Sinister Reads – August 2014

If you are looking for a bundle of horrifying reads, dive on in! This month we present you with SQ Magazine’s annual anthology, 3 works from Lynette McClenaghan and a tasty bunch of Sinister Slices. Enjoy. Stay a while. Come back for more… but always share with your friends (and victims).

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Sinister Happenings

Story Critiques

Multi-award winning editors Dan Rabarts and Lee Murray are offering story critiques for interested writers, with funds raised going to the FFANZ fund for 2015. Dan was the FFANZ delegate for 2014, and attended Continuum X in Melbourne. Next year’s fund will pay for an Australian fan to travel to New Zealand and attend the NZ National Science Fiction and Fantasy Convention, Reconnaissance, in Rotorua over Easter weekend. Between them, Dan and Lee have won a total of five Sir Julius Vogel Awards, one Australian Shadows Award, and have placed in international short story competitions, including the SQ Mag Short Story Contest 2013 and the AHWA/Melbourne Zombie Con Short Story Contest 2013. A critique for a story of up to 3000 words is $50, while a critique of a story up to 6000 words is $100. Alternatively, they will review your opening novel chapters, up to 6000 words, for $100. This will be an in-depth review and line edit, with a follow-up email to discuss the story or chapters in more detail if required. To enquire about this, please email Dan Rabarts at


Vaudeville and Other Nightmares launch 

Central Queensland Author and Artist Greg Chapman’s debut collection, Vaudeville and Other Nightmares, will be published by Black Beacon Books on September 19, just in time for Halloween. It features 21 tales including his third novella, Vaudeville, in print for the first time, and a follow up short story to his critically acclaimed novella, The Noctuary. Black Beacon Books will host an online launch on Facebook with signed copies of Chapman’s novellas and original artwork to be on offer as part of a competition.


Sinister Reminders

AHWA Members Critique Groups

Don’t forget about out short story critique group and the writer’s workshop that is open to all members of the AHWA.  That’s right – novels, novellas, short stories – all are invited to participate.  Membership to both groups is open to members of the AHWA by invitation only.

If you are interested in taking part in either of these two groups, you need to join the AHWA today, and check out all the other exciting opportunities, you as an author, are currently missing out on.  There are tips on writing, how to get published, competitions, group forums and so much more.

Check out the Australian Horror Writer’s Association web-site today and become a member.


Sinister Reads

SQ-BEST-CoverStar Quake 2 – Anthology

Authors:Includes Robert Datson

Editor: Sophie Yorkston

Publisher: IFWG Publishing Australia

ISBN no.:  978-1-925148-37-4

RRP: AU$17.99

Release date: August 2014

Available from IFWG, Barnes & Noble, and Amazon.


IFWG Publishing’s e-zine SQ Mag offers up the best of 2013 with their annual anthology. Star Quake pays homage to all the major genres of speculative fiction with work from writers all over the world.

17 stories are featured, including original fiction by Tonia Brown, Emma Newman, Cat Rambo and Cat Sparks.

Table of Contents

  • A Man and His Parasite by Cat Rambo
  • Fairest Fowl by J.B. Rockwell
  • Born Again by Nu Yang
  • Chinaman’s Bluff by Cat Sparks
  • Flagman by Jim Lee
  • Shoe Shine by Robert Datson
  • Surface Stars by Hanson Hovell Holladay
  • Intangible by A.A. Garrison
  • The Visiphorical Art by Michelle Ann King
  • Digging in the Deep by Tonia Brown
  • Digital Reflections by Kevin Rainak
  • Cattails by A.P. Sessler
  • Strike Day by Marie DesJardin
  • Tea in the Secret Garden by Emma Newman
  • Faye’s Diner by J.T. Seate
  • The Poet and the Lily by Julia August
  • Endangered Species X by Guy Prevost


otwbmediareleaseOn the Wind’s Breath

Author: Lynette McClenaghan

Publisher: Palmer Higgs

ISBN no.:  978-0-9875408-3-6 (kindle); 978-0-9875408-2-9 (epub)

RRP:  Aust$4.99

Release date: July 31, 2013

Available here.


Freak storms or is the weather out to get you?

Martin, a celebrity photographer, and his wife Vanessa, take a holiday in Black Mountain to reignite their relationship. When they become swept up in the death and destruction inflicted by violent weather, Vanessa is convinced that the storms are malevolent, and supernatural in origin. Martin dismisses her fears as fantasy and becomes increasingly more obsessed with photographing the events unfolding around them, placing both their lives at risk.


Drew’s Party

Author: Lynette McClenaghan

Publisher: Palmer Higgs

ISBN no.:  978-0-9875408-1-2 (kindle); 978-0-9875408-0-5 (epub)

RRP:  Aust$3.99

Release date: May 1, 2013

Available here.


Drew is a self-obsessed socialite.

At her opulent twenty-fifth birthday party she is confronted by an unpleasant surprise. She learns that she has unwittingly become subject to an ancient family curse.

Can Drew escape the fate that awaits her?


In Jeopardy

Author: Lynette McClenaghan

Publisher: Palmer Higgs

ISBN no.:  978-0-9875408-5-0 (kindle); 978-0-9875408-4-3 (epub)

RRP:  Aust$4.99

Release date: April 1, 2014

Available here.


Set in Melbourne, In Jeopardy is a dark, dirty-realist tale of psychological drama and betrayal depicting Christine’s crisis. Other characters pulled into her world reveal that their lives are also struck by disruption, drama and loss threatening their sense of self. How do they navigate the chaos and randomness of modern day life? How do they respond to uncomfortable truths about themselves?

As character’s lives converge and diverge their separation and connectedness is revealed. Uncanny synchronicities heighten the precarious nature of the situation Christine is forced to face when Richard throws her out of his life.

Betrayal is a key theme and source of disturbance. Romance serves as a complication, but softens the novel’s pervasive grim tone. In Jeopardy is a dark tale and mood piece depicting the world as a forbidding place and touches of the supernatural enhance the story’s sense of randomness.

Even acts of kindness are eerie and warn that an individual’s life is on a knife’s edge, courting disaster and tragedy. Stories within stories mirror Christine’s plight.


  • Christine, the main protagonist of In Jeopardy, is cruelly ejected from her husband Richard’s life as the serial womanizer decides to permanently replace her with a new, more glamorous partner. On one level Christine must cope with her changed circumstances and her struggle to gain a fair settlement. More significantly, this event precipitates a series of crises in her life. She must come to terms with the obliteration of her identity as Richard’s wife and struggle to create a new identity out of the wreckage of her marriage and her dislocation from almost everything, except her work as a nurse, that has sustained her. Christine’s life is further complicated by her renewed relationships with her brother, returned from England, and her sister, married and living in Perth. Christine often seems powerless, drifting from situation to situation, yet throughout the novel she retains an elusive but discernible strength, particularly to face up to the harsh realities and confusion of her life. Christine’s story is paralleled by that of her bother, Julian, who reveals that he, too, has undergone some recent challenging experiences. His story, and that of his friend Lucy, embody similar struggles to Christine’s; although their stories share some common elements, each character deals with these in different ways and to different ends. In Jeopardy is quite a mood piece. The atmosphere is bleak – here the world is chaotic and unpredictable, often hostile. What emerges from this world of dark, dirty realism is hope, and faith in the capacity of some people to be decent, humane and compassionate. The battle to bring about meaningful change in oneself is compellingly portrayed.


Sinister Slices

The Shoe Shine

by Robert Datson

Published in Star Quake 2


The Deluge

by Gerry Huntman

Published in Black Beacon’s Subtropical Suspense


Banned Girl

by S. G. Larner

Published in Fictionvale Episode 4


S is for Silence

by Pete Aldin

Published in A is for Apocalypse, also available at GoodReads.


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