Archive for the ‘Self Published’ Category

I only went and made an ebook out of Surviving
This is my new baby, with characters that speak loudly to me and a storyline that is still surprising me.
Cat, who is the main character in the ebook first started talking to me during a gluttish rewatch of the first 5 seasons of Supernatural  (my guilty pleasure and favourite tv series.  Oh Dean!) She’s a very strong woman with one weakness;  Finn MacCool.  They grew up together during the Apocalypse, and spend their lives fighting Demons while trying to find books that have occult knowledge in them. They also have to look after Cat’s kid brother,  Adair,  who is psychically gifted and resentful. 
It’s as cheap as Lulu would let me make it, because I really want to share this with folk. If anyone wants to make a more inspiring cover, feel free  as my art skills lack somewhat!


If you want a wee sample, you can find it here.


The Secret Colour of Crows

Posted: 03/06/2016 by Alternate Celt in poetry, Self Published, writing

Last one for now! If you like these poems and also like photography,  my partner and I put together a book of my poems with his beautiful pictures which you can buy here at Lulu. It’s a glossy coffee table book, but I feel it’s worth the price.

The Secret Colour of Crows

A wing shapes across a sky
Black as night
Obscuring day
Feathers spanning, light leaks through
Flying closer
Sunlight sparkles on the black
Rainbows spark
Dancing from it’s flight
Hues deeper and richer
Inviting inspection
Inviting enthralment
It wheels, spinning against blue
So stark
Bright and Dark
Day and Night

Still confusion is invited
When the light strikes
Blackness fractures
Defracts to dance along
The length of a wing tip
And from the black
Comes a myriad
A milieu
A cacophony of brilliance
That steals my eye
Oilslick purple and green
White that burns in the sun
Blue that hides beneath it all
Subtle and blinding
Hidden beneath the sinister
Beauty few perceive
Beauty few acknowledge
The secret colour
Of crows

Space Command

Posted: 29/03/2016 by Alternate Celt in Dark Tales, Self Published, writing

A reblog of this extract. This is one of the stories in the Dark Tales short story ebook

crowkitchentales's Blog

The following is an excerpt from a story I wrote some time ago, partly inspired by the events of the 11th of September 2001. It is set in a possible near future. In this excerpt, the main character, Honey Kirkwall, explains a little about herself and her world.

Things I remember from my childhood, before and then in those first few tentative years after the September 11th attacks, seem almost unreal – too glossy and glamorous to have really happened. So many things we took for granted, things I wanted and possessed as a child that no child now ever dreams of. Peace, the sanctity of your home, education that the world envied, even looking down -albeit with sympathy- on all those developing nations sunk in a quagmire of civil war.
Somewhere in the back of my mind, flickering on celluloid, is the voice of a man pleading with…

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Author Spotlight on Lulu

Posted: 29/03/2016 by Alternate Celt in Self Published, writing

This is my Author Spotlight page at Lulu , which is a Self Publishing website.  Here you can buy Dark Tales from the Crow Kitchen which is a book of short stories, The Ballad of Sara and Jared, which is a fantasy novel and my picture book of poetry, From Underhill.

Dark Tales from the Crow Kitchen

Posted: 04/08/2014 by Alternate Celt in Dark Tales, Self Published, writing


I took a bunch of the short stories mostly published here an made an ebook.  It’s only 69p!  Enjoy!


Posted: 26/04/2014 by Alternate Celt in Dark Tales, Extracts, Self Published

A short story about humanity.

Rain beat relentlessly on the little clutch of tents, while it bounced off the pavements, scattering and reforming into fast expanding puddles as they fell back again. In other words, it was fucking pissing it down.

As I crossed the grey, wet, shimmering street towards that miserable huddle of tents, I felt a familiar sinking feeling. Rain is an old foe whom I’ve learned to be of in a lifetime of suffering Scottish weather. It adds a layer of misery to any setting. Combined with the strange sense of loss I feel when confronted by the persistent remains of a movement that was finally going to change the world but didn’t in that bedraggled little cluster at the centre of the square. I felt quite deflated. A struggling writer in a packed business ruled by cutthroat capitalism. I’ve been long adrift on a sea of failure and rejection, but I’ve always tried to cling to a belief in a changing of the tides. But here, shivering in the rain and staring at the ruins of hope, it all seems so bleak and pointless.

What happened to the Revolution? I wonder now. For all the protest and anger, all the tear gas and defiance, the evictions and beatings, whither the purpose that once united all those people? Bankers still pocket crazy bonuses, paid for by taxpayers and extracted from the lives of the very poorest of all, who have been ground down lower than ever. It’s like none of it even happened.

I don’t notice him because I’m staring forlornly at the tents and not paying attention.

“Watch where you’re going!” He snaps as I turn straight into him. I recoil, and stumble back a couple of steps, spluttering apologies. Dark, piercing, aggressive eyes under serious black brows, all under shortish brown hair, tending to wild. Several days growth of dark stubble on his face. Dressed head to foot in a once sharp black suit, now undone, tieless, rumpled and soaked unto ruination. He was seriously pissed off, tending to the wired end of jumpy, so I drew myself up, wary.

“I’m sorry. I should have been looking where I was going,” I say.

He opens his mouth to speak, looking furious enough that I tense, ready for him to fly off the handle at me. But then he hesitates, looking me in the eye, and then he deflates, disapearing back inside himself. He mumbles something, could be an apology, then turns and walks off.

“Hey, Mister, are you okay?” I call after him, but he either doesn’t hear or chooses not to, and keeps walking. I guess I found myself following him out of instinct. He was 2 dozen steps when I started to follow, but I didn’t hurry to catch him up. I kept my disfasterinstead, drawn by morbid curiosity. Down through the sloping streets we went, towards the city centre, and the railway station. Down towards ‘Loupers Brig’, so named for the poor souls that all too often end their lives on the tracks below it.

As I watched him come to a stop and turn to look down at the train tracks below. I feel a chill settle in my stomach. Was he about to take a leap of faithlessness? I closed the space between us quickly, spurred on even faster as I saw him scramble up into position on the old stonework of the Brig’s sides. Below, a train is approaching, gathering speed out of the station.

I had one of those moments of clarity and timelessness right then ; bullet time, I suppose you’d call it, when your senses kick into top gear and the world slows down as your heart rate goes soaring upwards so as to flood your brain with adrenaline. I stopped running and started gliding, the sounds of the world me while he tipped ever so slowly forwards to meet with the oncoming train. In the oceans of time I was suddenly granted, I reached him casually and caught him easily with one hand confidently snatching up his arm.

Less than a heartbeat later, reality was kicking back in along with the inescapable forces of gravity. My lungs felt collapsed, incapable of breath after the illusions of adrenaline evaporated. Worse still, the realisation came that this man I had snatched back from jumping to his death was heavier than me, and I was a long from sure I had the strength to counter it.

“Let me go!” He snapped at me, distraught, dangling by one arm above the long drop to the tracks.

“No!” I exclaimed, not so much determined as horrified. My feet were scrabbling on the pavement, my upper body contorting over the side as I struggle to brace as I struggle to brace myself somehow.

“I’ll end pulling you over!” He barks, finding his anger again.

“Then help me, you selfish bastard!” I half ordered, half pleaded with him.

There was a long, painful moment where he stared at me, where he stared at me, shocked and puzzled. My eyes were watering from the way my arms were stretching out of their sockets. I wished he’d stop being so melodramatic. Then he swung up his other arm and used me to haul himself up to a point where he could reach the side of the bridge himself. When he let go, I practically recoiled, desperate to roll and rub my shoulders and make sure there was no damage.

He climbed slowly back over the wall to the pavement, shaking visibly. I saw him pause to brush tears from his eyes at least once, and it seemed whatever had been holding them in check was gone now. Perhaps saving his life might not be quite enough, I realised as he turned to me and tried to speak. No words came he was too shaken with emotion. Inwardly I sighed, outwardly I smiled., and turned to flag down a passing taxi.

“I’ll take you for a coffee,” I offered and he managed to mumble thanks.

Space Command Intro

Posted: 17/11/2013 by Alternate Celt in Dark Tales, Extracts, Self Published

As part of the work I did recently on this old piece, I re-wrote the introduction.  Here it is in all it’s possibly controversial glory. No apologies, it’s fiction.

Space Command
On September the 11th 2001, a group of Saudi Arabian nationals hijacked four planes within US airspace.  For more than an hour they  flew the planes without any intervention from the US air force, although in one the passengers staged a mutiny which led to the deaths of everyone on board.  The remaining three planes made it to their targets – the Pentagon and towers one and two of the World Trade Centre.  The overall casualties of their action were slightly over 3000 people.
This shocking and barbarous act of terrorism led the US to launch the War on Terror, but also to resurrect the idea of SDI, or “Star Wars”, a much derided plan from the Reagan Adminsitration of the 1980’s which was to place a weaponised missile defence platform in orbit around Earth to allow for swift neutralisation of enemy missile launches.  The original plan was evolved and built upon in a search for “Total Spectrum Dominance”, a phrase coined by the powerful lobbying group, the Project for a New American Century.
20 years on.
Exploring a possible future

The Global Resistance Network comprises of a group of hackers and freedom fighters who wage terrorist war against the US in both the real and the virtual world. The hackers routinely bring down and subvert links in the US communication network often in conjunction with physical attacks – mostly hit and fade style affairs.
Working mostly in fully integrated cells with very little influence from central command, The only distinctive goal of its many groups ethos’s is the end of US global dominance.
The whole world lives in fear of US power and there is no one country that will shelter or back the GRN. Global population is high, disease – mostly in the “Old world” is rife, as is poverty. The Global depression has ground down even many of the formerly affluent European nations. Outside of the US itself, outlets selling US goods often find themselves the target of terrorist attacks, with governments feeling obliged to fund the security of these outlets for fear of US reprisals.
What follows is the fragmented story of one European group as they begin a highly risky campaign against US listening and communications networks on European soil.  The story was gleaned from   neural recordings taken from Honey Kirkwall, a GRN operative and computer specialist.  The recordings were taken post mortem, and as such have large gaps in the narrative.  Editorial decisions were also made concerning the ordering of the fragments of narrative, in order to best present her version of events.  Dates have been avoided as only certain parts of the narrative can be placed to exact dates.