Monday, 3 September 2018

The Keeper - Released

Finally, I hear you say. I know. It's been a long time in the making. However the day has finally arrived.

Here she is, in all her glory, The Keeper.

 Amazon US

It's been a huge weight off my shoulders to have this story out in the world. I had a mental road block for so long that I needed to get past. And after months of self-reflection of my thought process around my work I decided to bite the bullet.

The Keeper is now live on Amazon, globally. So if you're interested in checking it out, here's the blurb with the link below.

Her beloved Abram was brutally murdered on their wedding day. Raven could not bare the loss and ended her own life right there in the church. 

After being suspended in the darkness of death, Raven is re-animated by a stranger to become The Keeper of the dead. While conducting her duties to look after those interred in her cemetery grounds, Raven discovers that history has re-incarnated her beloved Abram only to have him pass once more. Raven oversees Abram’s funeral and she is shocked to find a living version of herself in attendance. Before Raven can get answers, history repeats and the living Raven commits suicide before her very eyes. It is only then that she realises this isn’t the first time fate has brought her beloved Abram back only to have her watch him die repeatedly. When the stranger who re-animated her returns, Raven discovers why she is The Keeper.


Buy your copy now on Amazon here. If you've got time to leave me a review on Amazon or Goodreads that'd be AMAZING.

Happy Monday and I hope you all have a great week.

Mad Love

Alysha

Monday, 3 October 2016

Melbourne General Cemetery

A few months ago now, yeesh time flies, I paid a quick visit to Melbourne. In true Alysha style, the second I had dropped my bags I headed straight for the closest cemetery. Melbourne has a beautiful little cemetery less than 20 minutes on the tram from the city centre which is awesome. If you'd like to discover Melbourne General Cemetery for yourself, you can visit their website here.

Walking around the cemetery was exquisite and while I didn't have a lot of time to explore every inch of it, I did have the chance to meet some wonderful people. Those of note were three Italian brothers who had stopped by the cemetery to do some maintenance on their mother's grave. She had a beautiful marble headstone and many items that, despite having lost her some thirty years earlier, showed that she was still very much loved. The brothers were kind enough to share the story of their mother and their father, whom they'd lost only a couple of days prior. Their story was moving and beautiful. Despite these great losses in their life, the three men were jovial and full of positivity. They chose to focus on the positives of a life well lived.

Once I said farewell to the gentlemen to continue my journey through the graves, I couldn't help but smile the rest of the day. While they did give me permission to photograph their mother's grave I chose not to as it didn't feel right at the time. In hindsight, it would have been a wonderful moment to capture had I had the photography skills to do it justice. (Which I don't.)

Below are some of my favourite snaps captured in Melbourne General Cemetery. Enjoy.


I loved the little lights that shine for the occupied vaults










Saturday, 12 March 2016

Cemeteries

I've been thinking a lot about author platform lately and to date have not found my niche. Or have I? While watching a crappy movie this morning I had an epiphany. I love cemeteries. That isn't anything new to someone who follows me on social media, especially Facebook.

I often use Facebook as a platform to share my cemetery adventures. I post photos of graves and features that catch my interest or I find inspiring. Though I will admit, some I don't photograph because the image just can't quite capture the moment as I stand there.

Each cemetery has a feeling. Sometimes it's indescribable but I've decided that I'm going try and share these adventures on this blog. Besides, I write a lot about cemeteries in my manuscripts, so it makes perfect sense for me to share more of that here.

I hope you all enjoy these adventures as much as I do.

To start us off, here's a beautiful and unique grave I discovered in Armidale, New South Wales.



Mad <3

Alysha

Saturday, 13 February 2016

The Visitor by Amanda Stevens



I stumbled across this series last year and was very happy that I did. I finally felt as though an author had captured a story that I wanted to read, that explored my interests in cemeteries, death and the occult. Amanda ties these themes together seamlessly in The Graveyard Queen series.

As a big fan of the series, I've been waiting with baited breath for Amanda to have this novel ready, eagerly absorbing the updates she'd send in her newsletters. The day I downloaded this book to my kindle account was indeed a very happy one.

Having found out about a rather large piece of the focus character's family tree (Amelia Gray) in book three of the series, The Prophet I was intrigued to see where Amanda would take the story next. Without spoiling it, Amanda didn't disappoint.

Amelia is drawn to Kroll Cemetery which is shroud in strange occurrences, rumour and dark history. All the things lovers of modern gothic novels yearn for. The detail and mystery the author put into this cemetery is very much on par with the rest of her series. You can't help but feel that you're there with Amelia, in awe of the beauty and detail that lay within the walls of the graveyard, eager to uncover it's secrets.

Amelia's relationship with the detective, John Devlin has never been simple and this book explores more of those bloodline complications that have been hinted at in the previous novels. And I feel the book to follow this one will allow even more insight into this area of the story.

Anyone who is a fan of the series will love this addition. Despite the gap in the publishing, Amanda has picked up the story as if she never left it. The story is vivid, intriguing and at times goose-bump raising (I may have jumped a little when my phone startled me while I read this book). I love the history she intertwines in her stories which make them more realistic than mere fiction.

If modern gothic fiction sounds up your alley, then I implore you to read Amanda Steven's Graveyard Queen series. You won't be disappointed. This book in particular is a shining example of just how talented Amanda is. It's well written and isn't the kind of book that you'll want to put down, and if you manage to, it'll linger in your mind. And linger this story shall, in my mind until the next instalment.

But don't just trust me, visit Word Gurgle and see what book reviewer Hope had to say about this novel here.

Mad <3

Alysha

Monday, 18 January 2016

Forgotten Stories

To the writers reading this, have you ever forgotten a story you've written? Though really it's applicable to anyone, just replace story with chocolate bar, sex toy or shirt.

I ask this because I've done it a few times over now. I stumbled across one recently. Actually, I found mention of it in an old email thread to an author friend. When asked what I was working on I'd responded a little about a story, which in reading the email, I had no recollection of. Which was weird because I'd been pretty excited about it in the email.

So down into dark crypts of the cemetery that contains my work I plunged, shovel in hand ready to unearth some rotting chapter I'd abandoned during a midnight jaunt. Instead when I found the grave marker for this piece it all came flooding back, hanging corpses and all.

I enjoy rediscovering some of my work all over again. Sure, often I want to smack myself upside the head with the keyboard for the terrible story execution but just as frequently I find a little gem that gets me excited about the manuscript all over again. (or maybe it was finding those sex toys again?)

What have you unearthed that's got you excited?

Mad love

Alysha

Friday, 15 January 2016

A Change in Perspective



As I mentioned in my previous post, I plan to do things a little differently this year. I recently had a long chat with a good friend about where the industry is at of late which made me open my eyes a little. The times aren't a changin', they've changed.

In my relentless desire to be 'worthy' of being published, I'm constantly a victim of wrong timing. There is no way to pick what a publisher is going to be looking for next or what they've just signed. I'm not complaining, I'm just telling it how it is.

So I've decided that this year I'm going to look at alternate ways to get my work out there. Whether that be self publishing, small press, via an agent, I'm not sure. I want to expand my thinking and approach to this. Instead of getting the slow barrage of doors slamming in my face (writers will get it).

There are many blockers, turns, hills and doors on the way to publishing a manuscript by any means and I feel that with a change in perspective I may just be able to navigate under, through and around some of these to get that step closer to my goals.



I've always seen myself as what I'd call a hybrid author. Someone who publishes their work traditionally and themselves via various mediums. However I wanted to be published the traditional method first, to feel that my work is worthy. That's not a reflection on how I view those who self-publish first, not at all. It's a reflection of my own insecurities. One I must overcome and hopefully with some new perspective, I can.

Mad love

Alysha

Thursday, 31 December 2015

Post Mortems and the Year Ahead

2015 has been quite a transient year for me. I have learnt a lot about myself and my passions this year. Other goals have jumped on top of existing ones and smothered them to death, leaving me feeling a little unsatisfied with that I've achieved for the year. Though that's mainly because my original plans didn't come to fruition and that is entirely my own doing.



I'm sure I'm not alone in my thoughts that life is fleeting and therefore my lack of achievements in certain areas feel like I'm not working fast enough, or hard enough for that matter. Don't get me wrong, I've achieved lots this year. I just expect more of myself.



My goals for 2016 are unlike any I've had before. Sure, the regular long term goals make an appearance however many new goals that if you'd asked me a year ago whether they'd be on my list I'd have laughed at you. Yet here we are in my endless endeavour to be better than I was yesterday.

So as I shake off the remnants of 2015, I'm preparing for 2016. Preparing to king hit it, my goals and anything that gets in my way this year.



Happy New Year all. Stay safe and you'll be hearing from me again soon.

Mad love

Alysha