cemetery shadows


The mist paints a grey.

Hissing winds sound fey.

The trees sway in tune

Under the blue moon.

With long robes, they sweep toward me.

Darker shadows they cannot be.

A statue looms in the distance.

I cannot offer resistance.

An angel turns her face to me.

A wicked grin for all to see.

Her white wings spread wide.

Time for me to hide.




❈ Grim Aesthetics ❈


The full moon casts its harsh light,

Spotlights to the left and right.

Shadows drift in the trees.

Some even on their knees.

On the shallow lake,

they cast their cold gaze.

Reflections of bones

Flicker in the haze.

While the small town sleeps,

They walk the dark streets.

They ready for their fight.

Their march a deadly sight.

Soft snores won’t deter them.

Children’s cries won’t halt them.

From the woods, they have come.

They will return as one.

THE DEAD GAME by Susanne Leist


Off to the gingerbread house, ​we go
On this fine fall day.
The country road yawns before us,
Pointing the way with pebbled arms.

Shana is laughing up a storm,
Similar to the one building around us.
Swirling gusts lead us by the hand
To a cottage made not by man.

The house floats in a dewy gauze of its own,
Shielded from any attacks or storms.
It glistens and shimmers in the fading light
As we draw closer to its unfailing might.

The front door opens at our approach,
An extended arm our only invitation.
I want to leave but Shana says,
“Linda, let’s see who lives inside.”

Before I could answer she walks in,
Leaving me alone in the dying day.
Pebbles unearth themselves in my direction
Until I’m forced to seek shelter inside.

An older couple wait for us,
Wearing clothes from days long gone.
They show us around their unusual home,
Where rooms are shrines to their grown children.

We are led to the attic to find a lone rocking chair,
Facing the forest and deserted country road.
The woman explains they are The Watchers,
Protecting the town from errant vampires.

My ears are ringing and my heart is pounding
As I listen to her words in disbelief.
She says there’s always a Watcher
Sitting in the rocking chair.

We don’t know whether to believe her story
But the chair begins to rock on its own.
​We flee the scene of our worst nightmare,
Determined never to return to this awful place.

Our games have just begun.


Excerpt of The Dead Game

1 Take my hand

Todd had somehow backed her against a tall tree on the deserted walkway. She couldn’t move back and if she moved forward, well…Todd’s large, muscular body was blocking the way.

They stood in the tree’s cool shade, colorful leaves falling all around them. They were staring into each other’s eyes; each one was afraid to make the first move. Todd finally moved closer, encircling her and giving her the long, heartfelt kiss that she’d been waiting for—for a very long time.

She couldn’t believe that he was holding and kissing her. His mouth was soft and hard at the same time—pulling her deeper and deeper into his world of heightened feelings. When he touched her, she felt somehow different—not herself anymore. He took total control of her mind and her body. It felt unbelievably good, but scary at the same time. She still wasn’t sure that she was ready to give up her freedom to be under Todd’s control.

He was staring down at her—as if trying to commit her face to memory. He caressed her eyelids with his lips. Then his warm lips moved down her face to her mouth once more. She shivered in delight. Who knew that he could be so gentle and caring?

The kisses grew ardent, but her mind remained focused on the way he had been memorizing her features. Why? Was he going away? Was there something he wasn’t telling her? Of course, there was—he and his friends were always keeping secrets. She didn’t know if she could trust him. But damn​, he was a good kisser. And he was beautiful: his big brown eyes had those long lashes that any woman would die for; she loved his cleft chin and his finely chiseled features.

She ran her fingers through his soft, curly brown hair. But she had to be able to trust him—with her life ​if need be. His lips were trailing down her neck, down her chest, ending at the deep V of her neckline. He was licking her skin, causing her limbs to tremble. She felt warmth flowing down her body, awakening her nerve endings with the sudden unexpected thrill. She threw her head back and softly moaned.

He groaned in response, his playful tongue reversing in direction, picking up speed until it reached her mouth once again. Then he descended upon her with his lips; his warm mouth, which was molding itself to hers. His whole body was molding itself to hers ​until she felt as one with him. She was falling into his embrace.




My nightmares haunt me.

They torment me each night.

They follow me,

Giving my heart a fright.

I’ve put my demons in my book

To ease my troubled mind.

Why don’t you take a closer look,

And see what you can find.



​This morning, ​I was pleasantly surprised by this spotlight. An excellent way to begin my weekend!

Caleb and Linda Pirtle

The Dead Game by Susanne Leist

Book Cover

The Dead Game brings fantasy and the surreal to the simple murder mystery.

After graduating college, Linda Bennett leaves New York for the slower-paced lifestyle of Oasis, Florida. She opens a bookstore and makes new friends. Life is simple that is until the dead body washes up onshore​.

She is horrified to learn that dead bodies and disappearing tourists are typical for this small town. Rumors abound of secret parties being held by the original residents in their secluded mansions. Once night falls, the tourist-friendly town becomes a haven for evil and dark shadows. But this is only the beginning.

Linda and the other young residents receive an unsigned invitation to a party at End House, the deserted house in the forest behind town; a house with its own violent history. They are pursued through revolving rooms and dangerous traps, barely escaping with their lives. Two of their own remain trapped inside. Or so they think.

It’s up to Linda and her friends to search out The Dead and find the evil one controlling their once peaceful community. Can they trust the Sheriff and his best friend, Todd?

THE DEAD GAME has begun.

From Susanne Leist:

Profile photo

I’ve always loved to read. I grew up reading Agatha Christie, Alistair Maclean and so many other authors who filled my imagination with intrigue and mystery. The TV show, Murder She Wrote, kept me entertained when I wasn’t reading late into the night.

Over the years, my taste in books expanded to include the supernatural and paranormal genres, which has been reflected in my selection of shows, such as Supernatural, The Vampire Diaries, and The Originals.

My first book, The Dead Game, is a paranormal suspense/mystery. It brings fantasy and the surreal to the simple murder mystery. It has dead bodies and suspects.

However, it also has humans, vampires, vampire derivatives, and ​a touch of romance to spice up the mix.​

Review by Diane Murier:

The Dead Game never quits. It takes off like a rocket through skies that may or may not be real, and it ends in fantastical possibilities that burrow into the secret earth. But throughout, there’s the mysterious, sexy, brown-eyed Todd and the responsive and curious heroine Linda.

Can they ever get off of the diabolical crazy train long enough to take care of business?

Hmmm. You’ll have to read it for yourself. A town with so many questions raised by a mile of bizarre events is worth a closer look. And creepy mansions are elevated to a new level that supersedes the merely haunted houses of days gone by.

The Dead Game. Humans are invited to the party, but just who or what you will be by its end is part of the gruesome fun. Get the book!





A long journey to become an author,
Days of soul searching and hard work.
The words need to be enticing and clear,
A bridge to the reader’s heart.

A movie camera sweeps across scenes,
So does a book’s point of view.
One point of view shows one angle,
While changing points of view reveal more.

To be lost in a book is truly a gift,
An escape from the mundane and boring.
A visit to far away places can be
An adventure to open your mind’s eye.

Once completed, a book is a treasure,
A symbol of the author’s hopes and dreams.
A confectioner’s delight to be tasted and savored,
To be remembered by the many or just a few.


Shadows in the dark-2


There’s paradise in Oasis, Florida.
Sun-drenched beaches by day,
Moonlight beaches by night,
A paradise to be shared by all.
Come and enjoy the sleepy nights.
The cooling sea breezes that
Bring mysterious shadows.
Dark shadows that walk
The deserted streets of the town.
All is quiet.
All is dark.
Except for the footsteps.
“Who goes there?”
We ask behind our closed shutters.
No one answers.
Only footsteps.
Who will be alive come morning?




I’m excited to present our “SPOTLIGHT” Author, Robert Fear.

Meet Robert Fear. Ask him questions. Leave comments. 


Robert Fear - Author Pic


Exclusive Pedigree v3


What’s next for Robert Fear?

Well, before anything else, I will be concentrating on the opportunities offered by being in the ‘Author Spotlight’ for July at #RRBC (Rave Reviews Book Club). It is a huge privilege for me to be chosen and came as a real surprise as I only regard myself to be a part-time writer and editor. As I am in between contracts for my day job at the moment, this gives me more time to promote my writing and also concentrate on writing my next book.

The 2017 Travel Stories Competition (500-1000 words) will run until July 31st 2017. The winners will be chosen by an independent panel of judges and announced early in September. The 2017 Travel Highlights Competition (50-100 words) will then run from mid-September until mid-November, with winners being selected by a public vote in the last two weeks of November. I will then select the best stories and highlights from both competitions. These will be included in a 2018 Edition of the Travel Stories and Highlights book and should be released early in the New Year.

As a special offer to readers of this blog, I would like to offer you a free copy of the 2017 Edition of the Kindle version of Travel Stories and Highlights (normally $2.99) if you sign up to the Fred’s Blog Newsletter. Follow the link to sign up and I will send you regular updates on the competitions and news about upcoming releases.

I have started work on a new memoir but I am making slow progress. It is about the first time I left England on my own and spent the summer season of 1977 working and partying on the island of Ibiza in Spain. This is more difficult to write than when I self-published Fred’s Diary 1981. For this book I do not have a handwritten diary to fall back on. I do, however, have the letters that were written to me while I was there. These are helping me bring back memories and create a timeline of when things happened.

In the past I have been more of a diarist or a memoirist, as well as an editor and proof-reader, rather than an accomplished author. I am having to get my head round a completely new skill set and learn the art of creative writing.

This may be a risk at such an early stage of the new book, but I am including a small extract below of what I have written so far. Your feedback and constructive criticism would be welcome (please e-mail me at

The ferry edged its way from the berth and headed for the harbour entrance. In the early evening light the clouds lifted, and the sun appeared on the horizon for a few minutes. Through the descending gloom I could make out the famous white cliffs of Dover as we left the shores of England.

The seas were choppy, and the wind icy as we headed across the channel. I put on a jumper and buttoned up my denim jacket. Determined to stay on deck, I enjoyed the feel of the wind that blew against my face and through my hair. A surge of elation swept over me as I realised that my dream had come true.

I did not hear her approach as I had become absorbed in my own thoughts. It took a few seconds to realise she had spoken.

‘Hi, how are you doing, where are you heading?’

She was taller than me and several years older. Long blond hair wrapped itself around her shoulders and her pale blue eyes glistened as she looked at me.

I averted my gaze for a moment before smiling back,

‘Hi, sorry, I didn’t realise you were there. I’m travelling to Barcelona by coach and then getting a ferry across to Ibiza.’

‘What are you planning to do there?’

‘I’m hoping to work for the season in a place called Es Cana.’

‘Is this the first time you’ve worked abroad?’

‘Yes, I’ve just finished work at a bank in London. Where are you heading? Sorry, I didn’t catch your name.’

‘Everyone one calls me Micky, but my real name is Michelle. I’m off to Barcelona. We’re on the same bus. I saw you earlier on and thought, as you are on your own, you’d appreciate company. I’m an English teacher returning to the school where I work, after an Easter break back at home in Bristol.’

Micky edged closer as if to get extra protection against the biting wind.

‘And what’s your name?’

‘Most people I know call me Fred.’

‘Is that a nickname then?’

‘Yes, I got it at school and it’s stuck since then. My mates call me Fred though my real name is Robert.’

Her eyes widened,

‘You seem more like Fred than Robert.’

I smiled back,

‘How long have you worked in Barcelona?’

‘Just under a year. I finished Teacher Training College in 1976, not long after Franco died in November 1975. Spain was a country that had always interested me. When I saw an advertisement in the paper for a teaching position there, I jumped at the chance and applied straight away. After an interview in London I got the job.’

‘Are you enjoying it?’

‘On the whole, yes. Spain is changing fast after forty years of dictatorship, but people’s attitudes will take longer to change. Life for a female is still difficult. I am lucky they take care of me while at the school but things can be awkward outside sometimes.’

‘Do you ever regret doing it?’

‘No, not at all. Travel gives you a new outlook on life. You’ll discover that for yourself this summer. That is as long as you don’t weaken and I don’t think you will Fred.’

‘Thanks Micky, that’s nice of you.’

The loud sound of the ship’s siren broke the atmosphere for a moment. The ferry had arrived at the port of Calais.

Micky gave me a quick kiss on the cheek and winked at me,

‘I’ll see you back on the bus, take care.’

‘Yes, great to meet you, see you later.’

What a lovely surprise, I thought as I smoked a quick cigarette before my return to the coach.


Books published to date:

Fred’s Diary 1981

Travel Stories and Highlights

Exclusive Pedigree

Author Bio:

Born in Leicester, UK in 1955, Robert’s family moved to Surrey when he was 11. He was educated at Reigate Grammar School. After this he worked at a bank in London for several years before getting the travel bug. Fred, a nickname he got at school, stuck throughout his travels and has remained with him to this day. His travels took him to Ibiza for the summer of 1977, hitch-hiking around Europe in 1978 and the USA and Canada in 1979. During this time he also settled and worked in Germany. Fred’s Diary 1981 was written during the 158 days he spent travelling around Asia.

These days Robert is happily settled in Eastbourne, East Sussex where he lives with his wife and three cats. He works as a software consultant and has been able to combine work with some travel during the past fifteen years, having visited countries as far apart as Australia, Singapore, Ghana and Suriname.

Facebook – @fredsdiary1981

Twitter Handle – @fredsdiary1981

Website –


Thank you for joining our Author Blog Tour.