Beatrix woke up in a small metal cage, Lost in the darkness, a persistent dripping sound her only company.
She was celebrating a promotion that was the culmination of her entire ruthless, driven career; a promotion that would cement her status enough for her to take her relationship with her girlfriend out of the lesbian closet; Beatrix had finally made it.
And then she was here, disoriented and petrified in a blackness she could not define. Yet the reality of her Master may be even more terrifying than the crushing darkness and enveloping isolation. He appears as an ominous shadow in the doorway of her cell, never speaking. Instead, he teaches Beatrix the language of pain and torture, of submission and obedience, of domination and possession
With each passing day, the fight and hope in Beatrix begins to shrivel and wane. With each savage beating, her survivalist instincts rise up to overwhelm the person she was. With each dehumanizing condition, she begins to forget who she was and the life from which she was ripped.
Can Beatrix ward off the psychological breakdown of her Master? Can she resist the temptation to survive and thrive through submission? Either Beatrix will succeed at surviving and escaping the torments of her Master or her Master will succeed at breaking her completely and reforming her into his design for a human possession…
Colorado-bred writer, Christina Bergling knew she wanted to be an author in fourth grade.
In college, she pursued a professional writing degree and started publishing small-scale. It all began with “How to Kill Yourself Slowly.”
With the realities of paying bills, she started working as a technical writer and document manager, traveling to Iraq as a contractor and eventually becoming a trainer and software developer.
She avidly hosted multiple blogs on Iraq, bipolar, pregnancy, running. She continues to write on Fiery Pen: The Horror Writing of Christina Bergling and Z0mbie Turtle.
In 2015, she published two novellas. She is also featured in the horror collections Collected Christmas Horror Shorts, Collected Easter Horror Shorts, Collected Halloween Horror Shorts, and Demonic Wildlife. Her latest novel, The Rest Will Come, was released by Limitless Publishing in August 2017.
Bergling is a mother of two young children and lives with her family in Colorado Springs. She spends her non-writing time running, doing yoga and barre, belly dancing, taking pictures, traveling, and sucking all the marrow out of life.
Donna Maria McCarthy
If Biddy knows no rest, then none shall…’
A tragedy born of malice and evil, a tortured body and soul. The townsfolk of Royal Rumney have a conscience, a secret that tears away at their sanity.
Any soul shall be offered up in place of the damned;
‘And ever the church bells tell a lie, is Biddy who comes and another will die.
Set in eighteenth century England in the small market town of Royal Rumny, Biddy Trott, is a Gothic Horror novella with tragedy at its core.
A young girl, falsely blamed for a fire which destroyed the town and killed many, is hunted down, tortured and killed gruesomely, with no conscience.
Lord Abner Alexander, a member of the elite and privileged, travels to the town in search of some peace and respite from his very bawdy and raucous lifestyle.
The town seems pleasant enough and the people welcoming, although unyielding where their dark and harrowing past is concerned.
Amongst some, shame, amongst others a distorted pride. Abner’s first indication that something evil lurks here is on his first night, where the Abbey bells toll two, and he finds himself witness to a terrifying slaying… not knowing whether it a dream or not, he remains, and becomes bewitched by a passion to record any horrors he feels he witnesses.
Donna Maria was brought up in the idyllic surroundings of rural Oxfordshire, where adventures were spent, on hazy summer days that seemed to last for an eternity.
Always a great reader, Alice in Wonderland was her bible, and her copy was always neatly stashed away in her bag, wherever the promise of magic and discovery sent her.
The youngest in a family of six brothers she grew up with a scholarly knowledge of both girls and boys, her best friends of all her two nearest siblings.
Her imagination is limitless, and when she said farewell to Oxfordshire, heart-breaking though it was, the bustling and forever changing demographic of Southampton and its urban creatures of both good and more questionable forces, proved a treat for the dark and fantastical realms, in her mind.
Epic poetry, lengthy school assignments, and tales around urban campfires filled her days. At school-leaving age she decided that even more knowledge, of our beautiful language, was exactly what her hungry mind required.
She went to a City College, studying English Literature, English Language, Sociology and Spanish, finding the Sociology ripe with tales from folklore and beliefs, to her absolute delight, and the Spanish, a wonderful addition to stories that brewed in her fertile mind.
She excelled at all, the English subjects especially, and upon leaving college decided that there were so many other ways to fill her note books with worthy subjects, and became gainfully employed working for the MOD, no less! On applying for a job as the Receptionist for an engineering company, part of the MOD, her talents for attention to detail and a fantastic memory were discovered and soon her role was finely tuned for somebody of her scope.
Enough said! Obviously she has signed the Official Secrets act, and can never disclose more, and although this was an incredibly exciting time in her life, she maintains that each and every episode so far has been equal in excitement; the mind is a strange and un-tamed beast, and in some is all-consuming. The produce can sometimes be really quite spectacular.
Biddy Trott is Donna’s third literary work, Gothic in nature (as is her passion) saying that she finds the language and taboo subject matters tantalising and exquisite.
‘True beauty and treasure can be found here, where most do not attribute such praise to the subject matter, those that do are blessed with a vision that spots shadows on moonless nights and amber warmth in the blackest eyes.’
Biddy Trott came about on just such a night, where the night sky gave nothing but ebony blackness and introspection was where she sought out light. A tragic tale began to form, shrouded in evil, darkness… the injustice of preconceptions, the instinct in us all to fear without question. To be lead by those who appear to see in the dark… though really these leaders are part of the Devil’s armoury, they twist and deform the weak, making them believe in power that can send one to its death…that they are in some way integral to justice, that they have been, up until now, overlooked.
And so, Biddy Trott breathed life and is to date Donna’s favourite piece of work (However this has been stated on completion of each of her books)
The Meddler is Donna’s second novel; it is a dark but beautifully twisted fairy tale, that she affectionately calls, ‘Magic for beyond the twilight.’
Perhaps this is a polite way of saying that this is truly purely for adults, and although comical, satirical and full of emotions, it is also, in some places sinister; but then aren’t all Fairy Tales?
Following research, she found that all were inspired by actual events, and perhaps on closer inspection the darker side of these often whimsical tales, is really quite scary: and maybe more owed to a group of people trying to come to terms with a conscience, or even a nation.
However, these stories, and there are so many more, not in popular circulation, are manna from Heaven for Donna. In fact, any peculiarity or human success of failing are stored away and slowly fed to the beast in her mind that issues forth these remarkable tales.
The Hangman’s Hitch is her debut novel, and once again, although there is bountiful humour found within the pages, the subject of a man hunted down by a very real devil, is haunting and horrific.
Set in 18th century England, the characters are Dickensian like, full of colour and idiosyncrasies, and so makes an otherwise quite gruelling subject, strangely compelling and enjoyable.
In true Donna fashion, she hopes she has captured you with this insight into herself and inspirations, and thanks you for your time, hoping that you are intrigued enough to dip in and experience magic that you may have mislaid in growing up!
The Pleasure Hunt
After meeting the mysterious Dark Dance on the casual encounters website, The Pleasure Hunters Club, Sexy Cupid finds himself enchanted by an enigmatic seductress – Dark Dance.
After experiencing bizarre, nightmarish visions during their first physical liaison, Cupid awakes on a bench somewhere in Louisville, unable to get the mystifying creature off his mind. As he begins to search both online and through the seedy streets of the city for her, he uncovers harrowing truths about the object of his obsession, truths which fill him with both indomitable dread and inexplicable love for her.
By the time Cupid begins to understand the terror he faces, the shackles on his soul are already too tight as the ancient monster has her talons dug well into his flesh.
Every time he is swept away to her world of Theia – the Moon Realm – she extracts and devours yet another piece of his very essence, and despite the merciless torment of his encounters with his obsession – and the warnings of, a menacing stranger – he presses on to find her, dragging himself deeper into her darkened realm.
Cupid soon finds that he may have but one opportunity to escape the demonic Dark Dance, but the bewitchment she has cast upon his heart may deter him from making a stand; with his soul about to slip down the gullet of the beast, Cupid has to make a decision before he is forever wrapped in the wicked thaumaturge’s wings of eternal damnation.
Jacob Floyd was born in Louisville, Kentucky and has spent most of his life in the small town of Hillview, just south of there. He and his wife, Jenny, are ghost hunters who own and operate two local ghost walks (Jacob Floyd’s Shepherdsville History and Haunts Tour and Jacob Floyd’s NuLu History and Haunts Tour), both of which you can follow on Facebook.
Jacob’s love for horror began at an early age when he first saw The Return of the Living Dead, and his desire to write it began in his teen years when he started reading R.L. Stine’s Goosebumps series. Other than Stine, he lists Clive Barker, James Herbert, J.R.R. Tolkien, S.E. Hinton, Edgar Allan Poe, and Brian Keene as his major literary influences.
He and his wife still live in Hillview with their three dogs and two cats. They enjoy visiting cemeteries, old abandoned places, and buildings that are supposed to be haunted. You can connect with Jacob on social media at the links below:
You can also join the horror fun, and even promote your own work, in his Facebook group, The Psycho Circle: Horror Readers, Writers, Film, Fans, and Promotion.
The Big Book of Bootleg Horror Vol 3: By Invitation Only
The third – and incredibly special volume in HellBound Books’ flagship horror anthology – this one bursting at the seams with even more fantastically dark horror from the cream of today’s horror scene, each one of whom was specially invited to contribute and support the fantastic Hilarity for Charity and its fight against Alzheimer’s – proceeds from this mighty tome will be donated accordingly… Featuring: Jack Ketchum, Michael Bray, Jeff Strand, Chad Lutzke, Eddie Generous, Lance Tuck, Wade H. Garrett, Richard Chizmar and Billy Chizmar, James H Longmore, Jaap Boekestein, Iain Rob Wright, Michael McBride, Edward Lee, David Owain Hughes, Ray Garton & Benjamin Blake Twenty-two tales of disturbing terror and nefarious imagination – the perfect antidote to a peaceful night’s sleep!