A Frost of Cares | A Ghost Story

Sometimes all you want is a good ghost story, and A Frost of Cares is that. I’ve read about 70%, and I really like where Amy Rae Durreson is going.  A little while ago I read Spindrift * and I enjoyed it plenty, but this is better.

Usually, a story is told as if the MCs are unaware of there being a reader. Here you are addressed at times, and Luke (the narrator) talks to his husband through the text. I haven’t really made up my mind about what I think about it, if you’re a romantic you’ll probably think it’s a nice touch.

Luke is a military historian, which normally would have scared me off—I usually stay away from military dudes, I’m married to one that’s enough—but here it’s perfect. Just thinking about empty halls in old military buildings has me trembling.

In RL I’m a teacher and staying late at work always scare the crap out of me. Mind you, schools can be scary too. There is something about the dark study halls, the automatic light coming on as I walk by, my steps echoing in the empty corridors that send shivers down my spine. You never think of it during the days when there are students everywhere but once the dark creeps in and the rooms turn quiet *shudder*.

Anyway, A Frost of Cares is definitely the best purchase I’ve made this week, and if you like ghosts you should check it out!

books2read.com/AFrost *

Military historian Luke Alcott leaps at the chance to live in the seventeenth-century country mansion of Eelmoor Hall, home of the Royal Military School of Medicine, after being offered a job cataloging the school’s archives. Luke believes he chose the perfect place to start a new life and put his broken past behind him. But soon after settling into the old house, he hears strange noises—like footsteps—and he begins to suffer from terrible nightmares.

The only person Luke can turn to for help is the taciturn caretaker, Jay, a veteran of the Afghanistan war who carries an old battle wound. Together they try to understand Eelmoor Hall’s history and decipher what could be causing the haunting. As the weather grows colder and snow dusts the countryside, a child goes missing. Luke needs to deal with his own demons and learn to trust in love again if he hopes to face down the angry spirit and find the missing girl.

* By clicking the Books2Read link you’ll be taken to an external page. Links to Smashwords, Kobo U.S and Amazon contain affiliate links that earn me a small commission at no additional cost to you. As an Amazon Associate I earn from qualifying purchases.


Friday Reads | Soulless

I’ll be brief today. I’m on my way to pick up a new kitty, but it’s Friday and we all have to read, right?

I’m reading Soulless by T. Baggins. I’ve read T. Baggins before both as T. Baggins and S.A. Reid. The first story I read was Thirst and, while maybe not the most logical story out there, it sure made an impression. There is so much blood dripping evil in just a few short pages that T. Baggins was endeared to me forever.

Soulless, like Thirst, is a creepy vampire story. I like evil vampires, I like reading about the dark and gritty. I’m not usually into historicals, though, but I’m enjoying this one. T. Baggins language is enthralling, the worldbuilding is great, and if you fear the creature in the shadows, know that there is something far worse in the basement. It’s a long read and I’m pretty sure some will hate it—torture, rape, and lots of blood. This is not a time for sparkly vamps!

books2read.com/Soulless *

Book cover Soulless by T. Bagginds S.A. ReidA Man of Science

Nicholas Robinson is a chemist decades ahead of his time. Crippled by a riding accident and embittered by his injuries, he shuns the world, focusing on his laboratory and experiments. But when the sale of his country estate, Grantley, leads to an encounter with a vampire, Nicholas realizes there is more in heaven and earth than he ever dreamed possible.

A Creature of Darkness

Although three hundred years old, Bancroft Ulwin is young by supernatural standards. Enslaved by his cruel, deformed maker, Ban is forbidden from relations with mortal men unless it ends in death. But his liaison with Nicholas, expressly against his master’s wishes, soon expands beyond mere lust to something more.

A Love Predestined

Long ago while still mortal, Ban met Serafino, the only true love of his life. When death separated them, Ban accepted his role as an enemy of human kind. But as he comes to suspect Nicholas is Serafino reincarnated, Ban begins to question everything he once believed. Including his own damnation.

* By clicking the Books2Read link you’ll be taken to an external page. Links to Smashwords, Kobo U.S and Amazon contain affiliate links that earn me a small commission at no additional cost to you. As an Amazon Associate I earn from qualifying purchases.


For when the poor sod needs to die

Dangling puppets (CC0 Creative Commons)

I’m assuming most of you associate me with lumberjack porn…erm, sorry romance, I mean lumberjack romance. But the thing is most often when I write people end up dead—the more gruesome, the better. As a result of this, my search history on Google often lead to body farms and more or less reliable sources about the stages of death and the decaying process a body goes through.

Contrary to what some may think I don’t like ending up on those sites. Body farms show pictures and while I might feel a sick kind of pleasure painting a ghastly scene, I don’t want to see the reality. So what I did was to put together a little list for future references. I thought I’d share, who knows you might find it useful.

The Stages of Death

The moment of Death

Quite a lot happens in the moment of death—the heart stops, the body convulses, and the person gasps. The cough reflex goes away and in some cases, mucus builds up, a gurgling sound called the death rattle may occur when air passes through. After this, the lungs shut down and the brain stops functioning.

Clinical Death

The brain isn’t getting any oxygen and gives up on bodily functions. Circulation stops and the body turns pale, bladder and bowels empty, the pupils get a glassy appearance, and the body temperature begins to drop.

A coffee break later

Blood pools at the lowest parts of the body leaving dark purple stains, the skin is discoloured and waxy, hands and feet turn blue. Finger and toenails turn white as the blood leaves. The eyeballs flatten and sink into the skull.

Dead for a day

Rigour Mortis starts setting in about 4 hours after the moment of death, and the muscles will continue to tighten for about 24 hours before the body will start to turn limp. The pooled blood will turn the skin into a blackish colour, the liver will shut down, and after 8 hours the body will start cooling more rapidly. Up until 6 hours after the moment of death, muscle spasm may occur.

Second day

The body is now the temperature of the surroundings. The head and neck is a greenish-blue colour that spreads through the body. The intestines melt, and the smell of rotting meat is strong. Prince Charming is no longer recognisable.

On the third day…

That’s when the magic happens, right? Not really. The body gets covered in blisters and starts to bloat. If it’s found in water or in a warm environment, it’s grotesquely swelled at this time. Fluids are leaking from all openings, a bloody froth leaks from ear and mouth.

A week or so later

Bacteria feed on the dead tissue and give off gas. The tongue will stick out of the mouth due to swelling. The gases force out remaining faeces and liquids and the skin turn green.

Two weeks

Hair, nails and teeth can easily fall off, the skin can easily slip off the decaying muscles underneath. Moving a body at this stage can turn out to be hard…or sticky, I guess.

A Month

The skin cracks open and liquefies due to gases underneath, or it may dry out depending on the environment. Insects will feed on the body. If the circumstances are right and the body dries instead of liquefies, it’s considered mummified when the insects have eaten all the organs.

The one year anniversary

Depending on the surrounding environment and on how many scavengers you’ve entertained a dental record might be the only way to be identified.

There, I think we can all agree that Snow White and Sleeping Beauty would be less than pleasant to kiss when they finally saw it fit to wake up, but each to their own, right?