Matthew C Wood tells us what he saw #TheDayTheSunStoppedShining

Adventure or Terror...what awaits us beyond the sun...Click here to find out...

 We’re underground…

They are hunting up there…

I found another survivor…

He not only survived but came up with this 6 day plan to survive…

We call him leader but…

His name is Matthew C Wood…this is what he saw

The Day the Sun Stopped Shining…

Five days left...Will we survive...What are you willing to do to survive?

“They say instinctively you know something is wrong – deep, deep down inside – before you really see the bigger picture. The tip-off is usually small, like it being cold in the house when your thermostat is set to warm the place up an hour before you ever wake.

It would have been my tip-off – had we not decided to invest in extra blankets in order to save some money on our bills. Fact is, the recession hit us hard. We needed all the help we could get. Needless to say, it was normal to wake up to darkness and biting cold at 6:30 on a winter’s morning.

Leaning over to shut off the alarm clock was a bust. It was as silent and lifeless at the street outside.

Weird. No streetlights, no lights in the neighbour’s houses? What was this, some kind of holiday nobody told me about? Fumbling around for the TV remote took a few moments and only serve to make my heart race when it failed to turn on.

“Is there another damn power outage?” My wife groaned beside me, “Man…”

“Yeah,” I muttered, “That’s it. power outage.”

“No coffee – guess I’m stoppin’ at Timmy’s today.” Timmy’s was a popular Coffee shop in town. For my wife it was a place of last resort – she couldn’t start the day without a good, strong cup of Joe, “Got some change?”

With a grimace I waved at the dresser. Not like I left my wallet any place else.

Despite the logical explanation, something still didn’t sit right. Why wasn’t the Cell Phone ringing with friends and neighbours asking/moaning/whining about the outage?

A quick check of that device found it to be as lifeless as every other gadget I’d tried so far, making my blood turn to ice. That thing was only charged overnight – if it didn’t work then either this was the world’s longest power outage, or something was wrong.

“Honey…” I was so wrapped up in my thoughts, running every possibility from Solar Radiation to the EMP produced from a Nuclear Detonation in my head, that I’d failed to notice her leave the bed, “Honeeey…”

“Mmm?” Still wasn’t paying attention.

“Come see.”

“Yes dear – in a second.” Now what in the world could I do to test my theories? Maybe try something battery-powered. Just two nights ago I had been reading this really obscure article about a Solar Storm throwing us all back to the 19th Century – was that guy right?

“HONEY!” She snapped, “COME…HERE.”

“What?!” I replied in kind, unhappy with being interrupted like that.

That moment, when she failed to get angry at the fact I’d been short with her, was when my mind finally went into a full-blown panic. She always took offence to being barked at. It would take the end of the flipping world to change that.

As I fearfully got out of bed and looked out of the window, my heart beating so fast and hard I could hear it, that I got my first look at the end of everything.

******

If the world were ending my three things would be:

  1. Tell my wife and Kids how much I love them.
  2. Make an attempt to survive (if possible)
  3. Pray. A lot.
When Matthew is not hiding underground or fighting for survival…
You can find him here…
Follow Matthew on His Blog
For a list of other survivors, some of who I will be talking to these 6 days, find them below…
Alesha Escobar http://www.aleshaescobar.com
Amanda Haulk Taylor http://www.backwoodsauthor.wordpress.com/
Andrea Pearson http://andreapearsonbooks.blogspot.com/
Andrew Bell www.flightofman.com
Andy Holloman www.andyholloman.com/
Axel Howerton http://www.axelhowerton.com/
Brian Johnson http://fatherthunder.blogspot.com/
Caitlin Hopper http://caitlin-thefreelancingwriter.blogspot.com/
Cecilia Robert http://cecereadandwrite.blogspot.com
Charles Jones http://bizzarofiction.blogspot.com/
Davida Green-Norris (Dicey Grenor) www.diceyblog.wordpress.com
Diane Hartsock http://diannehartsock.wordpress.com/
Edward Owen http://dangerunfilteredcontent.wordpress.com/
Eileen Clemens Granfors http://www.authoreileengranfors.blogspot.com/
Georgina Kamsika http://www.kamsika.com/
James L. Hatch http://cookinwithmisshavana.blogspot.com/
Jason McKinney http://jasonmckinney.wordpress.com/
Johanna K. Pitcairn http://themanicheans.blogspot.com/
Joseph Pinto http://josephpinto.wordpress.com/
Julia Antione http://juephraime1.blogspot.com/
Julie Jansen http://juliejansen.blogspot.com/
Keith Weaver http://www.aboutkeithweaver.com/dream-weave-blog.html
Kelly DeWitt – Raven c.s. McCracken’s books http://ravencsmccracken.com/
Kim Koning http://kimkoning.wordpress.com
Lindsay Edmunds http://writersrest.com/
Marie Harbon www.marieharbon.com
Marissa Farrar http://www.marissa-farrar.blogspot.com
Matthew C Wood www.sunstoppedshining.wordpress.com/
Micheal Rivers http://michealrivers.com/blog/
Michelle Franklin http://thehaanta.blogspot.com/
Nadina Boun http://nadinaboun.wordpress.com/
P.R Mason http://agirlwithacomputer.blogspot.com/
Qwantu Amaru http://qwantuamaru.com/
Rae Lori http://raelori.blogspot.com/
Renee Pawlish http://tobecomeawriter.com/
Sheila Lamb http://sheilarlamb.com/
Shelley Workinger http://bookfare.blogspot.com/
Tim Ward www.timothycward.com/

 As with all adventures there will be survival packs given out…in the form of giveaways by each author.

Don’t hold your breath…

Don’t stand still too long…

You never know what may come up behind you…

The safest way to survive this is to keep running to every author listed above and find out 

What Happens when the Sun stops Shining

I am running a contest on the blog tour for the next 6 days…

Hurry! You only have 6 days!

Enter my contest by clicking on the red sentence below…

Read the rules here….



I am interviewed for #SunStoppedShining Blog Tour

I am featured on Johanna K Pitcairn’s “The Manicheans” Blog

Click the above  to find out what we talk about.

 

 

The Day the Sun Stopped Shining…It starts today…You have 6 days!

Adventure or Terror...what awaits us beyond the sun...Click here to find out...

The Sun has Stopped Shining…

Now over 50 authors, including myself, come up with a plan to survive…

These are the 50 plans we have come up with…

Sun Stopped Shining Blog Tour – List of Participating Blogs

Alesha Escobar http://www.aleshaescobar.com
Amanda Haulk Taylor http://www.backwoodsauthor.wordpress.com/
Andrea Pearson http://andreapearsonbooks.blogspot.com/
Andrew Bell www.flightofman.com
Andy Holloman www.andyholloman.com/
Axel Howerton http://www.axelhowerton.com/
Brian Johnson http://fatherthunder.blogspot.com/
Caitlin Hopper http://caitlin-thefreelancingwriter.blogspot.com/
Cecilia Robert http://cecereadandwrite.blogspot.com
Charles Jones http://bizzarofiction.blogspot.com/
Davida Green-Norris (Dicey Grenor) www.diceyblog.wordpress.com
Diane Hartsock http://diannehartsock.wordpress.com/
Edward Owen http://dangerunfilteredcontent.wordpress.com/
Eileen Clemens Granfors http://www.authoreileengranfors.blogspot.com/
Georgina Kamsika http://www.kamsika.com/
James L. Hatch http://cookinwithmisshavana.blogspot.com/
Jason McKinney http://jasonmckinney.wordpress.com/
Johanna K. Pitcairn http://themanicheans.blogspot.com/
Joseph Pinto http://josephpinto.wordpress.com/
Julia Antione http://juephraime1.blogspot.com/
Julie Jansen http://juliejansen.blogspot.com/
Keith Weaver http://www.aboutkeithweaver.com/dream-weave-blog.html
Kelly DeWitt – Raven c.s. McCracken’s books http://ravencsmccracken.com/
Kim Koning http://kimkoning.wordpress.com
Lindsay Edmunds http://writersrest.com/
Marie Harbon www.marieharbon.com
Marissa Farrar http://www.marissa-farrar.blogspot.com
Matthew C Wood www.sunstoppedshining.wordpress.com/
Micheal Rivers http://michealrivers.com/blog/
Michelle Franklin http://thehaanta.blogspot.com/
Nadina Boun http://nadinaboun.wordpress.com/
P.R Mason http://agirlwithacomputer.blogspot.com/
Qwantu Amaru http://qwantuamaru.com/
Rae Lori http://raelori.blogspot.com/
Renee Pawlish http://tobecomeawriter.com/
Sheila Lamb http://sheilarlamb.com/
Shelley Workinger http://bookfare.blogspot.com/
Tim Ward www.timothycward.com/

 As with all adventures there will be survival packs given out…in the form of giveaways by each author.

Don’t hold your breath…

Don’t stand still too long…

You never know what may come up behind you…

The safest way to survive this is to keep running to every author listed above and find out 

What Happens when the Sun stops Shining

SSsshhhh…Someone is coming…

I hear footsteps…rustling…

I must hurry…

Stop by here tomorrow…when I am sure we have lost whatever chases us…

I will tell you my secrets to surviving this terror…and I will have an expert’s help…

  • follow this blog
  • follow me on twitter – @AuthorKimKoning
  • like my facebook page here
  • make sure you hop to the other authors in this BlogHop
  • then….
  • Choose 5 items to take with you as you escape your house the day the darkness descends…tell me why you have chosen these items and how they will be useful to you…then tell me the first thing you will do or first place you will try find when you run as the darkness descends. > Comment with your answer in the comments below this post.<
A fantastic anthology of 34 talented authors including: Neil Gaiman, Jeff Vandermeer, Jay Lake, Sean Williams along with others. (Includes my debut short story - a YA dystopian "The Ring of Fire)


  • The best answer in originality and creativity will win ^^an ebook copy^^ of the above anthology “Tales for Canterbury” containing my short story, a YA dystopian tale “The Ring of Fire” – This book is full of survival tips to survive anything the world can throw at you – includes 34 stories including one by Neil Gaiman…
  • The contest runs from midnight (PST) 26/12/2011 and ends midnight (PST) 31/12/2011
  • I will announce the winners here in this blog on the 02/01/2011
  • HURRY…The darkness has descended…You have only 6 days left to survive or perish…


#HolidayHop welcomes Penelope Crowe…Last Chance to win some prizes~Enter now!

Click here to go blog hopping to more than 60 Holiday Hoppers...win prizes, enter contests and meet amazing indie authors...

Today I welcome Penelope Crowe to the blog with her fairytale for Christmas…

One day left to enter my contest and win some prizes....Hurry..Click here for the rules!

 

Henry and Greta were tired of being gophers.  Graduating first and second respectively in their class at Pratt three years ago meant nothing in the real world.  They had no relatives in the art community, and all their friends had careers of their own to worry about.

So they got other people coffee, bought paint, climbed the ladders when the museum light bulbs went out, and barely make a living.  Their apartment was an 800 square foot pre-war charmer, complete with roaches and windows that would not open.

Greta dreamt of a life in the country, with a little house of their own somewhere in the woods far, far away from the dirty city.

Henry’s drawings and paintings rivaled Cezanne.  Greta wrote words Hemingway would envy.  They worked on books at night and submitted them to publishers.

On Thursday Henry sketched some pictures to show the art director of the museum.  They  showed the stark white walls of the museum transformed by paintings that looked like stained glass.  Their placement brought to mind the opulent Baroque style of churches from centuries before.  

The sketches and ideas were stunning, and the art director dismissed him with a wave of his hand.    

The next morning the curator announced their next display—an architectural transformation of the museum showing paintings that looked like stained glass.  Congratulations were giving to the art director, the genius who thought of this wonderful idea.

Henry and Greta left the museum at 9:23AM, never to return.

They went home and gathered their books and illustrations in a portfolio and started walking uptown.

They left copies of their books with publishers on Varick Street, 24th, 53rd, Avenue of the Americas, and everywhere in between.  Their trail of literature led them to the front doors of the Waldorf Astoria.  Henry and Greta had to step aside as the doors swung open, and eight dogs of various shapes and sizes stepped through, followed by a very well-dressed old man.  

The dogs surrounded Henry and Greta and proceeded to bark.  They were silenced when the old man quietly spoke the two words “thank you.”  They sat down and looked at the man as if waiting for a treat.  

“My dogs have never been wrong,” smiled the old man.  “and they tell me you have something to show me.  Please come in and have tea.”

Hungry and thirsty after their journey through the city, they agreed.  

Sitting in Peacock Alley enjoying scones and tea, the old man, Mr. Kris, pointed past the opulent gift shop and told them his book shop was around the bend.  He had a first edition Animal Farm by George Orwell, and Dracula by Bram Stoker.  He had a handwritten journal with illustrations touted to be the works of DaVinci.  He said it was priceless.

“Please show me your work,” he said, “I am anticipating a glorious release.  Everyone has been waiting, and I want to be the one to show your art to the world.  My dogs are never wrong.”

Greta and Henry, though confused, showed Mr. Kris their books.  With a glimmer in his eye he requested copies, and informed them they would be ready for sale in one week.  Thank yous were exchanged, and Greta and Henry left shaking their heads.

They returned in one week and asked to speak to Mr. Kris, but no one knew who he was.  No one had heard of him.

As if by magic their books were in every bookstore they passed on the way home.  

Greta and Henry started to look for a place to live in the country.     

Find Penelope on her blog: http://www.penelopecrowe.blogspot.com/

Click here to get a copy…

Thank you for that tale Penelope. Every writer needs a Mr. Kris. Hope you find your’s this Christmas. Happy Holiday Hop and Merry Christmas! 🙂

Remember, Readers there is a contest going on this blog for the HolidayHop. Read all the rules and take up the challenge here There are fantastic prizes, just here on this blog you can win an ebook copy of an amazing collection of short stories plus you go into the grand HolidayHop prize draw for the Kindle Touch.Don’t forget to hop to the other bloggers this holiday season and let the festive spirit infect you!  It’s your last chance to win some prizes…enter now!

#Creepfest ‘s Ruth Barrett & The Dark Passenger

Click on the Creepmas tree to take you to more creepy posts on the blog tour...Hurry! There are Prizes!

It’s eleven days in…almost the end but not yet…there are still plenty of tales to read, interviews to follow and giveaways to enter…so if you have been one of the naughty ones this blog hop and not entered yet…click on the Christmas tree above and get hopping…There is still time! Hurry!

Today I have the pleasure of Ruth Barrett on the blog…Ruth specializes in ghostly tales…

The fat man blinked hard as he returned to consciousness. His head roared with pain and a heavy, drugged sensation. He tried to lift his arm to rub his bleary eyes, but found himself immobilized.

What the hell…?

With difficulty, he peered down the length of his rotund body. He was naked. His bulging stomach strained against what looked to be yards of Saran Wrap pinning him down onto a table. Confusion turned to terror as his twinkling blue eyes darted about the room. Beneath sheets of plastic meticulously taped in place, he recognized his own North Pole stables. His breathing quickened in visible white puffs in the chill air as he went over the last moments he recalled: slipping down a chimney in Miami, bending over his gift sack… then a sharp prickle in the side of his neck.

The fat man’s gaze landed on a display of photographs: dozens of reindeer who had served him well, only to be served as venison when they grew too old.

A man’s voice spoke low in his ear:

“Greetings, Santa. I am your Ghost of Christmas Past.”

Santa gasped as a blade deftly sliced a thin cut on his cheek…

[Note to bloghoppers-Aside: So just a reminder…Ruth’s Flash Fiction is the eighth entry into the Creepfest Challenge…Let me know what you think of it and check back here tomorrow for the seventh offering as you are going to help pick the winning Creepfest author at the end of the tour. Please let me know, in your comment below (or rate it at the top with stars), how you rate this eighth entry, in the challenge, by the imaginative Ruth Barrett out of 5 stars (5 = Brilliant).]

Ruth Barrett
Ruth Barrett is the author of Base Spirits: In 1605, Sir Walter Calverley’s murderous rampage leaves a family shattered. The killer suffers a torturous execution… but is it truly the end? A noble Yorkshire house stands forever tarnished by blood and possessed by anguished spirits.

Some crimes are so horrific, they reverberate through the centuries. 

As an unhappy modern couple vacation in the guesthouse at Calverley Old Hall, playwright Clara, and her scholar husband, Scott, unwittingly awaken a dark history. Clara is trapped and forced back in time to bear witness to a family’s bloody saga. Overtaken by the malevolent echoes, Scott is pushed over the edge from possessive husband to wholly possessed…

Inspired by a true-life drama in Shakespeare’s day, this is itself a play within a play: a supernatural thriller with a historical core. 

Only one player can survive.
Ruth, you had me at “Dark Passenger”…Loved this festive spin on “The Dark Passenger”… Great story. Looking forward to tucking into your book, Base Spirits over the festive season. Happy Creepfest & Merry Christmas Ruth! 🙂

Don’t forget to enter my #Creepfest Reader Challenge….This is the last day to enter…Tomorrow I post the results and the winners…Hurry you could still be a WINNER!

Question: The Ghost of Creepmas (Creepfest’s Christmas) Past is making a house call and this week he is visiting your house. He takes you back through time to your worst Christmas Nightmare. (This can be real or imagined.) Tell me about it in 200 words (max) in the comments section.

…then complete the following tasks set by the Creepfest Grinch to be eligible for the prize

follow this blog

  • like my Facebook Page
  • follow me on Twitter
  • after all this is done: tweet that you have been visited by#GhostofCreepmasPast and tag me @AuthorKimKoning 
  • Also make sure that you are hopping to the other blogs in this #Creepfest Blog Tour
  • These 5 tasks will make your entry eligible for the prize….
  • I will choose a winner and a runner-up on the 24th. 
  • The winner will win an ebook copy of Tales for Canterbury + $10 Amazon voucher
  • The runner-up will win a $10 Amazon voucher.

For more info on Tales for Canterbury (which includes my debut short story “The Ring of Fire), click below…

A fantastic anthology of 34 talented authors including: Neil Gaiman, Jeff Vandermeer, Jay Lake, Sean Williams along with others. (Includes my debut short story - a YA dystopian "The Ring of Fire)

#HolidayHop brings you Jesse Kimmel-Freeman

Click here to go blog hopping to more than 60 Holiday Hoppers...win prizes, enter contests and meet amazing indie authors...

Today I have the pleasure of featuring a fairytale re-imagined by Jesse Kimmel-Freeman…She has re-imagined Little Red Riding Hood

Once upon a time there was a seventeen-year-old girl name Emma. Emma was loved by all but especially her grandmother. Her grandmother loved her so much she made her a fine red velvet riding cloak. She wanted to ensure that Emma was nice and warm on the long walks that the girl liked to take. Emma loved the cloak so much that she never took it off, and everyone called her “Little Red Riding Hood.”

One day her mother asked Emma to take some cookies and milk to her ill grandmother. Her mother instructed her to behave properly while she walked and once she made it to her grandmother’s. It was important to stay on the right path and to respect her elders.

And so Emma left for her grandmother’s. The walk was far and Emma knew that if she dawdled, her poor sick grandmother would have no sweet cookies to help her feel better or nice milk to soothe her throat. Emma walked quickly and kept to the path.

“Good morning, Little Red Riding Hood.” A man dressed in all red called out to her.

“Morning, Mr. Claus.” She replied.

“Where are you headed all alone?” He smiled at her with rosy cheeks.

“I’m going to see my sick grandmama.” She told him.

“What do you have in your basket?” His eyes glittered like two shiny pieces of coal.

“I’m bringing my grandmama some cookies and milk to help her feel better.” Emma smiled at Santa Claus, her straight black hair following around her hood with the sudden breeze.

“Cookies and milk you say?” He licked his lips.

“Yes, now I really must be on my way.” She walked quickly away for she knew just how far her grandmother’s was.

Now Santa Claus thought to himself, “ that girl would surely be on the nice list. Bringing treats to her ailing grandmother. I bet they are very good cookies and the milk is nice and cold… I must be very crafty if I am to get those cookies.”

So Santa walked behind Emma for a little while. When he was certain of where she was headed, he slipped passed her and went to the grandmother’s cottage. He twitched his red nose, a few stray cookie crumbs falling from his beard and up he flew onto the roof. The chimney held no fire, so down he went.

He slid out the bottom in a nice cloud of black.

“Who’s there?” The woman called out from her room.

“Do not fret, it is only Saint Nick.” His voice full of joy.

“It’s not Christmas, what are you doing in my home?” She shouted.

Santa Claus quickly looked around the room for something he could use to tie the woman up. He found a pair of nylons hanging by the fireplace- along with a pair of socks. He grabbed them both and made his way to her room.

“What are you doing?” The woman called out in distress.

“You’re on the naughty list,” was all he said as he tied the old woman up and stuffed her in the closet.

He pulled on her robe and nightcap and got in the bed.

Little Red Riding Hood knocked on her grandmother’s door. She was tired from her long walk and wanted to return home to hang out with Dominic.

“Come in, Little Red.” A gruff voiced called out.

Emma was concerned because her grandmother didn’t sound well at all. She entered the house and found it to be quite dirty and dark.

“Grandmama?” Her voice barely over a whisper.

“I’m in my room.” She heard the reply.

She inched closer to the room, feeling dread and worry.

When she walked in, her grandmother looked bloated and odd.

“Grandmama, are you alright?” She asked as she came closer to the bed.

“I’m just a little under the weather, that’s all.” The gruff voice told her.

“Oh! Grandmama,” she said, “your ears have grown- they’re quite big now.”

“All the better to hear you, my dear child,” was the reply.

“But your eyes, what big eyes you have!” She said.

“All the better to see you with, dear.”

“And your hands, they’ve become so large!”

“All the better to hug you with.”

“Oh! But, grandmama, your mouth is so big!”

“All the better to eat your delicious cookies with.”

Santa jumped from the bed and snatched the baskets of treats from the frightened girl.

“Where is my grandmother?” She demanded.

“Don’t make me put you on the naughty list too, Red.” The fat man replied.

Emma watched in horror as Santa Claus devoured the cookies and guzzled the milk. His mouth crusted in crumbles. She was disgusted with the jolly man. Then she heard a noise.

She crept to the closet and found her grandmother tied up inside. She quickly undid the knots and freed her.

“Oh, it is on Santa.” Her grandmother exited the room and came back with a heavy cast iron skillet.

“How did you…” The shocked Santa said.

“You think you can just barge into my home, eat my treats, and leave me tied up in my own closet?” Her grandmother took a swing at Santa.

“Now, now.” He chuckled at her.

“I put you on the naughty list, Mr. Claus. Go back to your pole.” She swung and connected with his head.

Down he fell in a lump of red.

“Grandmama!” Emma squealed in shock.

“Don’t you worry, Emma. Get Grandmama the shovel… I’ve some trash to bury.” The old woman said to the girl.

Santa and his cookie stealing ways never bothered anyone ever again.

Follow Jesse on her blog and her website.

 

Thank you for that flash piece Jesse. I have always loved the story of Red Riding Hood and I enjoyed reading your version. Wishing you a Merry Christmas and a Happy Holiday Hop. 🙂

 

Remember, Readers there is a contest going on this blog for the HolidayHop. Read all the rules and take up the challenge here There are fantastic prizes, just here on this blog you can win an ebook copy of an amazing collection of short stories plus you go into the grand HolidayHop prize draw for the Kindle Touch.Don’t forget to hop to the other bloggers this holiday season and let the festive spirit infect you! 

My December Solstice on this #Creepfest I bleed ink and walk with Christmas Spirits

Today I am honoured to be hosted by two #Creepfest Authors in honour of December Solstice…

Find out why I bleed ink … all over Jessica McHugh’s “No Vacation from Speculation”

Find my Ode to December Solstice and the Ghosts of Christmas’s Past … with Ruth Barrett’s “Spirited Words”

I thought I would share a little insight on December Solstice or Night of the Midnight Sun in honour of both the event and #Creepfest…

December Solstice usually occurs between 20/12 and 23/12 every year. This year it falls on the 22nd. This solstice celebrates the return of light and the continuing circle of seasons and life. Here are some ways that cultures around the world have celebrated the Solstice…

  • Yule is also known as Alban Arthan and was one of the “Lesser Sabbats” of the Wiccan year in a time when ancient believers celebrated the rebirth of the Sun God and days with more light. This took place annually around the time of the December solstice and lasted for 12 days.
  • Yule: The Feast of Juul was a pre-Christian festival observed in Scandinavia at the time of the December solstice. Fires were lit to symbolize the heat, light and life-giving properties of the returning sun. A Yule or Juul log was brought in and burned on the hearth in honor of the Scandinavian god Thor. A piece of the log was kept as both a token of good luck and as kindling for the following year’s log.
  • In England, Germany, France and other European countries, the Yule log was burned until nothing but ash remained. The ashes were then collected and either strewn on the fields as fertilizer every night until Twelfth Night or kept as a charm and or as medicine.
  • In Ancient Rome the winter (December) solstice festival Saturnalia began on December 17 and lasted for seven days. It was held to honor Saturn, the father of the gods and was characterized by the suspension of discipline and reversal of the usual order. Grudges and quarrels were forgotten while businesses, courts and schools were closed. Wars were interrupted or postponed and slaves were served by their masters. Masquerades often occurred during this time. It was traditional to offer gifts of imitation fruit (a symbol of fertility), dolls (symbolic of the custom of human sacrifice), and candles (reminiscent of the bonfires traditionally associated with pagan solstice celebrations). A mock king was chosen, usually from a group of slaves or criminals, and although he was permitted to behave in an unrestrained manner for seven days of the festival, he was usually killed at the end. The Saturnalia eventually degenerated into a week-long spree of debauchery and crime – giving rise to the modern use of the tern saturnalia, meaning a period of unrestrained license and revelry. 
  • In Poland the ancient December solstice observance prior to Christianity involved people showing forgiveness and sharing food. It was a tradition that can still be seen in what is known as Gody.
  • In the northwestern corner of Pakistan, a festival called Chaomos, takes place among the Kalasha or Kalash Kafir people. It lasts for at least seven days, including the day of the December solstice. It involves ritual baths as part of a purification process, as well as singing and chanting, a torchlight procession, dancing, bonfires and festive eating.
  • Many Christians celebrate St Thomas’ Day in honor of St Thomas the Apostle on December 21.
  • In Guatemala on this day, Mayan Indians honor the sun god they worshipped long before they became Christians with a dangerous ritual known as the polo voladore, or “flying pole dance”. Three men climb on top of a 50-foot pole. As one of them beats a drum and plays a flute, the other two men wind a rope attached to the pole around one foot and jump. If they land on their feet, it is believed that the sun god will be pleased and that the days will start getting longer.
  • The ancient Incas celebrated a special festival to honor the sun god at the time of the December solstice. In the 16th century ceremonies were banned by the Roman Catholics in their bid to convert the Inca people to Christianity. A local group of Quecia Indians in Cusco, Peru, revived the festival in the 1950s. It is now a major festival that begins in Cusco and proceeds to an ancient amphitheater a few miles away.
  • Aside – One of my favourite books deals with the legends of the Solstice as well as other ancient stories that permeate early European cultures…          
  •   Kate Mosse’s Labyrinth

 kim-creepfestlogo

~~~~~~~~~~~~~

Related articles on the Solstice

#Creepfest Marissa Farrar and Creepmas poetry

Click on the Creepmas tree to take you to more creepy posts on the blog tour...Hurry! There are Prizes!

We’re behind the EIGHT-ball today, eight days into #Creepfest and the fun is still not over…

Have you been hopping to the other blogs on the tour…click on the tree above to get the full tour list…

You do not want to miss out…these are chances at early Christmas gifts that you won’t just be able to get in a shop…they have each been specially chosen for you by the #Creepfest authors…there are books, there is swag…hop to it…there is still time…

Talking of which…I need some more entries for my contest…you can own a collection of 34 short stories by authors far and wide…including tales by Neil Gaiman, Jeff VanderMeer, Jay Lake…

+ my debut dystopian tale: “The Ring of Fire” + Amazon Gift Vouchers…

HURRY…there are only 4 days left of the tour…4 days left to hop to all the blogs and grab as many contest entries as your hot,greedy little hands can hold…Hurry..Hurry…The clock is ticking….

Today I have some bone-rattling and spine-chilling Creepmas poetry to share with you offered up for sacrifice by the deceptively innocent Marissa Farrar…

#Creepfest Author’s Flash Fiction Challenge

1.) Re-imagine Santa’s visit to drop off gifts by putting a #Creepfest spin on it.
Max words: 200

Christmas Eve, I’m woken by the sound of moans,

And in the distance comes the rattle of bones.

Outside I come to stand and stare,

For what monstrosity should I find there?

Not bells but strung skulls are what I hear,

The elves who didn’t work so hard this year.

The reindeer snort, huffing hot air in plumes,

Eyes glow red as they paw with cloven hooves.

Santa’s not fat or jolly – those were lies,

He’s a skeleton with black holes as eyes.

Nightmares in his sack contain little cheer,

He’s here to deliver Creepfest this year.

[Note to bloghoppers-Aside: So just a reminder…Marissa’s Flash Fiction is the seventh entry into the Creepfest Challenge…Let me know what you think of it and check back here tomorrow for the seventh offering as you are going to help pick the winning Creepfest author at the end of the tour. Please let me know, in your comment below (or rate it at the top with stars), how you rate this seventh entry, in the challenge, by the deceptively innocent Marissa Farrar out of 5 stars (5 = Brilliant).]

2.) On Santa’s list this year, would you be naughty or nice? Tell me three ways you got on to either the naughty or the nice list.

I think I’d have to be on the nice list. While I certainly have my vices, I do try to be good! Okay, so three ways I’ve been nice… 1.) I’ve helped out a number of my author friends with new covers for their eBooks and by writing reviews. 2.) I regularly have a house full of children because I’m often helping out fellow mums by looking after their kids. 3.) Hmm… I can’t think of a third! Perhaps I should be on the naughty list after all!
3.) Who is your favourite villain in a classic fairy-tale and why?

It has to be the Snow Queen from Hans Christian Anderson’s fairy tale, ‘The Snow Queen’. It’s so haunting and eerie. I just love the beauty and sorrow of the story.

4.) If you were a character in “The Christmas Carol”…who would you be and why?

The Ghost of Christmas Yet to Come. I’m terrible about always looking ahead. Sometimes I have to remind myself to appreciate what I have here and now.

5.) What gift would you leave under the tree if you were the Christmas Grinch?

It would have to be the gift my uncle gave my mother one year – a carrier bag with his company’s name on the front. I kid you not…

Marissa Farrar
Marissa Farrar
Paranormal Fiction Author

Blurb – Alone 

Caught in a violent and abusive relationship, Serenity thinks there is no escape.

Upon meeting a stranger, Sebastian, she is shown the possibility of a different future.

Only Sebastian has a dark secret; he is a vampire.

As Serenity’s life takes a terrifying turn, she finds herself drawn into a world she never knew existed; one of murder, love and immortality. She is forced to confront her own weaknesses to save both her own life and that of the vampire she has come to love. But in the end all that matters is; can she find the strength to be Alone?

Book two in the ‘Serenity’ series, ‘Buried’ is also now available to buy from your favourite eBook store!


Here is the buy link for Alone!

http://www.amazon.com/Alone-The-Serenity-Series-ebook/dp/B005J5DL66/ref=sr_1_1?s=digital-text&ie=UTF8&qid=1323782646&sr=1-1

Thank you Marissa for that very chilling poetic twist on Creepmas…I think I hear moans even now as I write this…better bolt the doors tonight! Happy Creepfest and Merry Christmas Marissa! 🙂

The Reader Challenge

~13/12 – 23/12~

I am going to ask you a question and you are going to answer it in the comments. Only 1 entry per person is allowed. However, to be eligible you need to:

  • follow this blog
  • like my Facebook Page
  • follow me on Twitter
  • after all this is done: tweet that you have been visited by#GhostofCreepmasPast and tag me @AuthorKimKoning 
  • Also make sure that you are hopping to the other blogs in this #Creepfest Blog Tour
  • These 5 tasks will make your entry eligible for the prize.

~~~~~~

So drumroll…Here is the question challenge.

Question: The Ghost of Creepmas (Creepfest’s Christmas) Past is making a house call and this week he is visiting your house. He takes you back through time to your worst Christmas Nightmare. (This can be real or imagined.) Tell me about it in 200 words (max).

~~~~~~

I will choose a winner and a runner-up on the 24th. The winner will win an ebook copy of Tales for Canterbury + $10 Amazon voucherThe runner-up will win a $10 Amazon voucher.For more info on Tales for Canterbury (which includes my debut short story “The Ring of Fire), click below…

A fantastic anthology of 34 talented authors including: Neil Gaiman, Jeff Vandermeer, Jay Lake, Sean Williams along with others. (Includes my debut short story - a YA dystopian "The Ring of Fire)

#HolidayHop welcomes Rikki Strong

Click here to go blog hopping to more than 60 Holiday Hoppers...win prizes, enter contests and meet amazing indie authors...

The backdrop is Rapunzel’s tower. The story is told from my character’s point of view. Thanks for the opportunity! Rikki Strong

I’d been sitting in the cold, dark tower for hours trying to get a good look at my target. I had been tracking him for days and finally found him camping out in the middle of nowhere. Why he didn’t bother to actually come in the tower—preferring to huddle beside a small campfire on the edge of the clearing sleeping in a tent on this cold winter’s night—was beyond me, but who really knows what goes on in the minds of criminals?

Before I could detain him—without, you know, getting arrested myself for assault—I needed to catch him doing something wrong. But, for some reason, this guy—who had been involved in multiple kidnappings and disappearances of women from Kingston—didn’t seem to want to do anything except sit at the edge of the clearing and look up at the large, out-of-place, run-down tower I had hidden in.

I had just settled in for a long, tedious night of watching the flickering campfire when I began to hear bells in the distance. The sound kept getting nearer and nearer until it seemed like it was right on top of me. I heard footsteps on the rickety roof above me. I knew that the only way in or out of this room was the chimney—it was how I had gotten in the room myself. For some reason, my villain down below didn’t seem to be phased by this. Either he was in on it, or… I took out my small monocular and realized he had fallen asleep.

Good, I thought, putting away my monocular and blending into the shadows. I won’t have to worry about him running away while I take care of this guy.

The stranger slipped through the narrow chimney silently.

This guy must be a mutant, I thought. Not even my countless hours of physical and mental training allowed me to slide down the brick tunnel silently.

When the intruder climbed out of the fireplace, his super status was confirmed. The guy was enormous! That he was able to even come down without getting fatally stuck was a testament to mutants everywhere. The only question on my mind, though: superhero or supervillain?

The red-costumed stranger began searching the hearth for something. His attention diverted, I began creeping silently toward him. If I could take him by surprise, then perhaps I could neutralize him before he was able to alert my prey.

I couldn’t hear the sound that alerted the stranger to my position, but he certainly did. He began turning around and I froze, praying I was enough in the shadows that he wouldn’t see me. The room was much too small for a proper fight.

“Rapunzel?” he whispered in a kind-sounding voice. I stayed silent. He peered through the darkness and smiled at me. “Sorry, wrong tower. Hello, Tamara,” he said.

I blinked. How did he know my name? My real name? I looked at him closer and my mouth dropped.

“Santa?” I asked. “Really? Tim’s never going to believe this!”

“Ho ho ho,” he laughed. “I suppose I should be calling you Karis, since you’re in costume.” He dug through his bag and pulled out an ornately-wrapped present. “It’s difficult finding a gift for the girl who has everything, but here is a little something for you.”

I opened the package and found a small, silver picture frame. In the frame was the last photo taken of my family before they had been killed. “How did you get this?”

“Merry Christmas, Tamara,” Santa said. And then he was gone.

Thank you Rikki…It was lovely re-imagining Rapunzel with your special, imaginative spin. It was a pleasure having you on Dragonfly Scrolls. Happy HolidayHop and Merry Christmas! 🙂

Remember, Readers there is a contest going on this blog for the HolidayHop. Read all the rules and take up the challenge here There are fantastic prizes, just here on this blog you can win an ebook copy of an amazing collection of short stories plus you go into the grand HolidayHop prize draw for the Kindle Touch.Don’t forget to hop to the other bloggers this holiday season and let the festive spirit infect you!