and intriguing too. Perfect for the Halloween season and for everyone who likes a good creepy and at times blood curdling story. It was darker than I expected and twisted in places too. So not a read for the faint-hearted. Expect creepy house, ghost, coven, sacrificial practices, care home wierdness, witch covens, and sexual scenes in keeping with the imaginative plotline. Excellent storytelling from Michelle E. Northwood. I’ve read her memoir Fishnets in The Far East which couldn’t be more different, shows great versatility as an author.

My rating 5 stars. Recommended read but check the trigger ⚠️ warnings.

Many thanks to the author for an ARC.

Buying Link:

Author Bio

Michele has a First Class Honours Degree in Modern languages, (English and Spanish) and also studied for a Master’s in Highschool Education. She currently lives in Spain, where she runs an English Teaching Academy. Michele shares her home with her Spanish husband, her dog, two cats and two terrapins. (Yes, she’s slowly building an ark!)

In her past life …. (okay, when she was a young woman,) she worked as a professional dancer, magician and fire-eater who toured the world for over twenty years in theatre, musicals and circus. During that time, she was in the Guinness Book of Records for being part of the world´s largest Human mobile, and worked as a contortionist with the Circus of Horrors as their first “Girl inside a bottle”. She has rubbed shoulders with Sting, Chris de Burg, David Copperfield, Claudia Schiffer and Maurice Gibb from the Bee Gees. She has also worked as a knife throwers assistant, assisted a midget in his balancing act, and took part in the finale of a Scorpions concert.

The author’s debut novel, ‘Fishnets in the Far East: A Dancer’s Diary in Korea’ has won two literary competitions. The sequel: “Fishnets and Fire-eating” has just been released, and the third book in the Fishnet series is due out soon.

Michele is concerned about climate change, the abundance of plastic pollution, and hates the way man-unkind treats the other species that inhabit this beautiful planet we are slowly destroying. Michele loves living in the countryside with views of the sea and likes nothing better than to sit on the terrace at the end of the day, look up at the stars and contemplate.

If you would like to contact Michele, she can be found at:

Twitter: @northwood_e

Facebook: Michele E. Northwood Author

And if you would like to be informed of future releases, giveaways, competitions and free books send her an email to

Sharing Options:

Blog Tour Midnight Roost: #Anthology #blog #tour #WordCrafterPress #MidnightRoost #ReadingCommunity #booklovers #whattoread #BooksWorthReading#halloweenreads @robertaeaton17 @GodsAngel1 @JosephCarrabis @PaulKaneShadow


A chance to win a free digital copy of Midnight Roost at every stop. Just leave a comment to show your support for the tour, the anthology, and all of the fantastic authors.

Welcome Sonia Pipkin

Inspiration for “Once Upon a Time”
I wrote this short story while I was attending Western Colorado University, during a short forms course. I love the idea of combining a fairytale with unexpected horror and that was my inspiration.

About Author Sonia Pipkin
Sonia Pipkin graduated from Western Colorado University with an M.F.A. in creative writing with a concentration in genre fiction. She lives in Colorado where she is a freelance writer and is currently attending Colorado State University working toward an M.A. TESOL certificate. Her current project is a linked short story anthology that focuses on women injustice.
Instagram: @writersoniav
Facebook: Sonia Valladares

Welcome Robbie Cheadle

About Roberta Eaton Cheadle

Reading from “The Behemoth”

Roberta Eaton Cheadle is a South African writer and poet specialising in historical, paranormal, and horror novels and short stories. She is an avid reader in these genres and her writing has been influenced by famous authors, including Bram Stoker, Edgar Allan Poe, Amor Towles, Stephen Crane, Enrich Maria Remarque, George Orwell, Stephen King, and Colleen McCullough.
Roberta has short stories and poems in several anthologies and has two published novels:
* Through the Nethergate, a historical supernatural fantasy; and
* A Ghost and His Gold, a historical paranormal novel set in South Africa.
Roberta has eleven children’s books published under the name Robbie Cheadle.
Roberta was educated at the University of South Africa, where she achieved a Bachelor of Accounting Science in 1996 and an Honours Bachelor of Accounting Science in 1997. She was admitted as a member of The South African Institute of Chartered Accountants in 2000.
Roberta has worked in corporate finance from 2001 until the present date and has written seven publications relating to investing in Africa. She has won several awards over her 20-year career in the category of Transactional Support Services.
Roberta Eaton Cheadle is a contributor to every short fiction anthology WordCrafter Press has ever put out, as well as co-editor for the Poetry Treasures anthology series.
Roberta contributed the winning story, “The Bite”, in the 2022 WordCrafter Short Fiction Contest and Visions anthology, as well as being a contributor to all WordCrafter Press anthologies and co-editor for the Poetry Treasures anthology series.

About Midnight Roost

20 authors bring your nightmares to life in 23 stories of ghosts, paranormal phenomenon, and the horror from the dark crevasses of their minds. Stories of stalkers, both human and supernatural, possession and occult rituals, alien visitations of the strange kind, and ghostly tales that will give you goosebumps. These are the tales that will make you fear the dark. Read them at the Midnight Roost… if you dare.

Kaye Lynne Booth, Chris Barili, Christa Planko, DL Mullan, C.R. Johansson, Joseph Carrabis, Keith J. Hoskins, Mario Acevedo, M.J. Mallon, Michaele Jordan, Patty L Fletcher, Paul Kane, Roberta Eaton Cheadle, Rebecca M. Senese, Zack Ellafy, Sonia Pipkin, Denise Aparo, Robert Kostanczuk, Isabel Grey & Julie Jones.

Midnight Roost can be downloaded via most distributors through Books2Read:

Monday – October 16 – Opening Day –Isabele Grey (Interview & Reading) & Joseph Carrabis (Reading) – Writing to be Read

Tuesday – October 17 – M J Mallon (Reading) & Christa Planko (Interview & Guest Post)– Undawnted

Wednesday – October 18 – Chris Barili (Guest Post) & Paul Kane (Guest Post) – Patty’s Worlds

Thursday – October 19 – Julie Jones (Reading) & Keith Hoskins (Guest Post) – Robbie’s Inspiration

Friday – October 20 – Michaele Jordan (Reading) & Mario Acevedo (Guest Post) – Writing to be Read

Saturday – October 21 – Patty Fletcher (Guest Post) & DL Mullan (Guest Post & Video) – Roberta Writes

Sunday – October 22 – Sonia Pipkin (Guest Post) & Roberta Eaton Cheadle (Reading) – Kyrosmagica Publishing

Monday – October 23 – Closing Post –Denise Aparo (Reading) & other stories – Writing to be Read

Sharing Options:

#BookReview The Ghosts of Manor House by Matt Powers


Goodreads Synopsis:

Edmund and Mary Wilder are very much in love. But the death of their young son, Tommy, has shattered their family. Edmund is determined to bring them back together, drawing on the only bit of strength he has left—his love for Mary and their daughter, Stephanie. But Mary sinks deeper into depression while little Stephanie’s anger grows. Edmund flounders in his attempts to rescue his family from the brink of collapse and doesn’t know where to turn.

Then Mary receives an invitation for the family to become guests at Manor House, a seemingly quaint Bed and Breakfast. This, she assures her husband, is the answer to all their troubles.

Edmund arrives ahead of his family to spend a couple days working on his long-delayed novel. But his growing curiosity about the old house leads Edmund to an encounter that will change him forever.

What will you sacrifice for love?

An old fashioned psychological thriller with a nod to Stephen King, Manor House will keep you guessing and compel you to turn the page to the very end.

A mother will sacrifice anything for her children. A husband will risk everything to save his wife. Manor House will take them all

My review:

I won a copy of Ghosts of Manor House from author, Matt Powers in exchange for a review but this does not influence my review, all opinions are my own.

I really enjoyed Ghosts of Manor House. It’s the type of ghost story that works in a psychological way playing to your greatest fears: the fear of a child dying, the fear of your family, sister, children being in danger. The prologue captured my attention immediately and the epilogue likewise was excellent. Altogether, a very readable book written in an appealing style with no flowery language or gimmicks. It is simply a good book packed in a remarkably small package! Definitely recommended reading.

My rating: 4 stars.

I was so engrossed reading Ghosts of Manor House that I started seeing ghosts and creepy things in my mug. I shared a few photos on Instagram but this one is the one that really freaked me out the most…


See what I mean! When this happens it’s kind of weird but in a WOW this book is really affecting me way! Can you see the face in the mug? Those fingers? That hand? Or can you see something else?

Beware! Ghosts of Manor House might have unexpected spooky effects on the residue of your tea!

Check out:

Have you read Ghosts of Manor House? Are you going to? Dare you to!

Bye for now….

unnamed (1)


My Social Media:

Authors Website:

Collaborative blog:

Twitter: @Marjorie_Mallon and @curseof_time

My Facebook Authors/Bloggers Support Group:







Sharing Options:

79 Words Story: The Halloween Brooch


This Monday I’m doing something a little bit different for #MondayBlogs I’m exercising my word muscles with the intention of entering into Chris the Story Reading Ape’s 79 Words story challenge.

The next 79 story challenge entries will be going live soon – I’ve been a bit quick off the racing block – the shot gun hasn’t been fired just yet, so check the following link to the previous entry to find out more, and to read the previous entrants stories.

I believe when your entry is ready remember to check back with Chris for details how to enter. No cheating, wait for the shot gun!


79 words sounds pretty accurate, not much room for manoeuvre, I wander if I can rise to the challenge?

Well the good news is I have an idea, that’s a start. It’s funny where you find ideas, the other day I was out jogging, and being a seriously rubbish jogger (I kind of jog walk, mainly walk if I’m honest!) I don’t need much of an excuse to take any opportunity to stop and take an extended breather. So, on this particular day I saw this little shop, in the village that I’ve always been curious to go in and explore. So  I took the plunge and went in, dressed in my leggings, and trainers, goodness knows what the shop keeper must have thought!

Anyway to cut a long story short it was an Alladin’s Cave of Antiques and inspired my flash fiction Halloween themed story below:

The Halloween Brooch

Inside the shop I heard raised voices. I lunged in. The mysterious voices began to whisper. It was cramped, hardly room to move or breathe. Antiques jostled for my attention on over stacked shelves. I picked up a tiny painted brooch of a young girl crying. I heard a high pitched scream echoing, then riotous laughter. When I saw my reflection in an antique mirror, I wailed. A wrinkled granny stared back at me wearing the brooch, she cackled.

I hope you liked my creepy story!!

Bye for now.

file (1)


Marje @ Kyrosmagica. xx

Sharing Options:

#Blog Battle: The Sunken Statue

I’m taking part in Rachel Ritchey’s writing #BlogBattle this week’s theme is Head. Apparently this is Rachel’s 6th month of doing BlogBattles!!!

Week 25 Theme is Head

Date to Post: Tuesday, September 8th, 2015.

This was the perfect prompt for me as I have been intending to write a short story about a visit I had to The Edinburgh Modern Gallery of Art, where a particular head greets you as you enter the grounds of the gallery. Here’s the link to my post:

So I wrote this very quickly this morning, rush, rush, rush, so hope it meets with your approval!

Genre: Fantasy

The Sunken Statue

He hadn’t always been concrete. He had lived once, an ordinary life, nothing spectacular you understand. Art had been his life, he called himself a sculptor, a very poor one, unknown, and undervalued. He lived alone, had no pets, no friends, no family, just his art. It wasn’t surprising that he became bitter, angry that his works of art were being ignored. His favourite art gallery was in Edinburgh, the Scottish National Gallery of Modern Art on Belford Road, he went there often to fume. He was aghast when he saw the pathetic nature of some of the exhibits, the nonsensicalness of them. That particular day in August, he scowled as he saw the blocks of square colour that were meant to constitute art. Who were they kidding? A child could have drawn this.

That’s how it began, the answer to him seemed to be simple, a child, he needed a child to rekindle his child-like eye for art, to transport him to great heights of prowess. But how could he even begin to achieve this? He had no wife, no lover to provide him with a son or daughter. The seed of yearning planted deep within his soul he set out to find a child, an artistic child. Where better to look than the art gallery itself?

In the gallery the shop and the café provided him with the perfect place to find a child who had slipped past their parents’ watchful eyes. But how could he justify this? He didn’t consider himself to be a criminal. His conscience was like an uncharted piece of paper but surely what tiny remnants remained would not allow him to behave in such a despicable way? To snatch a young child from the loving hands of a parent? His justification had to be his love of art; art was his wife, his lover. He knew this action, if he carried it out, would be the ultimate heinous act, and though his heart was empty he sensed there would be a dreadful, most shocking price to pay.

He tortured himself for days and days drinking, smoking and ranting. Nobody heard him, apart from his own ears which devoured his angst and his forgotten sculptures, that sighed.  Finally his anguished soul gave in. So with this terrible plan in place he went to the gallery, and waited and waited for an opportunity. The girl was pretty, her rosy cheeks, blonde hair and colourful skirt caught his eye. He imagined her as a watercolour painting, a rainbow of sun drenched colours. She kept wandering off from her mother, exploring, chatting to strangers, her mother didn’t seem to notice or mind. Perhaps she was used to it. This was the sort of girl who could not be confined; she was a wanderer, a free spirit, an artistic soul, so that knowledge more than justified his actions.

‘Hi, that’s a pretty postcard,” he said, standing beside her.

She smiled, a dimple on her innocent face winked at him.

“Yes it is thank you, but this is my favourite.”

She held up a postcard of a statue, an exhibit that he knew was outside in the gardens. A short walk away. How easy could it be? A gift. Not from God, but he was not a believer.

“Would you like to see it? It’s just outside in the gardens I could show you if you’d like?” he asked.

He hadn’t thought what her reaction would be. So when she smiled and said, “Yes please,” he didn’t show any emotion.

He left the art gallery with her by his side, he felt proud that he had found such a wonderful child, his artistic angel. Now he believed that his sculpting ambitions would be fully realised.

She appeared thrilled by the Miró sculpture. She ran her small hands around the circular top as if she was experiencing her own personal ride through life.

She stroked it fondly as if she wished to gain an insight into the artist’s mind.

He knew then without a shadow of a doubt that she was the one.

An opportunity presented itself to him, sneaking into the silent grounds, on tiptoes of devilment it crept. No other soul was about, to witness its wicked arrival. So he grabbed her hand and pulled her towards the exit. She began to shriek. He hadn’t expected that.

“What’s the matter?” he asked, confused by her sudden change of sunny mood.

“You’re making me scared,”

“Scared of what?” he asked, frowning.

“You!” she replied in a small uncertain voice, trembling.

“I just want to take you across the road to the art gallery opposite; there are more wonderful exhibits there too.’

“No, I don’t want to go,” she said, tiny tears began to make a sad appearance on her rosy face.

He dragged her until they approached the crossing; he heard her cries but divorced himself from the monster that he was becoming. Then he stopped. It was sudden, the loss of sensation in his body, the terrible sinking feeling. Was this the price to be paid? He let go of her hand, he didn’t need her anymore. He had never needed anyone. Least of all a child. This was no price, this was the perfect solution. For the first time in his life he felt pure contentment. He was art, he was the Sunken statue. He would be seen and revered by all the art lovers in the world. Nobody would ever dare to forget him again.


© Marjorie Mallon 2015 – aka, Kyrosmagica. All Rights Reserved.


  1. 1000 words max
  2. fictional tale (or true if you really want)
  3. PG (no more than PG-13) Content – let’s keep this family friendly!
  4. Your story must contain the word(s) from the theme and/or be centered around the theme in a way that shows it is clearly related
  5. Go for the entertainment value!
  6. State the Genre of your story at the top of your post.
  7. Post your story on Tuesday, by 11:59 PM PST
  8. Use the hashtag #BlogBattle when tweeting your story, put a link back to your #BlogBattle Short Story in the comments section of this page, and/or include a link to this page in your own blog post (it creates a “ping-back” which will alert me and our friends to your #BlogBattle post)
  9. Have fun!

I hope you liked my entry to BlogBattle, and it didn’t alarm you too much! Apologies to the woman and child in the photo I’m sure no harm came to you on your visit to the art gallery!

Do leave a comment I’d love to know what you think of my short story.

Bye for now.


Marje @ Kyrosmagica. xx

Sharing Options:

Powered by

Up ↑