Category Archives: Alice & the Devil

The Ghosts of Alice series sells 5000 copies!

The Ghosts of Alice series – three of my books starting with The Boy in the Burgundy Hood – chalked up 5000 sales this week!

The Ghosts of Alice 5000 copies sold

I never thought when I began indie publishing my stories that I’d sell anything like that number. I was always happy just to know people were able to find and read (and hopefully enjoy!) what I’d written. So this has been the icing on the cake, especially during the couple of periods when The Boy in the Burgundy Hood hit bestseller status on Amazon.

If you like ghost stories, and want to read about an unusual hero with a mysterious connection to the dead, why not give the series a go?

What readers say about The Boy in the Burgundy Hood:

***** ‘The perfect modern day ghost story with a grisly twist’
***** ‘Impossible to put down’
***** ‘Creepy and satisfying’
***** ‘A compelling and spinetingling read’
***** ‘Too scared to sleep… extremely good book, I read it in one day!’
***** ‘Turn the screw it does, right up to its terrifyingly dark finale.’

Check out the books on Amazon here.

The Haunted House

haunted house

What image comes to mind for you when you think of a haunted house?

I’ve been writing ghost stories for 5 years now and I’ve realised that the houses I have haunted have become progressively more ‘everyday’ with each successive story. As if you don’t need heightened melodrama of a setting to chill – fear can come to you in the most mundane of places.

In The Boy in the Burgundy Hood, the red-hooded boy and the wounded woman haunt an old medieval manor with sprawling grounds and a creepy stumpery. Bramley Manor is a stately medieval hall with a grand fireplace and a Tudor section.

The haunting in The Girl in the Ivory Dress takes place in a Victorian guest house in a remote spot on the Welsh coast. The house is quite old, but it’s been completely renovated and has all modcons.

Alice and the Devil focuses on a rundown Victorian rectory on the moors in the Peak District, although much of the action takes place on a curious set of giant, wooded rocks nearby that are filled with caves and strange features.

My latest ghost story Black Beacon, however, is set in an ordinary 1930s house – although it is isolated from civilisation up on the Sussex Downs. And even more so, after a rare Christmas snowfall.

Do you prefer your ghost stories set in a classic, decaying country house – or do you think the spook can happen anywhere?

You can check out all my books on my Amazon page – perfect for the festive season!

The Ghosts of Alice: Spectacular Spooktober Sale!

Later this week I’m starting a (thinks fast) Spectacular Spooktober Sale (!!) on The Ghosts of Alice series.

The Ghosts of Alice: Spooktober sale

Running up to Halloween, each of the three titles will have a week on sale on Kindle at the discounted price of 99p/99c.

If you haven’t discovered The Ghosts of Alice yet, it’s a series of standalone books that feature Alice Deaton, a young woman with a mysterious connection to the dead. In the first book, the bestselling The Boy in the Burgundy Hood, Alice lands her dream job to open a medieval house to the public – only to find when the ghosts start appearing not all is as rosy as it seems…

Here’s the dates when each title will be on sale:

  • 11-17 Oct: The Boy in the Burgundy Hood
  • 18-24 Oct: The Girl in the Ivory Dress
  • 25-31 Oct: Alice and the Devil

Have a totally spooky month!

Here’s links to buy on Amazon:

Author redundancy alert!

I was playing around with the new AI language tool, ChatGPT, recently. I wondered how it would do if I asked it to generate an author bio for a ghost story writer. That’s all the detail I gave it and at once it produced this, which I’ve tailored with my name and books only. You can see why UK universities are currently scrambling to work out how to assess students, when it produces reasonable essays on pretty much anything ranging from the causes of WW1 to Brexit.

And, whilst a bit wonky, it sounds relatively human. I asked it to write me a poem about wrens and it was reasonable – not brilliant, probably not even good, but not doggerel either. I checked it wasn’t plagiarised on Google and of course, it wasn’t.

So, how long before it’s writing a 60,000 long ghost story full of creepy twists and turns? Not long, I suspect. Especially with a good human (at least for now) editor. This thing is learning fast, helped by useful free fodder such as myself, helping it with the nuances of language. And that really is the key – I suspect it’s rapidly learning things that take novelists years, if not decades, to discover and refine.

My hope is that human creativity will always pip AI. We know the world, we experience pain and beauty unmediated by all except our senses. And we use that to innovate. I like to believe Nick Cave’s response when a fan sent him ChatGPT mimicry of his lyrics.

But I’m no technologist. It’s possible that in a few decades, whilst ChatGPT will never know who we are, it might well be able to replicate books that we’re unable to distinguish from those written by real people. The first article I read about ChatGPT was by a seasoned journalist who was seriously discomforted by its attempt to produce something similar to her writing. 

Have you tried ChatGPT yet? What are your thoughts?

In the meantime, remember that horror helps build your resilience, always useful when we’re faced with a future straight out the Terminator – so why not grab my latest ghost story, Alice and the Devil, now?

Alice and the Devil

Click below to view on Amazon:

Alice & the Devil – a reading: Ben finds Alice

Time for another reading. Here’s a short extract from my new ghost story, Alice and the Devil – the perfect read for Christmas!

Alice is working in her boss’s house in the Peak District. There’s a storm outside on the moors. Suddenly, a young boy appears, drenched through, at her door. She soon finds out that he’s on a strange mission. A VERY strange mission…

While you’re here, I wonder if I could ask a small favour? I designed the cover of Alice and the Devil myself and it’s through to the second round of the All Author December Cover of the Month competition! Could you spare a moment to vote for it by clicking here? (Note – there are only a certain number of readers who can vote without registering – so don’t worry if it won’t let you!)

You can check out Alice and the Devil by clicking the icon below:

The Mysterious Rocks that inspired Alice & the Devil

Alice and the Devil - Jackson's Rocks

Alice and the Devil, my third ghost story in The Ghosts of Alice series, is set in the Peak District in the English midlands. Alice is working remotely in her boss’s cottage on the moors, hoping the peacefulness and distance will help her recover from the trauma of Peacehaven. But then a boy arrives and pleads for her help, claiming his grandfather is being terrorised by the Devil. Everything is going to take a big turn for the worse…

As a writer, I’m always rooting about for inspiration. For the last few years I’ve been holidaying in the Peaks with my family. I knew it was just a matter of time before the bleak moors took their place in one of my ghost stories. But it was the discovery of the ancient and mysterious Rowtor Rocks that finally sealed the setting for Alice and the Devil.

Alice and the Devil - Clay's cave inspiration
Alice and the Devil - Jackson's Rocks inspiration

Metamorphosed into Jackson’s Rocks in the book, I drew on the story of Thomas Eyre, a Reverend who was fascinated by local tales of witchcraft and pagans doing rituals on the rocks. Eyre had a band of workers carve features – seats, symbols, entrances – into the ancient slabs of limestone.

In Alice and the Devil, the Rev. Horace Clay has similar features carved on to Jackson’s Rocks, including a small amphitheatre. And he takes his occult practice one big step further into darkness – with devastating implications for Alice two centuries later…

Alice and the Devil - Clay's cave escape passage!
Rowtor Rocks

Rowtor Rocks is a special place. I urge you to visit if you ever find yourself in the Peaks.

Click below to find out more about Alice and the Devil on Amazon:

Alice and the Devil – Out Now!

Alice and the Devil out now!

I’m excited to tell you my latest book, Alice and the Devil, is out now! The perfect spooky ghost story for this Halloween…

Here’s what it’s about:

‘Yes, I can see ghosts,’ she said.
‘That’s why she told me to come here. Because you can help us. You can help grandad and me. You can help us defeat him.’
‘Him?’
‘Yes, him. The Devil.’

A boy crosses the moors in a storm to plead for Alice’s help, claiming to be sent by a ghost.

Is the boy’s grandfather really being terrorised by the Devil himself? Alice can’t quite believe it – but then she’s experienced things she’d never imagined could come true. But even with her paranormal experiences, little does she expect the horror she is about to face at the lonely rectory overlooking the moors…

Alice and the Devil is the third standalone novel in The Ghosts of Alice series, about a young woman with a mysterious connection to the dead.

Available in paperback and Kindle editions on Amazon now!

What readers say about The Ghosts of Alice:

‘Loved the main character and plenty of twists and turns mean you are kept guessing right up until the end’

‘If you love ghost stories, read this one!’

‘Twists and turns that weren’t predictable and with a believable background setting. Would be good as a Christmas Eve ghost story gift’

‘Too scared to sleep … extremely good book, I read it in one day!’

‘Turn the screw it does, right up to its terrifyingly dark finale’

‘Creepy and satisfying…. real psychological depth as well, as Alice’s troubled personal history dovetails into the storyline’

‘The best ghost story l have ever read’

Click below to view on Amazon:

Alice and the Devil – Cover Reveal!

Here’s the cover of my forthcoming book, Alice & the Devil!

Alice & the Devil - cover

The story is set in the Peak District and starts amid a raging thunderstorm. A boy stumbles across the bleak moors, intent on reaching the Right House. It’s a place he’s been told he’ll find help against visitations from the most terrifying of all supernatural beings – the Devil himself.

And who’s staying in the Right House? You guessed it. Alice Deaton, the woman with a unique ability to understand the dead.

Alice and the Devil is the third standalone book in The Ghosts of Alice series. Out this Halloween, if not sooner…

Check out the other titles below: